Hits , misses and what the hell was that about ?

Hits , misses and what the hell was that about ?

Well appreciative of the fact, for the first time in twenty-one years , a congratulatory note of applause must be displayed towards the Pittsburgh Pirates and their making the MLB post-season for the first time in that time-span. For Clint Hurdle , his staff , the players and front office , this will be a time to celebrate. Having finished second to the St Louis Cardinals in the NL Central , within that division , the Pirates will be joined by the Cincinnati Reds , for the second of the two wild-card berths within the National League (NL). The celebrations began in earnest after Pittsburgh’s 2-1 victory on Monday evening over the competitively challenged Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field , in Chicago , Illinois. Far be it for to me suggest, but both the Cubs and Chicago White Sox have been two woefully inept teams and an absolute abomination to watch over the course of this season , who have performed with such ineptitude. As to this asinine notion, that Cubs general manager Theo Epstein will be looking towards making the ball-club competitive by no later than 2015 , now seems to be in question after the failure of the team this season.

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Slideshow .

Dale Sveum , manager of the Cubs has not been guaranteed that he will be given a contract extension, and it is unlikely that the manager will now return to the organization for the 2014 season , along with a number of members of his current managerial staff . There have been few pluses of note for the Chicago Cubs over the course of their season and for that I believe a great deal of the blame has to fall squarely upon the shoulders of Theo Epstein and what appears to be a clear lack of commitment from the Ricketts’ family , the team’s owners. There has been more money spent on the refurbishing and upgrading of Wrigley Field in recent seasons than one would like to believe. Meanwhile, Tom Ricketts’ commitment seems to be more of treating this ball-club as a bauble, rather to parade it to members of his social circle , than create a competitive professional sports’ franchise and bring back some semblance of respectability to this once esteemed baseball franchise.

For the Pirates, as they wind down their regular season schedule with five games left to play. All eyes, are likely to be placed upon their wild card round game on 1st October against the Cincinnati Reds. Now one could place a great deal of emphasis on the season series between these two teams , but to my mind, a single elimination game will be more about , which is the best prepared to deal with the added pressure .

The race within the AL for the two wild-card berths , now appears to the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians for the losing, as the two teams hold the top two spots in those standings . Yet for all of the drama to be had , this race still seems to be far from over , with the Texas Rangers , Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees , all within four games of a wild-card berth . Of the three teams now vying for that spot, I do believe that the Yankees have essentially played themselves out of contention , albeit , with Joe Girardi and his team due to play the Tampa Bay Rays in a pivotal three game series at Yankee Stadium beginning on Tuesday. It would be fair to suggest that neither team in this series, can afford a slip-up at this juncture.

. Girardi will become a manager without a contract at the end of this season , with their being no guarantee that a contract extension will be forthcoming from GM Brian Cashman or directly from senior managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner . There is the common belief that Girardi is likely to viewed as a managerial candidate for the possible vacant Cubs’ position, if the decision is made fire Dale Sveum. This off-season could be a dramatic one for the franchise, with the retirements of Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera . Compounding this even further, may well be the uncertainty concerning the immediate future of Derek Jeter , whose season was shuttered by the front office , with the short-stop placed on the disabled list . With his skills declining, Jeter only provides leadership and little else, beyond that , albeit, that at times, he can still offer momentary flashes of brilliance in the field .

Three weeks into the NFL season and we already seeing a plethora of really bad performances from a number of teams . Far be it for me to suggest , but those seeking parity in the NFL , are looking for something to hang their hats on . In reality , it is not about parity , but more to do with the caliber of the coaching of the NFL and the quality of the players drafted . Poor performances asides, having witnessed the Denver Broncos’ complete annihilation of the Oakland Raiders on Monday night , to go alongside the Seattle Seahawks’ utter surgical dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars , has me believing that this NFL season is likely to be filled with more lows than highs , in comparison to last season.

As Peyton Manning continues to rewrite the record books, with the player already having thrown twelve touchdown passes in the first three weeks of the season. It will be interesting to see whether or not the quarterback can surpass the single season record of fifty touchdowns , a feat managed by Manning’s contemporary , Tom Brady during the 2007 NFL season. Besides the superlatives one could use to describe Peyton Manning’s performances this early in the season , it should be noted that this Broncos’ team seems to have gotten a great deal better on both sides of the ball in comparison to last season. As to where the challenge might well come from within the AFC West and the AFC as a whole , I do believe that there is not a team at present good enough to throw down the gauntlet of meeting that challenge .

Week four , will grant the Philadelphia Eagles the privilege of trying to stop the Broncos’ unbeaten run, when the two teams meet this Sunday at the Sports Authority Stadium , in Denver , Colorado,. The Eagles’ alleged high-octane offense and rather anemic defense , are likely to meet the same fate as the Broncos three previous predecessors . Chip Kelly may well have been an offensive genius at the collegiate level , while coaching the Oregon program , but his introduction to the NFL has been painful to watch , with his ego having been deflated by the team’s two successive defeats. Whether or not, this will be a bounce back game for the Eagles or them simply being bounced all over Mile High, remains to be seen. Yet , given the ineptitude of the Eagles on defense, I am do believe that it will be the latter !

Not one for appearing naive, but I do believe that the NFL’s punishment of Vonn Miller was merely slap on the wrist , being a two-time offender of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The player sought to appeal his original four-game suspension which was upheld , but the league tacked on an additional two games , after it was revealed that Miller compromised his test samples by colluding with a lab technician to substitute another sample , as his own . Miller’s actions not only showed his disdain for the league’s rules, but also for the NFL and bringing a great deal of unwanted attention to the Denver Broncos’ organization , after a successful start to their season. Vonn Miller’s return will not take place until week seven, when the Broncos are hosts of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium , in Indianapolis , Indiana ,. Surely, if a player is willing to go those lengths and be dishonest as well as committing an act of fraud , then should it not be within the league’s right to punish that player with impunity , rather than being soft and appearing soft on that issue ? My question for Commissioner Roger Goodell , who is he really afraid of in such an instance , the union (Players’ Union) or is it, the fans themselves ? Your thoughts , on this all ?

