Baseball has entered the last complete month of its regular season and there is a great deal on the line for several teams . The likelihood is that there will be major changes within several of the organizations either from a managerial standpoint or among the front office. We already know the Miami Marlins will see a change in ownership with the Sherman group coming in led by Bruce Sherman , Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan . Jeter and Jordan give more visibility to the ownership group because of their high profiles .,instant visibility and name recognition . Yet, I am not so sure that will be enough to turn around an organization which his has been mismanaged and starved of resources by outgoing owner Jeffrey Loria .
Within the NL East the Miami Marlins have played themselves out of contention for the divisional title and while their hopes are faint for a wildcard berth , they remain in the hunt for one of the two positions on offer. Fans have been salivating over the season attained by Giancarlo Stanton and his having hit a franchise record fifty-four home runs. Sixty remains out of his reach and while this is all admirable for the player , I don’t believe he will be taking home the NLMVP for this season . I believe it would be a great disservice to the other leading candidates who have contributed to a winning season for their teams who have been in the hunt throughout much of the season. The same cannot be said for the Miami Marlins at any point during this season . Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly and his managerial staff are likely to be retained but I do believe Derek Jeter will be looking to bring in his own people to run the front office. Jeter’s role will be to oversee the overall operations with the new general manager reporting to him directly.
The Miami Marlins will be in action over the weekend as they continue their current series against the Milwaukee Brewers at home. With very little to play for other than pride , it is imperative the Marlins round out their regular season on a high note.
Say what you will , but I do believe seven years is more than enough for a Big League Manger to try and turn an organization around . The New York Mets have been a complete bust with the triumvirate of front office executives , Sandy Alderson , JP Ricciardi and manager Terry Collins at the helm. The trio have gotten to the stage, where they might be even funnier than The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers. Comedic pratfalls being one thing, but the level of incompetence seen with the Mets over the past seven years has sunk to a new low. This team has been far from being competitive and there has not been one saving grace to suggest they have been worth watching at any point during 2017. Their fans are not only opinionated . but also clearly delusional and obnoxious as always. The Mets have several free agents at the end of this season as well as players set for arbitration and it will be interesting to see the decisions made by Sandy Alderson as they will undoubtedly make changes.
Terry Collins will lead the team into action on Saturday when the New York Mets will face the Atlanta Braves at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta , Georgia . The opposing pitchers will be Jacob deGrom of the Mets as he goes up against R A Dickey , the knuckle-baller who once played for the Mets. This game isn’t critical for both teams but it should prove to be interesting just as many of their regular season meetings have been this season. If this is to be Terry Collins’ last season with the Mets , then his departure can’t come about quick enough along with the dead weight of players who have under-performed over the course of this season. The same can be said for Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi .
The Washington Nationals have not made a postseason appearance since 2014 when they appeared in the NLDS losing to the San Francisco Giants in four games . In the three subsequent yeas the ball-club is eager to make another return to the postseason. A commanding lead in the NL East , the Nationals will be there and everything suggests they will be among the favorites for the NL Pennant . . Baker and his team are in the midst of a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers being played at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC. Game two of the current three game series takes place today , Saturday 16th September , 2017. It will be interesting to see what Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper are able to do in this series against the Dodgers. Dusty Baker and his managerial counterpart Dave Roberts are different stages of their managerial careers , but both are under a great deal of pressure to succeed.
While I wasn’t surprised by the sale of the Miami Marlins , the price paid by the new owners was simply ludicrous and outrageous. The Marlins are not a big market team and their accessibility by way of marketing revenues is nowhere as great as baseball’s hierarchy would have us believe. Bruce Sherman and business partners may well have paid $1.2 billion for the team , with Jeffrey Loria’s original asking price being in excess of $2.1 billion , but even in this day and age of wealthy owners within the game of baseball. Unless that ball club is competitive , profitable and a perennial contender then there’s no way in hell they’re worth the type of money now being banded about within the game. The only thing driving these upward trends within baseball’s economics remains the television deals and marketing which MLB continues thrive off.
Baseball’s players are some of the highest paid athletes in the world , but their names are not among the most widely recognized or the most marketable , while being able to attract major commercial sponsors. Mike Trout might well be considered the best player in baseball , but beyond North America the two-time ALMVP is not universally known across the planet. It is indicative of one of the many reasons the sport hasn’t really resonated around the globe even in light of the miserably mundane World Baseball Classic which elicits about as much excitement as watching paint dry on hot Summer’s Day . From Bud Selig to Rob Manfred , baseball and its hierarchy is still figuring out to make the game more widely accepted across the globe.
While Chicago’s fortunes have risen , the same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays since Joe Maddon’s departure from the organization. The Rays remain in a state of disarray and for manager Kevin Cash things have not come easy for himself and his managerial staff . This team lacks confidence even with the leadership of Evan Longoria at the helm of the roster and the continued lack of self-confidence is no longer bewildering . Rays’ front office executives Brian Auld and Matt Silverman will have their work cut out for them this off-season as they will undoubtedly have to make some changes up and down the team. The penny-pinching , continues as team owner Stuart Sternberg continues to gripe over the reticence of the local governmental authorities to build them a new stadium at their expense.
There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of support coming from Rob Manfred as Stuart Sternberg vies to have a new stadium built. A stark contrast to the efforts of the Miami Marlins, New York Mets and New York Yankees. It seems when you have the ear of baseball’s hierarchy , as it actually counts for something, rather than continually being seen and treated as if you are at the bottom of the food chain. Sternberg is unwilling to put up any of his own money as a sign of good faith to even get the possibility of the project started . Furthermore , there is no evidence to suggest even with the new venue the Tampa Bay Rays’ fan-base of a paltry 23,500 would be able to continually support such an extravagance, with the stadium likely to take years to pay for itself were it to be publicly financed.
Kevin Cash’s position is not necessarily in jeopardy, but how his team looks next season is going to be far more different than the opening day roster of 2017. Make of it what you will , but these are the continued dire times for the Tampa Bay Rays who have been plodding from season to season over the last eight years without a real plan for growth and stability. It might well be another four or five years before the Rays make another return to the postseason. This is an organization devoid of leadership a t all levels within the ball-club and it shows. Evan Longoria has long been considered the franchise’ s best player , but he has never really led by example . Pretty much sums up what to expect from professional sports’ franchises within the Tampa Bay area in general .
Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture while also reading the accompanying narrative.
This MLB postseason could very well be a very interesting one if the teams thought to be in the hunt play to their full potential . As for those on the outside looking in , they simply have to look at their issues and make the changes necessary .
Whether or not Jacoby Ellsbury will be seen as the heir-apparent to Derek Jeter in providing the New York Yankees with the type of leadership sought, but Ellsbury has provided the Yankees with the type of performances and play expected of the former Boston Red Sox player. The only question one might have concerning one of the Yankee’ high-priced free agent acquisitions , will be his resilience and health issues , in not being able to remain injury-free all season long during his career. If Ellsbury can continue to show the style of play exhibited this season, then the New York Yankees are likely to have some success in the future. For now, their season will be one, where they will have to play at a consistently high level while seeking end on a high note. With Alex Rodriguez not returning to the New York Yankees until the 2015 season , Brian Cashman might have to think long and hard about the future makeup of the roster .