Three months before the NBA regular season kicks off and the biggest story of the off-season , beyond the marriage of LeBron James to his high-school sweetheart Savannah Brinson and the Miami Heat’s re-signing of Michael Beasley . That story, is the fact former NBA center and All Star, Shaquille O’Neal has become a minority stakeholder in the Sacramento Kings. O’Neil , in association , with a business associate, Mark Mastrov , founder of the health-club gym chain, 24 Hour Fitness, have purchased a 5% stake in the NBA franchise . The deal was with the full approval of team owner Vivek Ranadive , who seems to be of the belief , that the best way to bring back some pizzazz to the downtrodden franchise, would be to add some “star power ” to the ownership makeup of the organization. Perplexing as this may seem, it was not that long ago, that O’Neal described the Sacramento Kings as the “Sacramento Queens” . Unless I am mistaken, not much has changed in the subsequent seasons , since the former player made that infamous statement. The Kings have fallen on hard times, being uncompetitive, being financially mismanaged by former owners Joe and Gavin Maloof , and their siblings. Add to this whole menagerie of stupidity, was the over-inflated price paid ($535 million) for a franchise that is amongst the most poorly supported in the NBA. Yet, it has been under this sort of misleading and often surreptitious model that David Stern continues to paint the facade that the league and its teams are in the healthiest of conditions. All well and good, but it simply does not answer the question , as to the continued struggles of a number of small market teams and the financial imbalance created, with the unwillingness of the NBA hierarchy to adopt a hard salary cap.

Consider the fact, that a number of the teams within the NBA , repeatedly each season , seek to go over the league’s soft salary cap ($58.044 million) . At the same time, when posed the question , as to why a number of teams remain unprofitable , the commissioner has been quick to deflect those questions, by simply pointing to the fact of growing revenues for the NBA and an increasing presence in the global market , in terms the growing popularity of the game in Europe and the Far East. All well and good, but it simply does not answer the question , as to the continued struggles of a number of small market teams and the financial imbalance created, with the unwillingness of the NBA hierarchy to adopt a hard salary cap. I would like to think that the reason behind this , is the fact that the league believes that their current business template this all works to their advantage . Yet , I am more inclined to believe , that the union (NBPA) dictates and has the power to simply make the team owners and powers that be , simply cower in a corner , like a mouse about to be devoured by a hungry feline.

It is hard to imagine how a Kings’ team from this past season that finished with a 28-54 record within the Western Conference . A mark which was good enough for thirteenth place within the conference and only fourth place within the Pacific Division , can be considered remotely good enough to compete in the talent and offensive minded environment of the conference in question and where the King themselves were far from efficient in terms of defense . This is a team built around the somewhat mercurial talents and immature behavior of DeMarcus Cousins . Yet, the biggest issue for the Sacramento Kings is the very fact their head coach Michael Malone will be a first-year rookie , whose previous stop was the coach of Loyola Marymount University . Then you can add in the fact, that on the team’s roster itself , beyond Chuck Hayes, Travis Outlaw and John Salmons , no other member on this squad has more than six years’ experience of playing in the NBA as a professional . as an NBA player d with the Sacramento Kings, A fact which was also mirrored during the 2011-2012 NBA season. This upcoming season , what should fans of this franchise, really expect from a roster with such minimal experience?

A great deal is being asked of Michael Malone and his coaching staff for the upcoming season, something I do not believe that they are likely to fulfill , even with the added experience of Chris Mullin as a consultant to the front office led by GM Pete D’Alesandro . His experience alongside that of Mullin and even with the additional input of Shaquille O’Neal , is unlikely to prove fortuitous , immediately. The returns sought , may well come about in two to three years , if the fans can be patient enough, as the front office assesses the entire roster. To my mind , the Sacramento Kings is unlikely to become one of the first places a prized marquee free agent, is likely to seek out, to further their NBA ambitions. That was never the case over the past five seasons, and it is unlikely to be the case now . Destinations, such as, either one of the Los Angeles franchises ( Clippers , Lakers) , Oklahoma City , Miami , Houston , Chicago , Brooklyn , San Antonio , New York or Indiana would prove to be a far more appealing a destination , than the California state capitol to further one’s NBA career. Success has proven to be fleeting for the Sacramento Kings , and will prove to just as elusive now , even with the experience now gathered within the front office and the ownership group .

The NBA regular season will begin on October 29th, 2013 , with a slew of games . Yet for the vast array of fans, the season does not really get started until the Christmas week schedule comes into focus . The Kings will begin their schedule , with a home game against the Denver Nuggets at the Sleep Train Arena , in Sacramento , California. All eyes, will be focused on the Kings , as they embark upon a new chapter and era in their history. As to what the outcome is likely to , that remains to be seen , but for now , the real challenge is simply to savor the moment .

The death of former heavyweight champion boxer , Ken Norton at the age of seventy, brought back a deepening perspective of a bygone age within the sport . There are few champions , let alone great fighters from that era still alive today. Norton’s untimely passing, reminds us what is sorely lacking in the sport of boxing at present , and that is great fighters , willing to take on all-comers, simply to prove their greatness in the ring. Sadly, today’s fight game, it has become about the “ me mentality” and how much money , a fighter can now gross from one mega-title fight and with no respect for the sport itself , never-mind the ongoing incompetence of the ringside officials .

True fight fans can cling to their memories of the great world heavyweight title fights of seventies , eighties and early nineties. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Ken Norton , who some years ago suffered a near fatal crash, which brought severe head trauma and respiratory problems and a speech impediment for this once great fighter. A CAT scan of Norton’s brain , showed atrophy and severe damage to his brain tissue , brought on from years of pounding, taken to his head , undoubtedly brought on from his fight career . An illustrious career , that also saw three classic bouts with Muhammad Ali . Norton went toe to toe with some of the very best during the prime of his career, but his trilogy of bouts with Ali , are what he is best remembered for , and perhaps his now infamous love scene with British actress Susan George in the movie ‘ Mandingo ‘ . Let’s just say, Norton’s best years were definitely in the ring and not on celluloid, in a tawdry tale of slavery and masochistic sex .