Jeter’s retirement , with this being his last season of a two decade long career , when, he made his debut for the ball-club during the 1995 season, with his first game being against the Seattle Mariners in an 8-7 loss in the contest on 29th May , 1995 played at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington . Jeter can consider the events there, placed him on the path in becoming one of the New York Yankees’ greatest players , where his lists of accomplishments now place him among the pantheons of the game as well as one of the most respected players in Yankees’ history.
As great a manager as Ron Washington has been for the Texas Rangers and the dour year for the team , his personal resignation, having come as a shock to the organization and fans of this franchise. Washington has not given a detailed pubic reason behind his abrupt resignation, other than to say it is for personal reasons. GM Jon Daniels reluctantly accepted the manager’s decision and thanked him for his contributions to the baseball franchise during his tenure.
However , in light of Ron Washington’s personal demons and his well-chronicled battle with regard to substance abuse and addiction to cocaine , one could speculate the manager has fallen back into a cycle of substance abuse, even after previously taking a leave of absence from the baseball franchise for a stint in rehab. Baseball’s hierarchy , somehow believe there is a need for mandatory drug testing of the players for banned substances , but they have failed to make their managers and coaching staffs of the teams part of the collective bargaining agreement that covers the players through the deal reached with the MLBPA . One has to ask why neither Bud Selig or his recently named successor Rob Manfred did not feel that the managers within baseball should be covered by such an edict ?Clearly , a case where the league hierarchy believe the managers can do no wrong, but the players have to be held to a much higher standard in terms of a code of conduct . That would not be so comical, given, Selig and the owners’ systemic failings in dealing with the now decade-plus era of steroid cheats and baseball’s lack of understanding and acting with some voracity in going after the players in question.
There may well be a great deal of respect for Rob Manfred and his deftness in dealing with the labor issues within baseball , but in terms of his being seen as a “new broom” called in to clean house , there is likely to be the still idiotic pratfalls seen with Manfred’s predecessor Bud Selig, as the incoming commissioner has been as Selig’s side for several years.
With Derek Jeter’s career coming to a close , do you believe his accomplishments place him among the all-time greats in New York Yankees’ history or has the hype and persona which has surrounded the player made him a bigger personality ? Also, what do you believe the future of Houston Astros and Texas Rangers will be after such a disastrous year within Major League Baseball?
(2) Kansas City Royals’ second baseman Omar Infante’s miscue allows Derek Jeter to reach second base on a hit by Martin Prado who reached first base on the error by Infante during the game played on Sunday afternoon at Yankees Stadium in New York City, New York . AP Photo / Kathy Willens …
(4) Jacoby Ellsbury of the New York Yankees who was acquired by team as a free agent , after Ellsbury was not re-signed by his former team the Boston Red Sox . AP Photo/ Martin Dennis …
(5) HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 22: Houston Astros manager Bo Porter (16) , left and general manager Jeff Luhnow wait near the batting cage prior to the start of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on April 22 , 2013 in Houston, Texas. Luhnow fired the Astros’ manager this season (2014) after another disastrous year by the team with them showing no real signs of competitiveness on any level within the AL . Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images …
(6) Texas Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels is seen here with Prince Fielder (center) and former team manager Ron Washington . Washington offered his resignation to the franchise, offering little by way of an explanation other than to suggest the reasons for his decision were personal . Fielder has seen very little playing time and offering little by way of productivity for the Rangers, having spent a great deal of time on the DL this season . To further exacerbate the situation the Texas Rangers remain on the hook for the majority of Fielder’s remaining contract , which does not expire until 2021 . AP Photo / Philip Trent …
New York is likely to enter this MLB season with the largest payroll of any team entering the official Opening Day schedule on the 31st March , 2014 . Consider the fact, that for the very first time in 2013, payroll commitment for baseball’s thirty teams topped $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) for the very first time in baseball history . As to what this might suggest , when it comes to teams showing financial expediency can be best summed up by the ongoing idiocy of baseball’s luxury tax sharing scheme which has not really served any real purpose , other than for the hierarchy to penalize the high spending salaried ball-clubs around the Major Leagues. From my own standpoint, I firmly believe that financial expediency will remain the last thing on the mind of baseball’s hierarchy, in spite of the official comments coming out of the league’s headquarters based in Manhattan , New York . The MLBPA is far too powerful a union to take on, with the owners simply cowering far too often in their wake. While the Players’ Union (MLBPA) itself , has a new successor to Michael Weiner as its Executive Director, there is no doubt in my mind, they will continue to always negotiate from a position of power ! Former player , Tony Clark now succeeds Weiner , who lost his battle with lymph node cancer , with his death coming as a shock to many around the word of baseball , with his tenure being such a short one.
If there is one thing that we do know about Derek Jeter and his persona , it is that he is a gritty and very determined player. Few players have been afforded the privilege, of becoming the captain of the New York Yankees during that proud franchise’s history . The last such player of note, to be given that role, was Don Mattingly , who currently manages the Los Angeles Dodgers . Mattingly’s , own career with the Yankees was filled with highs and lows , but he became a fan favorite with his heroics on the field of play , with his candor , when dealing with the press and the fans alike, away from the diamond. Jeter is likely to go down as one of the most celebrated players in recent Yankees’ <a href=http://m history and franchise history overall , while not necessarily being considered one of the top five or six players ever to have donned the Yankees’ Pinstripes. Yet , a debate is likely to begin amongst the fan-base of the Yankees and amongst the purists and MLB analysts everywhere as to where he ought to be ranked amongst the likes of Lou Gehrig , Joe DiMaggio , Mickey Mantle , Babe Ruth , Phil Rizutto and perhaps, Mattingly, himself. That may well be a debate, that is likely create arguments and counterarguments, concerning a very much heated topic among the protagonists and contraries .
While Derek Jeter claims that now is the right time for him to step away from the game, to devote more time to his charitable and philanthropic efforts , be with his family and by his own words, start a family . It has me wondering, Jeter’s wish may well be to leave on a high note, but I can’t help but wonder, if the player has simply not become disenchanted with the game of baseball and the never-ending controversies, that have come to encapsulate baseball in recent seasons , leaving a number of fans also disenchanted and simply distrustful of the league hierarchy led by Bud Selig . Jeter has never openly discussed the issue of steroids within the game , which is very much line with many of his peers , albeit , that the likes of Albert Pujols and David Ortiz have seen their names brought up as a topic of debate concerning the issue. Pujols has come out and suggested, that if the league wants to test him ‘ then they can’ , as he has never and would never use an illicit substance in order to assist his game . The slugger’s career in baseball since his entry in to Major League Baseball when drafted by the St Louis Cardinals in the 1999 MLB Draft . In the ensuing years he has become one of the most prolific players of this era .
Derek Jeter’s first exhibition game for the New York Yankees will likely see a major turnout , in terms of the legions of fans, wishing to bid him farewell . He has become one of a handful of role models that the game of baseball can actually point to and say “ he has done things the right way” . A case like that, cannot be made for Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa , Mark McGwire , Jose Canseco , Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez or Ryan Braun. Such has been the dismay within the sport and the very fact that Bud Selig remains clueless , on how best to address one the biggest continued stains on the game, since the “Black Sox “ scandal over nine decades ago. Granted, racism , segregation ran the gamut through baseball and while many lauded Branch Rickey and his “ social experiment “, with the introduction of Jackie Robinson unto an integrated team , it should be noted that Robinson was not the first person of color , ever to play in the Major Leagues. Moses Fleetwood “ Fleet” Walker would break the “color barrier” . be it ever so briefly , but therein lies how history seeks to rewrite the annals of the game , to paint the type of picture that appears to be more socially responsive .
As the season meanders towards its postseason finale , it will be interesting to see whether or not the New York Yankees will be in contention for a divisional title within the AL East or perhaps a wildcard berth as they chase down unprecedented forty-first AL Pennant and twenty-eighth World Series’ title . The month of September should prove to be climactic for all of the league’s thirty teams , but perhaps more so for the Yankees and all that this season is likely to mean for the franchise and the career of Derek Jeter.
How appropriate is it, that what is likely to be Jeter’s last regular season game will be played at Fenway Park in Boston on the final day of the season , when the New York Yankees will be the guests of their most famous rivals the Boston Red Sox ? Nineteen regular season meetings on annual basis , has a great deal going for it , and if the two teams should somehow also be contesting the AL East on the final day. Then look for the heroics to come from Jeter and his teammates, as they seek to send him out in style. That may not prove to be the case however , as it is my firm opinion that the Red Sox are likely to prevail once again this season and repeat as divisional champions. They proved to be far too dominant for their rivals within the AL East as their season long series against the Baltimore Orioles ( 8-11) , New York Yankees ( 13-6) , Tampa Bay Rays ( 12-7) and Toronto Blue Jays ( 11-8)would prove to be as evidence in those contests.
Picture gallery .
What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this article and how do you view the career of Derek Jeter as a player with the New York Yankees ? Your comments are more than welcome, so chime in, with a thought as you see fit.
(1) New York Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter speaks with Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal , a managing partner within the New York Yankees’ organization . Jeter met with the convened press at the Yankees’ Spring Training facility at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa , Florida where he confirmed that this season would be his last in Major League Baseball , having played his entire two-decade long career with franchise . AP Photo / Chris O’Meara ….
(2) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter gestures during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Jeter has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
(3) New York Yankees part owner and co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner listens as shortstop Derek Jeter speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Jeter has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….
(4) New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responds to a question about shortstop Derek Jeter after a news conference Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. Jeter has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
(5) TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 19: Joe Girardi, Manager of the New York Yankees speaks after Derek Jeter spoke at a media availability after announcing that the 2014 season will be his last before retiring at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 19, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images …
(6) Jacoby Ellsbury is seen here with New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi after the player was formally introduced to the convened having been acquired as a free agent . Ellsbury coming off a World Series’ win with the Boston Red Sox last season , hopes to be productive for his new team spearheading on offense that will also include Mark Teixeira , Carlos Beltran , Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki . AP Photo / Chris Evans …
(7) Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees poses for a photograph with, from left, general manager Brian Cashman, Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost , President Randy Levine , managing general partner and co-chairperson Hal Steinbrenner , Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman and manager Joe Girardi as he introduced to the media during a news conference on February 11, 2014 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Tanaka signed a seven-year $155 million contract that will see him be a part of the Yankees’ pitching rotation that will include CC Sabathia , Hiroki Kuroda , Ivan Nova and David Phelps . Jim McIsaac / Getty Images …..
Call me naïve , but if you’re looked upon as the presumptive leader on a team , then should it not be incumbent on that player to act accordingly , rather than presenting themselves as something of an immature blowhole ? Evan Longoria has become a bona-fide star within baseball , but I am not so sure that he is simply capable enough handling any real adversity , let alone , leading the Tampa Bay Rays to any tangible success . However, comments attributed to the Rays’ third baseman , in which he came across as an imbecile , in being critical of his former teammates , BJ Upton and James Shields . Longoria tried to suggest that neither player was on board , with the Joe Maddon’s managerial style , or the fact that they knew how to handle the adversity of the team’s consistent misfortune of losing on a regular basis before the franchise’s recent run of success . Unless , I am mistaken , you win and lose as a team and not simply single out players whom you believe to be giving a less than convincing effort .
Evan Longoria is lucky enough to now be richly rewarded by the Rays, having signed a multiyear deal that gives him $105 million and the safety net of six years guaranteed income . Unfortunately, his former teammates were not so lucky , having to go elsewhere to seek their fortunes , because plainly put , the Rays are an organization that will continue penny-pinch in order to remain competitive as well as being financially viable . Something that the franchise has not been able to achieve without the advent of the baseball hierarchy’s archaic and asinine tax sharing revenue scheme , that penalizes teams with payrolls in excess of $150 million , by taxing them on a prorated basis as much as 25% of that nominal figure , which is then disbursed for the league’s small market teams , which is allegedly determined on their fan-base and the market in which they are domiciled , based upon the Nielsen’s ratings and their market research . Which begs the question why was it from 2004 through until 2011 , the Florida Marlins, soon to become the Miami Marlins were afforded this luxury ? When for those intervening years , team owner Jeffrey Loria and his sidekicks , David Sansom , Larry Beinfest and Michael Hills , plead poverty as to the franchise’s resources , only for the ball club to go out on an exorbitant cash spending spree in 2012 on acquiring high-priced free agents , that saw the team’s payroll become a bloated $125 million boondoggle that culminated with a sub . 500 record (69-93) within the NL East and a last place finish within the division that season . This season we will see the Marlins resort back to the ways old with a sparse payroll , which will be amongst the lowest in all of baseball , with a team salary of $44 million in salaried commitments based upon known records .
As to the Tampa Bay Rays and what the season has in store for Joe Maddon and his players , will rest primarily upon the effectiveness of the team’s pitching and their leadership shown by their 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner , David Price . If he, along with Jeremy Hellickson , Roberto Hernandez , Alex Cobb can spearhead what is said to be the best . pitching staff in the Majors , then there is no reason to believe why they cannot be a major force to be reckoned with . And in spite of the managerial ingenuity shown by Joe Maddon , unless Longoria can show that he has the leadership skills , the Rays could be in for a long an arduous season .
In recent seasons , Kershaw has been amongst the very best performing pitchers in the National League , but this oh so early comparison , to a legend , such as Sandy Koufax, is simply asinine , and in many respects, insulting to both players . If Kershaw can maintain the current pace as to the success attained , then there is no reason not to believe why he cannot become a future inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame , but for now , the comparison to the legendary left-handed pitcher becomes nonplussed, and not of any real significance .