Memories , fading over time for both Leon and Michael Spinks , with a rarely seen in public, Muhammad Ali. It is sad , that even with such legends as Larry Holmes and George Foreman still visible within our midst , the sport of boxing is still sinking into a morass of ambiguity and incompetence . Any suggestion that the likes of Oscar de La Hoya and his company, Golden Boy Promotions Inc , has brought back some semblance of dignity to the sport , has to be met with a great deal of ridicule and suspicion. De La Hoya has his own personal issues to deal with, beyond the fact that his company , has been a litigant in several cases , where the accusation of fraud and larceny, have been leveled against the former boxer and his promotion’s company. Needless to say, the promoter pleads innocent, to all of the allegations made against him and scoffs at the suggestion that his company has acted unprofessional.

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Picture gallery .

There were a number of interesting sports’ stories within the sports’ world this past weekend, but which event to your mind proved to be the most interesting in terms of its relevance ? Do leave a comment, as you see fit on this and anything else you believe relevant to the subject matter .

Picture and slideshow gallery details .
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(1) Gaby Sanchez , Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen celebrate the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 8-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in a game played on Tuesday 24th September , 2013 ,2 at Wrigley Field in Chicago , Illinois . For the first time in just over two decades the Pirates will make their first post-season appearance , having gained one of the two available NL wild-card berths . AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast ….

(2) The Pirates’ Gerrit Cole heads to first , after hitting a two-run single off Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher Chris Rusin , which in turn scored Gaby Sanchez and Pedro Alvarez during the second inning of the game played between the two NL Central teams on Tuesday 24th September , 2013 . AP Photo / Rex Arbogast …..

(3) Chicago Cubs’ GM Theo Epstein , foreground , is seen here with the team’s owner Tom Ricketts . Epstein who became the general manager of the Cubs in October 2011 , has presided over two years of mediocrity of an organization , that has not made a post-season appearance since 2008 , when the team went do the NLDS. This season the Chicago Cubs underperformed and will finish once again with a sub .500 record for the second consecutive season , of which the last time the ball-club had a winning season came in 2009. Getty Images / Jonathan Greene ……

(4) Players from the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate their shutout of their AL East rivals the New York Yankees , in a game played at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday 24th September , 2013. The victory inched the Rays closer to obtaining one of the two available wild-card berths within the American League (AL) . This victory has in essence placed New York pout of the wild-card race and whatever chance the team had of making the post-season but there remains two more games to be played of the current series between the two teams . In 2013 it has been the Tampa Rays who have had the upper hand in the regular season series between the two teams . It also casts doubt on the strength of this current Yankees’ lineup and heightens their vulnerabilities , showing them now to be a team on the decline. AP Photo / Kathy Willens ………

(5) Eric Decker (87) of the Denver Broncos tries to break the tackle of Brandian Ross (29) of the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High , in a game played on the September 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Getty Images ? Doug Pensinger ….

(6) Left guard Zane Beadles (68) of the Denver Broncos and left tackle Chris Clark (75) of the Denver Broncos prepare to defend the blind side of quarterback Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos as they face the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 37-21 . Doug Pensinger /Getty Images …

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Shaquille O’Neal holds up a shirt with “Shaqramento” printed on it as he poses with Sacramento Kings majority owners Vivek Ranadive, left, and Mark Mastrov, in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. O’Neal was welcomed as a new minority owner of the Kings and promised to help restore the franchise to its winning ways and mentor to Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli …

(8) Ken Norton , left, seen here facing Muhammad Ali in the third and final fight of their trilogy , which was fought at Yankee Stadium , in the Bronx , New York of September 1976. Norton felt he won the fight but it was given to Ali in a unanimous decision . AP Photo / archives …

(9) Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton exchange blows during their 1973 fight in San Diego, the first of their three bouts against one another. Ali would wind up losing a 12-round decision after Norton broke his jaw early in the fight. Neil Leifer/SI ….

(10) LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 18: Former boxer Ken Norton arrives at the Keep Memory Alive foundation’s ‘Power of Love Gala’ celebrating Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event benefits the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center. The former title-holder died earlier this month complications from heart failure and a respiratory condition . AP Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive …..

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tophatal ………. 09/24/2013

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Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Well not enough can be said as we have all yearned to see the arrival of the NFL regular season and the beginning of play within the league . Thursday night we get to witness the last two Superbowl champions open the season with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints laying the groundwork for the NFL calendar year.. Clearly after the league hierarchy and NFLPA , seemingly now having reached an accord , the fans may well be quite happy to see the resumption of the NFL . Most certainly on 11th September when the season really gets into full swing with a full schedule of games that will also commemorate the the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of the terrorist attacks of “9/11” . That if anything , will be a somber moment not only for the fans but also for the entire nation as well as the NFL as the nation remembers those lost on that most solemn of days .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Beyond those events which will do doubt be commemorated by MLB , WNBA and NASCAR the country can take pride that it has remained steadfast in its resolve as it seeks to defeat an enemy who sought bring down this nation and all that it stands for.

During this off-season the Green Bay Packers celebrated their victory with gusto and the fans were vibrant in their celebration of the team’s accomplishment. Coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff can be commended on a job well done and now comes the hard part in trying to make a successful run as they seek to defend their title. Certainly for Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers having erased the memories of his predecessor Brett Favre , the young quarterback now commands the respect of the Packers’ fans as well as his teammates . I certainly believe that the Green Bay Packers alongside the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints are amongst the favorites within the NFC who can be legitimately viewed as favorites for the Superbowl. That picture however is liable to change over the course of the season , given the uncertainties that do tend to arise such as injuries to key players and that of the consistency of the teams as schedule progresses.
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In large part the Packers’ core remains intact from last season but the the team has made those perfunctory off season moves as well as taking the best talent available in the NFL Draft . Certainly , for Aaron Rodgers , Greg Jennings , Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews this could well prove to be something fortuitous given the team’s play last season and the consistency shown during the playoffs . If the Green Bay Packers can continue to show that same type of consistency then they could very well make a successful defense of their Superbowl title.