For the Dodgers, in 2013 , it will be “do or die “ and according to Magic Johnson , “ no expense will be spared on or off the field of play as this ball club seeks to win a World Series’ title” . Take into account that it has been twenty-five years (1988) since the Los Angeles Dodgers won the last of their five World Series titles . To be a part of that particular equation in 2013 , the Los Angeles Dodgers will have to be a truly dominant team , led by their erstwhile manager Don Mattingly and his managerial staff.
Not yet ready to throw out the baby with the bath water , but , if I hear one more damn prognostication about the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates , and the expectations for both ball clubs this season , I am likely to let loose with several bits of profanity ! Has there ever been two more misguided and lackluster baseball franchises , who continue have you salivating with excitement , one minute , only to disappoint the next ? With the exception of the ongoing woes and the misguided maneuvers of the Chicago Cubs , I truly believe that the Pirates and Royals, are now , the two most inept franchises in all of baseball ! simply, look at the records of the Pittsburgh Pirates and that of Kansas City Royals , as evidence of that over the past decade and a half . Not to be outdone mind you , in recent years , it could be said that the Seattle Mariners should be equated amongst these misguided and mismanaged baseball franchises ,
A strong could be made that David Glass , Bob Nutting and Howard Lincoln as the owners or senior managing partner in the aforementioned triumvirate of teams , have simply obfuscated their responsibilities , in seeking to make the Royals , Pirates and Mariners a resounding success financially , as well as competitively . That being made , much of this , all comes down to how the ball club seeks to go acquiring their talent , by way of the MLB Draft , free agency trades or simply promoting from within their respective farm systems . Yet when it is all said and done, it comes back down to money , and about those teams that have it and those that don’t . Are they willing to spend , or are they not willing to do so ? I will leave that for you all to be the judge of that, as it all in reality , comes down to a matter of conjecture and bear analysis by way of the teams’ actions.
Jim Leyland has a great deal going for him as a veteran manager , beyond the respect of his peers and players he has managed over the course of his career. However , what cannot be denied , is the very fact that he and the Tigers have come up too short , more often than we could care to remember. Detroit being manhandled by the San Francisco Giants last season (4-0) in the World Series , was enough to have left us all somewhat squeamish . Pitching awful , offense , simply mediocre , and beyond that , there is not much else that needs to be said , after that sorry chapter .
At some point during this season, we will see the Phillies simply cave , and fall apart. This team is littered with All Stars , but what it appears to lack is a vocal and inspirational leader on the field of play. Clearly , Charlie Manuel cannot be seen as the voice of reason , much less a motivator , when needed . This, is a team, that either flies by the seat of its pants , blowing hot and cold. Injuries asides, they will either sink or swim by the merits of their deeds , on the field of play. With the amount of money sank into the pitching staff , and in particular for Cole Hamels . I would like to think that the Phillies’ front office is likely to get a sizable return on that investment at some point in the season, preferably deep into the postseason ! Squandered opportunities and a lone World Series’ triumph in 2008 , in essence , just happens to be all that the franchise , has to show for the recent success over the past six years . The clock is now ticking for Charlie Manuel and front office executive, Reuben Amaro Jr .
With the first week baseball almost in the books , what if anything do you hope to see in the first five or six weeks of the baseball schedule ? Which teams, if anything , have you been most impressed this early in terms of the season’s infancy? Chime in, with your thoughts, as you see fit .
(1) In this photo combo of file photos, Jay-Z, left, watches an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2013. New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano sits in the dugout during a spring training baseball game in Tampa, Fla., on March 28, 2013. Cano plans to switch agents from Scott Boras to a new company formed by musician Jay-Z’s , Roc Nation and CAA Sports . AP Photo/Reed Saxon, left, and Kathy Willens ….
(4) New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia .. delivers in the first inning at an Opening Day baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, April 1, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …
(5) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is on the disabled list, walks gingerly on the field after doing an interview before the Yankees’ spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …
(6) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) throws out Baltimore Orioles’ Brian Roberts after making a diving stop during the fourth inning of an opening day baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays would go on to lose the game 7-4 with a rather poor offensive output coming from the Rays’ hitters and inadequate effort from the team’s middle relievers . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
(7) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 02: Outfielder Adam Jones (10) of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates his team’s 7-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays during the Opening Day game at Tropicana Field on April 2, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …
(9) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw , left, rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a season opening baseball game in Los Angeles, Monday, April 1, 2013. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong …
(10) A “near perfect game ” . Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish is greeted by his teammates as he leaves the game after surrendering a hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched eight and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros’ Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers’ 7-0 win . AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool …
(11) Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia (14) shakes hands with Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker at the start of a major league baseball game , Monday, April 1, 2013, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Al Behrman ….
At a time when the world of sports is embroiled in the idiocy of steroids and the protocols for testing and specifically that of HGH , steroids and all manner of PED’s . Once again, baseball (MLB) finds itself in a mess, one of its own making. Three major stars of the game find their names linked to a story printed in a local Florida newspaper , Miami New Times, which has now gone national. The story in question, is that of the paper’s reporting that Alex Rodriguez , Nelson Cruz and Ryan Braun are all embroiled in the latest allegations of the three players being linked to a Coral Gables’ based medical concern , which produces synthetic supplements, such as steroids known to be banned by the four major professional team sports in North America . Biogenesis , a company, founded by Anthony Bosch , is at the center of this latest controversy that remains a constant within the game , and for which baseball’s hierarchy led by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig seems to have no answer for .
The triumvirate of players have all denied their culpability and involvement , but herein lies the issue , both Braun and Rodriguez have been embroiled in their own episodes and the use of steroids . Alex Rodriguez’s own admittance of his use of anabolic steroids between 2001 and 2004 , when he was a player with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the New York Yankees , makes his recent denials , all the more improbable. And with Rodriguez’s performances for the franchise during that time can be best described as being erratic and lackluster . And 2012 most definitely has been a reminder of that , albeit , that the player can now claim that he has been part of a championship winning team in 2009. In the subsequent years, since that triumph, the postseason for the New York Yankees has been something of a complete anathema .
Open the neat spreadsheet and scroll past the listing of local developers, prominent attorneys, and personal trainers. You’ll find a lengthy list of nicknames: Mostro, Al Capone, El Cacique, Samurai, Yukon, Mohammad, Felix Cat, and D.R.
Then check out the main column, where their real names flash like an all-star roster of professional athletes with Miami ties: San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A’s hurler Bartolo Colón, pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz. There’s even the New York Yankees’ $275 million man himself, Alex Rodriguez, who has sworn he stopped juicing a decade ago.
Read further and you’ll find more than a dozen other baseball pros, from former University of Miami ace Cesar Carrillo to Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal to Washington Nationals star Gio Gonzalez. Notable coaches are there too, including UM baseball conditioning guru Jimmy Goins.
The names are all included in an extraordinary batch of records from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic tucked into a two-story office building just a hard-line drive’s distance from the UM campus. They were given to New Times by an employee who worked at Biogenesis before it closed last month and its owner abruptly disappeared. The records are clear in describing the firm’s real business: selling performance-enhancing drugs, from human growth hormone (HGH) to testosterone to anabolic steroids.
Interviews with six customers and two former employees corroborate the tale told by the patient files, the payment records, and the handwritten notebooks kept by the clinic’s chief, 49-year-old Anthony Bosch.
Bosch’s history with steroids also adds credence to the paperwork. The son of a prominent Coral Gables physician named Pedro Publio Bosch , he was connected with banned substances when slugger Manny Ramirez was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy in 2009. At the time, MLB confirmed the Drug Enforcement Administration was probing the father and son for allegedly providing Ramirez with HCG, a compound often used at the tail end of steroid cycles.
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For Ryan Braun , with his legal counsel, now making a statement to indicate their client was simply a consultant for Biogenesis , with a view to endorsing a number of their supplemental products. Far be it for me to suggest , but Braun now suggesting that his involvement the company came purely from a commercial enterprise and as an endorser , does on the face of it seem asinine , but this might be simply be beyond belief . Now comes the hard part , can Ryan Braun’s career be taken at face value , and be seen as above reproach ? A former NL MVP , in 2011 , And while that season , Braun was very productive , 2012 was said to be far more productive for the t player .
The New York Yankees this upcoming season will be hard pressed I believe, to deal with a number of their fellow inhabitants of the AL East . And much that is predicated upon the results of 2012 and their postseason results , which to my mind will be a strong reflection as to the mental makeup of this team for their 2013 schedule . Also when you add in the fact that the team’s short-stop , and on the field inspirational leader , Derek Jeter , will be returning after recuperation , from having suffered a broken right ankle, he during the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers of 2012 . One , could well understand why , this team will be placed under a great deal of pressure to succeed . With an aging core of players , Joe Girardi and his coaching staff , I believe , will not be too sure , as to what his best lineup will be ! Unsure of who is starting catcher will be , he also has to deal with the fact that beyond CC Sabathia , his pitching staff is extraordinarily thin , and one should also bear in mind that closer , Mariano River , as good as we have known him to be , his psyche may well still be up in the air, after last season’s horrendous injury that curtailed his season .
Rivera one of the Yankees’ mainstays during their success in the latter half of the nineties , has proven himself to be one of the truly great pitchers in the franchise’s history. This could very well be, Rivera’s last season in the famed Yankee’s pinstripes, and I am sure that baseball’s all-time saves’ King , simply would like nothing better than to ride out in a “ blaze of glory” , having won a sixth World Series title with the only franchise he has ever played for . Whether or not he and his teammates can recapture the form , that made them such a dominant force within the game , from 1995 through to the early 2000’s, remains to be seen. . I would like to think that throughout much of this season , the Yankees could possibly regain that form of old . Yet , when one bears in mind the collective age and experience of Jeter , Rivera , Hiroki Kuroda , Andy Pettite , Ichiro Suzuki Alex Rodriguez and Travis Hafner . You can’t help but get the feeling , that that this team is now in the last remnants of being truly competitive , while chasing after what appear to be an elusive title that to my mind will be beyond their grasp !
In light of the allegations arising out of the Miami Times’ article, as it relates to Nelson Cruz. No formal statement has been forthcoming from team President Nolan Ryan , GM Jon Daniels or from Ron Washington , who leads the Texas Rangers’ coaching staff. And with Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy not prepared to take tentative measures of their own to conduct any form of an investigation. It does lead me to believe, that the commissioner , is not prepared to issue a public statement, even with their being a preponderance of evidence to suggest that there is some veracity to the claims being laid out in the article .
There is a great deal of backpedaling on the part of the league hierarchy , more of than not, as to how they set about making a case that they are cleaning up the sport , when the questions are raised ____ ” as to why it is, we have seen a preponderance of players being ensnared over the last two seasons “ than were caught when the findings of the “ Mitchell Report” was leaked to the public , a number of seasons ago. Subsequently , it has been one ” mea-culpa ” after another, with the game and the league hierarchy made to look like complete imbeciles ! Personally , I find it all the more appealing when the game of baseball is brought further on its knees in subjugation , because it has never really truly sought to define itself, much less make any type of effort to clean up its act ! .
The social experiment that came about with Jackie Robinson becoming the first person of color , to be a participant as a player in Major League Baseball , while commendable . History , and baseball historians , tend to gloss over the fact that Robinson was often the subject of some vile racial epithets , not just from opposing players , managers and fans , but also in certain areas of the print media , under the pretense that his abilities were over exaggerated and that his color would be an impediment to his becoming a success in the game . Over time , the game would come to know Jackie Robinson as being extremely talented , a man of principle who served the game well as a great ambassador . And even though with his enshrinement into Baseball’s Hall of Fame , and with their being a day annually which commemorates his introduction as a player , it was still not enough to hide the fact that on the night (11th April, 1974) of Hank Aaron surpassing what was then Babe Ruth’s career and baseball’s home run record of 715 home runs . Aaron was made to feel “ like a man without a country “, as he was vilified and subjected to death threats for achieving such a feat by a number of ignorant buffoons ! Granted , in the immediate moments in which he had surpassed that mark , some fans who ran unto the diamond in Atlanta Stadium , Atlanta Georgia , swathed Hank Aaron in adulation , yet in various circles this feat was viewed as something of an atrocity , with the breaking of a sacrosanct , record which was held by a known bigot at the time .
Everyone knew the number would be big. Major League Baseball hates involving the legal system, and it went to court for the number. A team sold for more than $2 billion because of the number. A management group went on a drunken-sailor payroll escapade anticipating the number.
Now we know the number. Big doesn’t begin to describe it.
The Dodgers’ ownership group will have even more reason to smile with their new TV deal. (AP)Over the next 25 years, Fox is going to pay the Los Angeles Dodgers somewhere between $6 billion and $7 billion to televise its regular-season games, barring a last-minute snafu in negotiations, according to Deadline.com. That’s twice the previous record for local TV rights. That’s at least a quarter-billion dollars a year for the Dodgers and Dodgers alone. That’s maxing out at $1.73 million a game for each of the 4,050 scheduled. That’s the final tummy tuck on a body’s worth of cosmetic surgery that could happen only in Los Angeles.
Most of all, that’s the siren that baseball’s new era has arrived, one in which the sport’s best revenue-sharing intentions cannot save it from the self-cannibalizing greed that drives these TV mega-contracts – and drives a wedge between the haves and have-nots harder to extract than sword from stone.
When the deal closes, the Dodgers will make more money from local TV alone than 26 franchises take in from all of their revenue streams. Only the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs do better, according to Forbes’ annual franchise valuations, though they’ll soon be joined by the Angels, Rangers and Phillies. The first two have their own $3 billion TV deals; the Phillies are set to cash in on their own that will keep them in the sport’s top stratum.