Is it me but there seems to be a degree of hypocrisy within the NFL that is often overlooked ? With Terrelle Pryor being asked to sit out the first games of his professional career within the league with the Oakland Raiders . Initially after his hiring by the Indianapolis Colts as a consultant Jim Tressel’s it appears was initially set . Colts’ GM Bill Polian in particular may well have felt that the hiring would be of benefit to the organization and a way of the former Buckeyes’ coach to seek redemption. But herein lies the caveat to this all, the NFL in conjunction with the NCAA has sought to distance itself from the wrongdoing of an athlete or coach at the collegiate level by instigating a form of punishment . It would appear that upon his hiring Polian felt that Jim Tressel would not only be a welcome hire but also not having to face any form of punishment . Less we forget , when Tressel allegedly left Ohio State there was little if any real form of punishment levied against the coach . An apology from Jim Tressel that was as meaningless and if anything an insult to the fans of the program from a man whose character , integrity and honesty were less forthright. Anyone who’s of the opinion that a $250,000 fine is a harsh enough penalty and somehow having to miss coaching a number of coaching duties clearly is either an idiot or simply doesn’t care as to the acts perpetrated by the former college coach .

With the NFL hierarchy having sought in-house legal counsel , a formal statement has been issued by both the league and from the Colts’ front office stating that Jim Tressel would have to forfeit the first six games of the team’s regular season before he can begin his tenure as a special consultant for the organization. Too harsh or simply not harsh enough ? It is at times like this I have to question not only the priorities of the NFL which seems seem to be intent on creating an image that’s surreal and going to almost any length to making a quick buck at the expense of the fans as needs be ! While I detest the actions of Tressel and that of his players I feel that before we can indict the coach the feeling has to be that the league hierarchy and team owners have to be held to a higher standard. It’s complete idiocy to think that the Indianapolis Colts would consider to hire the coach and then feel that there would not be any form of blowback ! Jim Irsay and Bill Polian are either that naive or they simply just couldn’t give a damn as to what allegations were levied against Jim Tressel. I wonder if they would have been such staunch advocates of the hire had this been anyone else but the former Buckeyes’ coach ? Think about it before giving an answer .

If there is anything that can be said as the baseball season now begins to wind down it has to said that the teams vying for the divisional leads as well as the wildcard berths are simply looking to play themselves into contention with a view to the divisional series and beyond .

It’s pretty much safe to say that both Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander are having extraordinary season’s for their respective teams . And it would be pretty much safe to say that bar the shouting , both the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers are well on the way to winning their respective divisions (NL East & AL Central) with a certain amount of ease . The divisional leads that they seemingly command over their closest rivals do appear to be insurmountable and unless both the Phillies and Tigers self implode , then I would find it hard to believe that either the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians can find a way to topple either of the teams in question !

I don’t know that a manager can take any type of pride in seeing their team be routed by a divisional rival but somehow the Chicago White Sox’s Ozzie Guillen was all smiles as the team were soundly beaten (18-2) and given an ass whupping of the highest order by the Detroit Tigers, who played host to their divisional rivals at Comerica Park , in Detroit , Michigan. Far be it for me to suggest that Guillen can take pride in this performance by his players but I do believe that it sends the wrong message to the fans of the White Sox who witnessed the team put up such a mediocre display against Jim Leyland’s team . And if the rumors are to be believed then this may well be the last season that we may well Ozzie Guillen as manager of the Chicago White Sox , as it is being widely reported that Florida Marlins’ team President David Sansom will be gauging the manager’s interest in succeeding interim coach Jack McKeon . From a personal standpoint having once been a staunch supporter of the team I feel for one that it would be a good hire should the premise actually begin to take shape but until the end of the season we are not going to made aware as to where Guillen’s professional future may well lay .

White Sox GM Kenny Williams as well as team owner Jerry Reinsdorf have yet to issue a public statement on the matter but it is clear that the executives have come to question their manager’s handling of the team over the course of the season . Ozzie Guillen , could never be accused of being shy to show his emotions but it has become increasingly clear that as much as he has the respect of his players , he can at times be viewed as something of an ingrate and condescending towards the game day officials as well the fans. But what cannot be denied is having led the organization to their most recent triumph in the World Series , he has done little to suggest that he’s about to lead them there again anytime soon .

With the Florida Marlins set to move into their new ball-park in 2012 it was felt that an experienced and high profiled manager would be best to lead this young Marlins’ team as they seek to reinvigorate the interest of the fans within the area . It is becoming increasingly clear with average attendance of a meager 16,000 fans currently attending the Marlins’ home games , it has to be said that anything that can be done to peak the interest of the fans must be done quickly and with a great deal of resolve . There has been very little for the Marlins’ fans to be extremely excited about over the course of this season . The team itself has never been in serious contention within the NL East , much less for the wildcard berth within the NL .The team appears to have the talent but there’s little if any real leadership forthcoming from the presumed veterans or for that matter from the coaching staff , themselves . The productivity from the Florida Marlins as a whole can best be described as nonchalant or mediocre !

Having been privileged to witness the highs and lows of the Florida Marlins from their inception to their two World Series triumphs , to the political intrigue associated with team owner Jeffrey Loria and the entire front office somehow beguiling the Miami city commission and Mayor Thomas Regalado . What took place with the city commission somehow having agreed to finance the building of a $450 million state of the art venue for the organization all at the expense of the city of Miami. The stories of the decision and much of deception that has taken place concerning this episode has been well chronicled , as too were the clandestine meetings arranged between Regalado , the Marlins’ ownership and in particular senior members of the MLB hierarchy under the leadership of Commissioner Bud Selig .

If the commissioner can take such a proactive position in aiding the Marlins then how is it that he can be so reluctant to deal with similar issues concerning both the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays ? Oh, never mind as that would be expecting far too much from the game’s highest ranked official as we have all witnessed his sheer stupidity in the handling of the malfeasance of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the gross negligence of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as the owners of the New York Mets . I have come not to expect too much from the game of baseball other than what is actually witnessed on the field of play, because to expect anything else from the league hierarchy by way of leadership would be to expect the current members of both the House of Representatives and Senate to show some form bi-partisanship. That certainly isn’t about to happen at this juncture or at any time in the immediate future ! Simply put , the federal government much like baseball’s hierarchy are completely devoid of any form of intelligence !