This goes well beyond the surface concerns about such deals. The justifiable anger toward regional sports networks (RSNs) and leagues for forcing the average consumer to subsidize their absurdity. The way such deals force MLB, to keep its asinine local blackouts in place. (If MLB offers a-la-carte games or allows local broadcasts on the Extra Innings package, the incentive to pay stupid prices for cable channels would wane, and the size of these contracts would atrophy.) And even the possibility of that – of a revolution against cable and satellite, and of these RSNs’ bubble bursting, the prices too big and the consumers no longer willing to support them.
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For the first time in baseball history, team payrolls for Major League Baseball (MLB) , as a cumulative sum , the figure will top $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) for all thirty teams within the league . Financial disparities, or not, the game of baseball has now hit a plateau of unprecedented heights. As to how long his perennial madness will be allowed to go carry on , as teams continue to hemorrhage red ink remains to be seen , but is clear, that something has to be and must be done </b , sooner , rather than later ! If not , then we shall sure see the death knell in a team or several teams either being contracted or being forced to declare bankruptcy , and then ceasing to operate once and for all . Bud Selig can point to the fact that revenues have increased exponentially , but what he cannot point to , is that the game does operate on a level playing field for all , in terms of financial expediency . It should be noted, that teams who have barely eked out a profit , specifically those designated as small market teams, have done so at the largesse of the league hierarchy and that of its asinine tax sharing scheme rather than anything being achieved by way of the “alleged financial acumen” being shown by the general managers , CFO’s (Chief Financial Officers) , and team owners . Personally, I am now sick and tired of hearing idiotic fans point to the likes of , Bob Nutting , David Glass and Stuart Sternberg doing all that they can , to make their teams a real success , when it reality, all that owners like that have done , is to simply look for a handout , while trying to coerce city and state governments to allow them even greater tax breaks, in order that they can operate . Never mind the fact , that due to the complacency and idiocy of the politicians at those specific levels , through their damn naïveté` , they are then left carrying the bag , when their fiscal policies show a budgetary shortfall , and the lame ass fans out there , continue to bitch and whine about their taxes and lack of infrastructure resources within their midst . You simply deserve what you get , in such instances !
It will be interesting to witness how Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly and his staff , manage not only a talented team , but also one that is filled with laden prima donnas and miscreants . Don’t be fooled by the fact that because of the team’s new ownership group led by Magic Johnson , Mark Walter and Todd S Boehly , that everything will be smooth sailing , because over the course of this upcoming season , there is bound to be moments of discontent and blame being apportioned all over this organization. Big things are expected of this ball club once Opening Day comes around . With a $213 million payroll , would you expect any-less ?
Inasmuch , as I love the game of baseball , my biggest concerns are , how will the game continue to address the issue of steroid abuse ? And also , with the league hierarchy, now fully behind the mandatory testing for HGH (human growth hormones) , how will they deal with very first instance of a player , having tested positive ? In reality, as harsh as the penalties appear to be , as designated Bud Selig, they have not in any way proven to be enough of a deterrent, to force players from and to stop cheating , by way of using an illicit substance . Selig can continue speak with a great deal of charm and rhetoric , but at $25 million , as he is being compensated annually. He has simply been a poor executive , whose idea of being innovative , has simply been to throw fecal matter up against a wall , and then go with what sticks , as an idea of innovation ! Should we expect any better from someone who has now held that position for almost two decades ?
A fourth place finish last season in the NL Central with a record 61-101 , where they managed to beat out the Houston Astros (55-107) in not finishing last within the division , is clearly enough of an indicator to let you know how bad the Cubs continue to be . This is a team that is devoid of leadership on the field , and wherein the manager , Dale Sveum , seems to be either consulting a book entitled “ Managing Baseball Teams for Dummies “ revised edition . Or the manager is simply letting his players hold sway, in making decisions as to the team’s play. And with the Astros now making the move to the AL West, are we going to be in with a chance of seeing the Chicago Cubs this season , finish once again on the bottom rung of the NL Central ladder ? These are some of the more interesting stories that we could very well see unfold for the franchise over the course of the season .
One of the more interesting stories now coming out of Wrigley Field in Chicago , is that of owner , Tom Ricketts seeking increase the club’s television revenues . After six decades of their association with broadcast partners WGN , which is in part owned by the Cubs , with the majority stake held by cable giant Comcast. It would now seem that Ricketts will either seek to divest himself of the franchise’s minority stake in WGN , while seeking out new broadcast partners within the local market or quite possibly looking for a commercial tie-in with one of the nation’s larger television broadcast concerns . Given the hefty price that will be sought , I seriously doubt that a local affiliate will tie themselves in with the Cubs , in spite of their vast local following and the fact that the franchise resides in one of nation’s larger advertising markets. If a tentative deal cannot be worked out between the Chicago Cubs and WGN’s parent company , then quite possibly for the first time in sixty years , fans of the Cubs will not be able to view or listen to the teams games within the local market .
With money now being the determining factor, that can sustain the ambitions of a professional sports’ franchise , the Chicago Cubs because of their large following are but one of the few teams within baseball that can still turn a handsome profit ($28.1 million) , even within the midst of a severe economic downturn , without ever having to seek an assist from baseball’s hierarchy. It serves the franchise well, but definitely not well enough , if the franchise seeks to compete on an equal footing competitively and economically with the likes of the Philadelphia Phillies , Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers within the NL , much less the rest of baseball.
The months of April , May and June should give us an indication as to how the Chicago Cubs may well fare. By comparison, in 2012 , entering the first week of July , the team was playing sub. 500 baseball posting a mark of 32-52 (.381) , With a projected payroll of $102 million for this season , GM Theo Epstein may well seek to forgo the team’s financial expediency and acquire a number of free agents , if the team is in a divisional or a wildcard contention during the latter part of the season, will . seek to make some bold moves . If not then , the front office will seek to jettison players superfluous to their needs , while taking a look at their top prospects within their farm system .
Picture gallery .
With players now reporting for Spring Training , and with Opening Day beckoning , in the first week of April, what do you hope to see from the teams this season within baseball ? And also do you believe that the hierarchy still remains in the best position possible, to handle any likely incident that may well occur, as it relates to a player testing positive , for a banned substance ? Chime on this , and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter , right, and Eduardo Nunez laugh during batting practice at a workout at baseball spring training, Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in Tampa. AP Photo/Matt Slocum ….
(2) New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi , left, and general manager Brian Cashman talk during a workout at baseball spring training, Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in Tampa. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …
(3) FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out during the second inning of Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in New York. When the Yankees re-signed Rodriguez in December 2007 , they expected him to set home run records. Now some in the team’s management hope he never plays again, so much of the $114 million he’s still due can be covered by insurance. Not only is he injured, he’s at the center of performance-enhancing drug use allegations. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …..
(4) Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun waits to hit during baseball spring training Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Phoenix. The player’s name has been linked to documents suggesting that he may well have been a recipient of PED’s from the Coral Gables’ based medical concern Biogenesis , a company founded by Anthony “Tony” Bosch. Braun’s legal counsel and agent , Nez Balelo , has stated that Ryan Braun was merely paid up endorser of a number of supplements produced and marketed by Biogenesis and in no way was his client a recipient or known conduit for the production or distribution for any illicit substances banned by MLB and its hierarchy . AP Photo/Morry Gash …
(5) Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz , right, talks to pitcher Neftali Feliz (30) during a spring training baseball workout on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Surprise, Ariz. Cruz’s name has been linked with Coral Gables’ based medical company Biogenesis , producers of nutritional supplements and anabolic steroids . The player has denied any wrongdoing on his part . There has been no formal announcement from within the Rangers’ organization . However , it is being widely reported that GM Jon Daniels will be consulting with manager Ron Washington and team President Nolan Ryan , should there be anything that implicates the player in this latest controversy to hit Major League Baseball. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …
(6) Hall of Fame inductee Jackie Robinson is seen pictured here as a Brooklyn Dodger . On the 15th April , 1947 , Robinson became the first person of color , to play for a professional baseball team in Major League Baseball , and as a part of the then changing times within the social landscape of the country this solemn moment was seen as a “catalyst” for change . Albeit , that it was not universally looked upon in all areas of the social fabric of society. Each year , the date , 15th April ,1947 , is commemorated by MLB and has come to be known as ” Jackie Robinson Day” . The player’s number , #42, has been ” officially retired ” by the league hierarchy . And this year will mark the sixty-eighth anniversary of this now , historical landmark event within North American sports . AP /REUTTERS …. archives …
(7) Hank Aaron seen here as a Milwaukee Brave . Known as Hammerin’ Hank , over the course of his esteemed carer the Hall of Fame inductee , surpassed what was then the all time home runs’ career mark of 715 home runs held by Babe Ruth . Aaron would end his career with 755 home runs , 2997 rbi’s , career batting average of .305 , OBP .374, SLG .555 and an OPS of .929. . That figure would subsequently would be passed on 5th September , 2007 by Barry Bonds and the career home runs’ mark now stands at 762 home runs which is also acknowledged by statisticians the Elias Bureau , long seen as bastion of legitimacy for the game’s most hallowed feats . As to what this would now suggest about the bureau and the fact that the league hierarchy also recognizes this mark , does lead one to be believe that Elias, much like Bud Selig’s office, simply refuses to acknowledge that some of the game’s most hallowed marks are ” tainted” . And with Bonds’ career feats now coming into question, it would suggest that only not even the noblest of intentions cannot now refute , what fans clearly see as the game’s ridicule . MLB.com archives @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …
(8) Los Angeles Dodgers’ manager , Don Mattingly , left, is seen here with managing partner and co-owner , Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson . This season the Dodgers will have the highest Opening Day payroll in MLB history , with a figure of $213.455 million topping their closest rivals the New York Yankees by over $3 million . Cumulative salaries for the league’s 30 teams will exceed $3 billion for the very first time . Johnson has stated , that his mantra will be to …. “win at all costs , with money being of no object ” ! The regular season schedule for the Dodgers opens up with a three-day series against the San Francisco Giants , the reigning World Series champions . AP Photo / Tom Sharpe …
(9) Chicago Cubs’ general manager Theo Epstein , left is seen here with the team’s senior managing partner and owner , Tom Ricketts . The franchise now finds itself in an unenviable position, of having to renegotiate a television rights’ deal with WGN broadcast outlet , which has carried the team’s television broadcasts for six decades . As a minority owner in the outlet , Ricketts now has to deal with WGN’s parent company Comcast , who also just happen to be owners of national television broadcast and media conglomerate NBC Universal Media Inc . Getty Images North America / Philip Moore ….
(10) Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum, right, bumps fists with Matt Garza during a spring training baseball workout, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz. The Cubs will have a tough time this upcoming season , in trying to not be the “bottom feeder ” and cellar dweller within the NL Central , having just finished above the hapless Houston Astros (55-107) last season . AP Photo/Morry Gash ….
If at all interested do take time to participate in the above poll .
MLB team values NB: * At the times of these figures it should be noted the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.156 billion ($2,156,000,000) had not been yet finalized . Team values in ascending order
It’s not yet time to strip down the inner workings of the New York Yankees, but with the current furor now encircling this storied franchise and the fact that they are now on the cusp of being unceremoniously dumped out of the ALCS for this season. The one question, we may well choose to ask, is how could this all have happened so rapidly? Losing Mariano Rivera in the middle of their season obviously was a serious enough blow that the team never truly recovered from , and that is even with the installation of Rafael Soriano to take over the closer’s role for the franchise. And as great as Soriano has been , Rivera’s departure has dealt the New York Yankees a great blow.
If the questions that abound concerning the Yankees, that have permeated throughout their season beyond the inconsistency of the team’s pitching woes . Then, it would have to include the poor performances of Alex Rodriguez throughout this season. That notwithstanding, having to fight all the way down the very last day of the regular season to barely hold on to the AL East, the ball-club found themselves in the postseason. The team dealt with the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS , having won the series 3-2. As I alluded to earlier, the New York Yankees now find themselves on the cusp of bowing out of the ALCS , as the Detroit Tigers have simply made a mockery of Joe Girardi’s players. One could point to the fact that with the loss of Derek Jeter in game one of the series against the Tigers against the Orioles , the team would face an uphill battle for the rest of the series. To compound it all, his loss for the entire postseason, has in essence, ripped the “heart and soul” out of this team. Where Jeter would lead by example , his teammates more often than not, would follow. Now there is simply no one on this roster that is prepared to assume the mantle of being the vocal leader amongst his peers. Alex Rodriguez, perhaps the team’s most naturally gifted player doesn’t wish to assume the role , nor can he be considered a team player , much less a good teammate . Yet somehow, in spite of his accomplishments , and the fact he remains not only the Yankees’ highest paid player. Rodriguez’s ten-year $275 million contract , has now become a boondoggle for the New York Yankees, from which they can never truly escape.
Game three of the ALCS, saw both Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher being demoted from the lineup in a pivotal series’ game. With both demoted players on the sidelines , the decision to include Brett Gardner and Eric Chavez , was meant to be a boost for the franchise. Unfortunately, someone forgot to mention that in the script to the opposing Tigers’ players , as the reigning AL Cy Young and MVP winner, Justin Verlander , seemingly pitched his team to victory . Now down 3-0 to the Detroit Tigers , can we all now admit, that this Yankees’ team simply hasn’t lived up to the perceived expectations ?
The fourth game in this best-of-seven series is unlikely to see the return of Alex Rodriguez or Nick Swisher to the Yankees’ starting lineup. Joe Girardi, simply hasn’t got that many options for a team that has simply been woefully inept in this series from a pitching and offensive standpoint. And simply looking at the team’s postseason stats in the ALCS and one could see why Joe Girardi has been perturbed by his players’ display, in terms of their hitting and pitching. Beyond C C Sabathia, during this postseason, there has been little that one could possibly describe as being positive about the Yankees’ pitching. As to the team’s offense, well, let’s just say now comes and can described as being anemic at best, mediocre at its very worst. Matt Scherzer of the Tigers will be looking to seal New York’s fate when he takes the mound against C C Sabathia, tonight at Comerica Park , in Detroit , Michigan.