So it appears out of the wood-works comes a white knight hoping to rescue from the rubble the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers. Dr William Burke co-founder and director of the Los Angeles Marathon leads a consortium that has lodge a formal bid with the US Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware , looking to purchase the organization. What makes this bid all the more interesting is the mere fact that the bidding consortium has the backing of the Chinese government through one of China’s most prominent financial institutions. This would be the first time that an governmental agency should this bid prove to be successful , that such an entity would become a stake holder in a North American professional sports’ franchise.

Certainly with the MLB hierarchy would have give its blessing and final approval on such a deal . Much of this also would be predicated upon Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt initially agreeing to sell the ball club but this would also be based on the presiding judge overseeing the case would also have approve such a deal as the bankruptcy proceedings have yet to be finalized . At this juncture , given the fact that McCourt has always maintained that it is not his intent to sell the team , this could lead to a long protracted issue regarding the very existence of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has become even more clear that although McCourt was able to obtain additional financing ($150 million loan from JP Morgan Chase ) to meet the team’s budgetary expenses until the end of the season , beyond that there’s no certainty that the beleaguered owner knows where any additional will actually be coming from .

Beyond the idiocy of this whole debacle it has become abundantly clear for all to see that Bud Selig’s handling of this matter can best be described as a complete sham ! The commissioner and the entire hierarchy have behaved been like bumbling oafs from the silent movie era. The Keystone Cops would certainly be proud of the performances and actions of the hierarchy . Were it not for the gross stupidity of Frank McCourt and the Dodgers’ front office executives perhaps this situation would not have become so grave. At this point it is hard to view how this situation can either get much better or for that matter simply get much worse . Frank McCourt has proven as owner that he has never had the best interests of this team and their financial well being at hand. If anything he and his now ex wife , Jamie McCourt merely viewed this organization as their personal ATM . But yet somehow in the midst of this all Bud Selig has used about as much intelligence to be found in a lump of fecal matter ! .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) FILE- This Aug. 12, 2011 file photo shows Atlanta Falcons quarterback John Parker Wilson, left, fumbling as he is hit by Miami Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Atlanta. Even during the longest, hottest, most grueling practice, A Miami Dolphins rookie, Wilson wears a smile from ear hole to ear hole. Wilson’s perspective is a little different from most players because of his peculiar path to the NFL. He spent two years in jail on a murder charge before winning acquittal in July 2009. AP Photo/David Manning …..

(2) GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 1: Vic So’oto (97) of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown on an interception during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……

(3) Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers argues a call with field judge Mike Weir (50) during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …….

(4) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton , left, talks with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak at an NFL preseason football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The Titans won 32-9 . AP Photo/Bill Haber ….

(5) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, left, and quarterback Drew Brees (9) watch from the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……

(6) FILE: In this Oct. 23, 2010 file photo, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Columbus, Ohio. Tressel was hired Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, by the Indianapolis Colts as a game-day consultant to help determine when the team should challenge plays. However in light of the hiring the NFL has imposed a six game ban upon the former Buckeyes’ coach that forbids Tressel from joining the Colts’ staff in his capacity as a gameday consultant . Personally my question for the Colts’ front office , is it there wish to reward the coach for his infamy while at Ohio State when one bears in mind his actions there prior to his leaving the program ? Photo/Tony Dejak ….

(7) Colts’ GM Bill Polian (left) is seen here with team owner Jim Irsay along the sidelines during a Indianapolis Colts’ game. Polian is said to be the primary protagonist behind Tressel’s hiring having been in consultation with the franchise owner . Indianapolis Star /Sam Riche …..

(8) Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (13) spits some sunflower seeds as he watches the action from the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers, after the Tigers scored 16 runs on 22 hits in the first sixth innings of the game at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeted the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images…

(9) Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers looks to Andy Dirks (12) after hitting a two-run home run to center-field in the sixth inning during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(10) (L-R) Florida Marlins team President David Samsom, now former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Florida Marlins baseball team’s new stadium on July 18, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The park is scheduled to open in 2012 and the team intends to change its name to the Miami Marlins prior to the completion of the ballpark. Marc Serota/Getty Images North America ……

(11) City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado (R) listens as police Chief Miguel A. Exposito speaks during a press conference to announce “Operation Take Back Our Streets”‘ on August 10, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Miami Police Department launched the operation in response to recent shootings in the Model City and Little Haiti communities of Miami. The city has seen a number of shootings recently using high powered assault weapons. Esposito has recently been suspended by the City Manager Johnny Martinez on the recommendation of the city commission . Joe Raedle / Getty Images …….

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MLB results 5th September 2011

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Ten Questions For The MLB Commissioner ……………

Ten Questions For The MLB Commissioner ……………..

I have always maintained that Bud Selig merely serves only one master and that happens to be the MLB team owners rather than serving in the best interests of the game ! . In doing so he’s presided over the ” steroid era” , where he the league hierarchy , team owners and the MLBPA have simply chosen to look the other way until the government chose to intervene and force the league to clean up its damn act . Now with the financial instability of the teams around the league and his rather asinine tax sharing scheme little if anything has changed . But in large part we simply have the owners of many of the small market teams that this scheme was meant to have aided actually profiting from it all by pocketing those funds rather than bolstering the rosters of their respective teams.

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Inasmuch as the woes of the Los Angeles Dodgers are firmly being laid upon the shoulders of team owner Frank McCourt and certain board members within the front office much of this all could have been avoided had the league hierarchy used due diligence in allowing the sale of the team to McCourt in the first place. Having failed to acquire the Boston Red Sox when the league voted a resounding no ___ Frank McCourt would later return and be allowed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004 from Fox Inc and parent company News Corp . With a unanimous vote by the owners and league hierarchy would allow McCourt to become a part of their fraternity.

Courtesy of Fox Sports

Report: Dodgers seek to blame Selig

Attorneys for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt asked a judge Tuesday to order Major League Baseball to submit documents they claim will prove the league has treated the debt-ridden franchise more harshly than other teams.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the filing on behalf of the embattled owner, who filed for protection under Chapter 11, hopes to paint commissioner Bud Selig as someone who wanted the Dodgers to run out of money.

“Contrasting the treatment of the Dodgers to the velvet-glove treatment enjoyed by other teams with financial questions will help this court and the debtors to evaluate the full extent of MLB’s conflict and animus toward the Dodgers,” McCourt’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

The filing requested documents pertaining to the league’s handling of the New York Mets’ current financial woes, including the “contributions or loans from Bernard Madoff” and an explanation for “the commissioner’s decision not to appoint a monitor to oversee the club or conduct an investigation of the club.”

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The unfortunate thing here for the league was that there were already signs to show what Frank McCourt was really about as a businessman to begin with but somehow this was all overlooked by the league hierarchy and owners the second time around . The Dodgers’ owner had been involved in a number of business deals that fell through from lack of financing or where he and his partners at the time were either litigants in a case or defendants . I can’t help now but wonder how lucky the Red Sox fans and the actually ballclub are knowing that McCourt did not become the team’s owner ! Can you imagine what might have happened had he been allowed to run amok there as he now has done with the Los Angeles Dodgers ? Let’s just say that Fenway Park the team , NESN the cable broadcast outlet owned by the organization would have been plundered of its reserves by the now beleaguered owner .

With McCourt now having taken the Los Angeles Dodgers into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings it allows the organization time to reorganize itself financially knowing that the Federal Courts allows it ” a stay ” while they and their creditors seek an accord to resolve the team’s financial plight. Much of this could very well have been avoided were it not for the lackadaisical hands off approach taken by Bud Selig and the league hierarchy. The signs were already there for all to see but like a blind man in the dark without the aid of a walking stick the commissioner chose to ignore those facts as they laid themselves bare for all to see . Misappropriation of funds whereby McCourt used those monies for lavish expenses on numerous residences , automobiles and jewelry for his now ex wife Jamie McCourt . Never mind the fact that the ballclub was repeatedly used as collateral in several business deals all contravening and violating league rules . But somehow this all escaped Bud Selig’s notice ? I can’t help but wonder what it is that Bud Selig does during his down time ! Perhaps trying to bend over and lick his own ass or actually seeing if he can actually render himself unconscious by first smelling his own flatulence then inserting his head into his own rectum is how the commissioner may well choose to spend his time ?

For the life of me I can’t think of anything really positive that he has actually brought to the game since he began his tenure ! Oh , I know that there are a number of fans who’ll say that he brought us the wildcard system for baseball further elongating what already is an a long and arduous season . Now there’s even talk of league realignment because many feel that it will create a more balanced and competitive spirit within the game . What really needs to be done is for the game to rein its expenses and stop with the idiocy of offering up gargantuan contracts that are guaranteed over the course of their time . But that sort of progressive thinking doesn’t seem to be on the radar of the owners much less the league hierarchy or the general managers within the game. If anything they probably feel that the idea is rather redundant and would be of no benefit to the teams or the players . Purists always seems to talk about the legacy of the game from where it was to what it has now become . My question , what actual steps has baseball really taken wherein it still actually resonates with the fans as much as it may well have two or even four plus decades ago ?

The game has now become bereft of creativity from an executive standpoint and what heroes of the game over the last two decades will somehow will always be associated with an era of cheating and the use of PED’s (performance enhancing drugs ). Much of which has all happened under Bud Selig’s tenure and wherein there still remains a stench within the game when players such as Alex Rodriguez having admitted his use and then having given a less than contrite apology goes unpunished but still has his name cropping up repeatedly subject to a still ongoing federal investigation as to the illegal use and trafficking of steroids.

With Barry Bonds having been found guilty of felony perjury charges in his trial of which he now awaits sentencing we now have the commencement of the seven time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens and his trial within the Federal Court system. Clemens and his lawyer Rusty Hardin will do all that they can to paint the prosecution’s case as weak and without substance . And they may well be right , given the fact that the prosecution’s case rests with whether or not the jury will believe in the credibility of witness Brian McNamee . And given the witness’ demeanor during his subpoena testimony in front of Congress to the members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee I’m not so sure that all of what McNamee during his own testimony stated can be taken as fact . I know only a fool would seek to perjure themselves in front of a Federal body these things are known to have happen and will continue to happen even when those testifying are fully aware of the penalties involved . Meanwhile Clemens’ own veracity comes into play and the very fact that he saw fit to throw his wife and son under the bus on several occasions during his own testimony given to the committee up on Capitol Hill. One now simply must ask the question will this trial be actually about justice or simply another parade as to the complete stupidity of the Justice System and how it is that they have to act when game’s hierarchy actually refuses to do so .

Here are ten rather innocuous and simple questions I’d like to pose to Bud Selig in the hope that he’s liable to answer each with a great deal of honesty !

(1) Why did you undertake the position as commissioner to begin with even having served as interim commissioner for several years ?

(2) Would the league not have been better off had you chosen to step down and actually interviewed a list of applicants in terms of a successor to Faye Vincent ?

(3) At what point did it actually occur to you that something was awry in the game with the advent of the rumors surrounding the rampant and prolific use of steroids in baseball ?

(4) Did it never occur to speak with the owners and in particular former MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr about this all openly , with the public being made aware what was actually going on rather than being so damn secretive on this particular issue ?

(5) In allowing the union (MLBPA) so much power do you not feel that the league itself is now weak and merciless knowing that the union simply makes you cower like a child who’s afraid of the dark ?

(6) Given the fact that players have come out and made public apologies as to their use of illicit banned substances why no course of action on the part of the league or in fact by the team owners ?

(7) We know that you are still implicitly dead set against seeing Pete Rose be inducted into the Hall of Fame but should the player come and speak to you openly as to his actions, will you reinstate Rose thereby by making him eligible for the game’s biggest honor that it can bestow upon a player ?

(8) Will league realignment really help the game any when the real problems don’t actually relate to the competitiveness of the game but in large part it has to do with the overall financial imbalances that there are within the game amongst the teams ?

(9) Why after having refused Frank McCourt the opportunity to buy the Boston Red Sox would you allow that very same individual the opportunity to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers ? There was enough evidence to suggest that McCourt did have numerous problems in raising the financing to make that original bid never mind his legal issues at the time.

(10) In your honest opinion has the World Baseball Classic actually been a monumental success and also do you foresee in the future where the actual scheduling and the format of the event will change ?

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These are the ten questions that I would pose to Commissioner Bud Selig with regard to the state of the game and the issues that I have with his tenure ! What questions if any would you have posed to Selig and would like to see him answer succinctly ? Chime on in with a comment as you would deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig whose tenure as the game’s highest ranking official has led to a great deal of controversy . AP Photo / Richard Cross ……

(2) MLB commissioner Bud Selig at the memorial for Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew on May 26, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harmon Killebrew passed away on May 17, 2011 after a battle with esophageal cancer. Hannah Foslien/ Getty Images North America ……

(3) Beleaguered Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt who took the team into Chapter I1 Bankruptcy Protection in order to reorganize the team’s solvency problems. The owner now is apportioning blame for the team’s woes squarely upon the shoulders of the MLB hierarchy whom he believes is treating the organization unfavorably. In this dispute McCourt’s lawyers have asked that the league to forwards any documents in their possession relating to their actions as it currently relates to the New York Mets and their situation. No word as of yet as to whether or not the league will acquiesce to the the lawyers’ wishes . A subpoena however from the presiding judge on behalf of the Dodgers could very well force the Bud Selig’s hand in this matter . AP Photo / Jeremy Marks …….

(4) New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez throws out Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana at first base in the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2011, in Cleveland. AP Photo / Tony Dejak …..

(5) Roger Clemens arrived at Federal District Court in Washington on Wednesday, where he faces charges of making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Courtesy of The New York Times / Doug Mills ……

(6) Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens (R) and former Major League Baseball strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee testify about allegations of steroid use by professional ball players before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. The ‘Mitchell Report’ named several former and current major league baseball players, including Clemens, who are accused of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Chip Smodevilla / Getty Images North America ……..

(7) Pete Rose, at a book signing in 2004, was banished from baseball in 1989 for betting on games. Courtesy of The New York Times / Mark Lyons ……….

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MLB Scoreboard & results 5th July 2011

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Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

Intriguing Questions That Need To Be Asked And Answered In The World of Sports ………….

If LeBron James as he’s now stating , having been interviewed by that elder statesman of menial tv journalism, Larry King . Wherein , James stated that the Cavaliers’ organization stands a better than even chance that he’ll remain with the team . The question I for one would like to ask did his mother force him to make such a statement , bearing in mind that it’s been alleged that she (Gloria James) has been having a sexual relationship with James’ teammate Delonte’ West . Could it be that Gloria James will miss Cleveland more than LeBron will ? And two, what does that say about the players of some of the potential teams that are said to be interested in luring James to their organizations ?

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In the Bible we’re led to believe that it took God six days to create the Earth and on the seventh day he rested . The question I’d like to ask if it can the “Supreme Being” such a short time to create this world . Then how is it that it has now taken the NCAA in “excess of three years” to conduct their investigation into the basketball and football program of USC ? I mean with all of the evidence that has come to light and the fact that the likes of Reggie Bush , Matt Leinart , O J Mayo , Pete Carroll , Tim Floyd and the US Trojans’ AD Mike Garrett have been less than forthright in answering any questions as to any transgressions concerning the program. Is it a matter of mere perception and we’re completely misjudging what has gone on within the school’s athletics program ? I guess that $1,000-00 paid to Mayo by Floyd , was a mere oversight at the time ? And the fact that Bush’s parents were living in a residence that at the time was way beyond their means was a mere faux-pas and nothing untoward was happening between Bush and an interloper acting on his behalf at the time.

Well the 2010 NBA Finals are upon us and the series commences on the 3rd June , 2010 . The game’s two most storied franchises are set to meet for the the eleventh time in the game’s showcase event. Between them the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have won 32 NBA titles and have made a combined 51 appearances in the NBA Finals. It’d be remiss to suggest that it does make the other teams within the NBA irrelevant because that’s most certainly not the case. But in this era where we’re always being told that there’s parity in sports . The dominance of the Celtics and Lakers of the NBA does make the case for that argument seem somewhat mute. But in reality when either of these two teams are making an appearance in the finals , then it augurs well for the viewing figures for the event and it most definitely brings a smile to the face of David Stern and the entire NBA hierarchy .

As a more than avid fan of the NBA I just hope to see a very entertaining series. But above all I’m hoping that the officials don’t interject themselves into each and every game and event when there’s a tinge of controversy. More than often than not the real reason why a series can be bad or becomes bad isn’t necessarily because of the poor play. But more so, it has to do with the poor officiating. I know that David Stern says that he trusts these officials implicitly . But would he actually trust them with his life or perhaps to be in the accompaniment of his wife or daughters ? I mean if he trusts them that much then he shouldn’t have a problem with a referee spending a night with his wife I would’ve thought ! Squash that , Tim Donaghy suddenly springs to mind .

Apart from seeing future Hall of Famers , in , Kobe Bryant , Ray Allen , Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . We’ll also get to see the burgeoning talents of such young players as Rajon Rondo, Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar . As to whether or not the careers of these players will aspire to be as great as that of their peers mentioned , it remains to be seen over the course of time.

Ben Roethlisberger has returned to the fold and is now allowed once again allowed to undertake team activities with the Pittsburgh Steelers . I for one still feel that the player got off lightly ! But given the fact that he’s said to be on a tight leash and he’s still under a six game suspension that can be lowered to four games should NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell see fit. The scrutiny under which Roethlisberger will be followed will most certainly make him feel as if he’s rat on a wheel undergoing a watchful social behavorial experiment. I just hope that the player understands the implications should he screw up again . There have been players within the NFL who haven’t been afforded a second chance that has been given Roethlisberger. So the slightest inappropriate act on or off the field and he can essentially kiss his career goodbye.

My buddy Sportschump suggested that many of the problems that came to the fore under Goodell’s watch were inherited after his assuming the position of his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . But that was most certainly not the case. From the Plaxico Burress affair , to Donte’ Stallworth to Ben Roethlisberger . All of this has happened under Goodell’s watch and the commissioner hasn’t necessarily always been proactive in his handling of these matters. He at times placates the situation by saying that many of the cases in question should be dealt with after legal ramifications are sorted out. However , under the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA , he has the power to suspend a player for conduct detrimental to the sport and that includes any matter that might also tarnish the image of the NFL.

My question to Goodell and Sportschump , should “Big Ben” be caught once again, whereby a 20 year old female college co-ed should suddenly find her lips around a certain part of the player’s genitalia. Can we believe Ben if he states ……………” she tripped and fell and her mouth suddenly found itself around my member ” ? More to the point how is it that it is always the fault of the other person in the incident ? Isn’t Roethlisberger mature enough to be now held accountable for his own actions ? Or is this what a football college scholarship now gets you at Miami of Ohio ?

Still no word as of yet but with Terrell Owens seeing his buddy , Chad Ochocinco appear on Dancing With The Stars . Is there now a possibility that “TO” will lean more towards retirement as he remains an unsigned free agent within the NFL ? That’s not to say that his agent Drew Rosenhaus won’t be making overtures on the player’s behalf to see if he can be signed by none other than the Minnesota Vikings. That way the organization and the the team can then have “two of the biggest and most self absorbed narcissists” ever to have set foot within the NFL. Don’t forget now boys and girls , Brett Favre still hasn’t made us privy to the impending decision as to his NFL future and that perceived comeback , “yet again” !

If you think it not audacious situation for Rosenhaus to approach Brad Childress and his coaching staff to quite possibly gauge their interest in the veteran wide receiver. Not so long ago the thinking was that Favre would be the player to put the team over the top and guide them to a Superbpowl . Well one year on and one year older and the Vikings were about as close to the Superbpowl as Sen. John McCain (R-Az) was, in gaining entrance into the White House as the 44th President of the United States. C’mon now , please don’t use the excuse that Brett got ’em to the NFC championship game. Brett also cost ’em an appearance in the Superbowl with his capricious play in the closing stretch of the loss to the eventual Superbowl champions __ New Orleans Saints .

So what do you think is there a remote possibility that we could see that Favre Owens’ tandem gracing us within the NFL as part of the Vikings’ team looking to be not only dominant within the NFC North but also within the entire NFL ? Or will me merely see the return of Favre to the Vikings with Owens toiling away elsewhere within the NFL with some none descript team ?

Well now that we’ve more than got a quarter of the way through the baseball season . A number of teams are trying to jockey themselves into position for the mid-stretch of the season. To my mind this is the one part of the season that will go a long way in telling us the resolve and determination of a team. You simply have to look at the standings to see which teams can be taken for real and which cannot. Sorry Baltimore and Houston but there’s always next year I hope !

I can’t for the life of me understand how two teams such as the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers of the AL Central tend to under achieve. As good as both teams appear to be on paper , up close and personal once they begin to play it’s like looking at an abstract painting and trying to understand what the subject matter is all about. The White Sox are simply are simply an embarrassment and for Jim Leyland and Tigers , I’m not about to suggest that the team is spiraling out of control. But were they an airplane, I’d be looking for the nearest emergency exit just as a precaution.

GM’s Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers and Kenny Williams of the White Sox know that in Leyland and Ozzie Guillen they have two very good managers. But the problems now facing both managers are that their respective teams either aren’t listening as to what they and the coaching staff are trying to instill. Or quite possibly the teams just aren’t as good as first thought. By my way of thinking it has to be the latter but if things don’t change as to both teams’ fortunes . Then quite possibly before at the culmination of the season both managers could very well be fired by their respective organizations. I’m not about to suggest that they should both be deserving of such a fate. But as a last resort that’s always how the executives and owners tend to alleviate the problem to quieten the angst of the fans.

I’m not a big NASCAR or IRL fan but I’ve got to admit that I made the rare peek to watch snippets of the Coca Cola 600 and parts of the Indy 500 . The latter race I’ve been led to believe is said to be “the best auto race in the world” . Someone must be friggin’ kidding if they’ve never witnessed the Monaco Grand Prix from Monte Carlo and the nuance of F1 Grand Prix Racing. OK , so Indy Car has female drivers Danica Patrick and Milka Duno . But unless they’re about to let those ladies race in nothing more than two piece bathing suit , then quite frankly I’m simply not interested ! However, with Dario Franchitti happening to be the victor of the Indy 500 , we all got to see that rather “hot wife” of his Ashley Judd . But good God almighty, was it me but what the hell was she wearing ? I thought it was Franchitti’s mother at first until the cameras drew in for a close up shot . Then I realized she still looks as hot as ever ! ‘nough said !

Ashley Judd please don’t give the legions of male fans around the world such a scare again ! We all love it when you look exceedingly hot and chique`. We’d prefer for you to not to look so dowdy as it belies your sensational looks . As to Franchitti , I can only surmise that once he and his wife returned home all bets were off as to how they’d end up celebrating his second victory of America’s most prestigious race. A great deal of intimacy was no doubt called for I’d dare say ! So we know that Ashley Judd is hot but can someone answer me this, when will Danica Patrick win her next race ? And two, are we ever liable to see her adorning a stripper’s pole ? Because by my way of thinking the circus has but left town with regard to her alleged ambitions within both NASCAR and IRL. Making excuses for Danica Patrick now is very much in a similar vein in excusing why it is that Dale Earnhardt Jr can’t find the winner’s podium but yet he’s being paid an exorbitant amount of money for merely being average at best. Can I get an amen here ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Well these are but a few of the questions that I think in some ways we can find amusing and in some cases serious in the world of sports. What questions if any would you want to pose concerning a certain are of the sporting landscape. It doesn’t necessarily have to be serious at all. So feel free to chime on in with a question and perhaps we can all debate it in the appropriate manner ? Thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………………

David Bowie ……………..“Heroes”