In light of what is likely to be the demise of the New York Yankees during the postseason, the rumors have started that the front office will seek to offload Alex Rodriguez , by shopping the player to any interested party seeking acquire the player and assume the bulk of his remaining contract. The local Tampa Bay area CBS television affiliate WTSP Channel 10, through their sports’ anchor ,Dave Wirth, reported that GM Brian Cashman sought to gauge the interest of the Miami Marlins, and that the front office has spoken Marlins’ GM, Michael Hill. Both parties have categorically denied that there has been any maneuver made along those lines. It is believed that the Yankees’ organization are prepared to offer Alex Rodriguez in exchange for the Marlins’ relief pitcher Heath Bell. As to what this might suggest as to the possible desperate measures now being sought by Brian Cashman , speaks loudly to the fact that the team’s third baseman is now proving to be a disquieting cancer within the team’s locker room and having a deleterious effect upon the whole organization.
From my own perspective , I have always felt that Alex Rodriguez was a singular minded individual , who cared nothing for his teammates and whose sole emphasis when it came to the game of baseball was the financial gain and the acclaim ! Well he now has both , having been the only player in baseball history to sign two salary packages totaling in excess of $ 500 million (half-a-billion dollars) . Also bear in mind, he is now the active home runs’ leader in Major League Baseball (MLB) , as he focuses on, and looks to surpass Barry Bonds’ home runs’ career mark. Less we forget also, Rodriguez still has the scourge of his admitting to the use of steroids during his career , and for which some six months after his admitting that use , his named was linked to incarcerated Orlando medical professional, Dr. Anthony Galea, now serving time (5 years) for transporting illicit drugs across state and international borders, and then knowingly , prescribing and selling those very same products to the public as well as some very prominent professional athletes . Begs the question even light of his less than contrite apology 2010 , why did the New York Yankees still choose to support the player ? Greed , no less, as that can be the sole reason for their stance. A lesser player, would have been thrown to the wolves by the ball-club. Apathy and hypocrisy, knows no boundaries within the realm of sports , but more so within the game of baseball.
It would not be remiss to suggest that Alex Rodriguez has greatly under-achieved this season when adjudged against other third basemen within the AL as well as the rest of baseball . Undoubtedly, he is still a very skilled player , but one simply gets the impression , if he could get by, giving the least effort necessary , he certainly would. And that if anything, has been one of the main criticisms of Rodriguez as a player. Clearly, that has been the case since he joined the New York Yankees via a trade from the Texas Rangers in 2004 . Eight years later , the Yankees have profited greatly from a financial and competitive standpoint to have Alex Rodriguez within their midst , but at the same time , while with the organization he has proven to be an even greater distraction rather than that ever reliable asset sought in the mold of his teammate , Derek Jeter. Brian Cashman , and to a lesser extent the Yankees’ players have sought to present the organization as a singular unified union , all seeking the same goals. This season they have simply fallen short of those goals, and one has to wonder what if anything has set about the chain of events that has seen this team simply fall apart , when in other — seasons , we would never have witnessed such discord within this franchise . What thoughts if any, do you have on the matter?
Do you now believe that it would be in the New York Yankees’ best interests to trade Alex Rodriguez ? And if so, which team would be the best fit for the player? Also what has been the biggest failure of this baseball team over the course of this season? Do take time to leave a comment on this article and on anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.
Picture and slide show details below .
(1)New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez watches Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …
(2) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts with Andruw Jones before Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….
(3)Detroit Tigers’ Delmon Young hits an RBI single in the first inning during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the New York Yankees Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …
(4) DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 18: Nick Swisher (33) of the New York Yankees reacts after he struck out in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images …
(5) Alex Rodriguez (2) (2L) of the New York Yankees talks with Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman (R) before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Nick Laham …
I’m sorry but I’ve always felt that the MLB hierarchy along with the team owners and MLBPA have been the main culprits and protagonists behind the facade of the whole steroid debacle that still blights the game . The argument now still harkens to the fact that certain players due for future eligibility for the Hall of Fame will unquestionably debated over by the BBWAA . One such player will undoubtedly be New York Yankees’ slugger and third baseman Alex Rodriguez .
The player currently on the team’s DL looking to recuperate before returning to the active roster and contributing down the stretch run of the Yankees’ season . Alex Rodriguez has always courted controversy both on and off the field of play. And it should come as no surprise that he might well be one of the most despised players in the game of baseball currently playing. There may well be some sort of animus towards Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens . There’s no denying that the aforementioned duo in spite of their legal problems are as hated any player could possibly be over the last two decades.
Barry Bonds awaits sentencing having been found guilty in his Federal trial of committing perjury and obstruction of justice . Clemens for his part having seen the judge declare a mistrial in his proceedings due to the stupidity of the prosecuting attorneys with the judge declaring a mistrial should be under no illusion that the Justice Department will be allowed a second bite at the apple. The player’s lead defense attorney Rusty Hardin may well feel his client is being wrongly prosecuted , victimized and vilified . But Roger Clemens has done little to suggest that he has if anything been totally honest throughout this whole episode . The allegations notwithstanding , his testimony to Congress and the members of the House Oversight Committee led many to believe that all the player sought to do was to absolve himself of any perception of guilt by painting others as lacking integrity or simply attacking their credibility. And while one can’t certainly question that assertion of Brian McNamee , the player’s former personal trainer what cannot be denied was the testimony given by Clemens’ former teammate Andy Pettite which if anything was very succinct and considerably more believable than the whole assertions made by the seven time Cy Young award winner. .
Once again, officials for Major League Baseball want to meet with Alex Rodriguez . This time, though, it is not about performance-enhancing drugs. In the coming weeks, baseball officials plan to question Rodriguez about reports of his participation in illegal poker games.
The officials announced Wednesday that they would ask for the meeting after Star Magazine reported that Rodriguez “played in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used, and even organized his own high-stakes game, which ended with thugs threatening players.”
Under the rules that govern baseball players, Rodriguez will have to truthfully answer baseball’s questions. If he acknowledges that he played in underground games or if officials uncover evidence that he did so, he could face a suspension.
The report Wednesday came a month after Major League Baseball opened its own investigation into Rodriguez’s ties to gambling. The investigation was prompted by a Star Magazine report in June that said Rodriguez had participated in a high-stakes illegal poker game with the actors Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” said Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”
If one remembers during his very public apology at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa , Florida two years ago for his admitted steroid use , he looked to apportion blame elsewhere by blaming in part his cousin , Yuri Sucart . Now in light of his latest faux pas it remains to be seen what punishment if any will be levied against the player either by the league or for that matter by the New York Yankees , themselves. Certainly, if nothing is done by Bud Selig then one would expect Brian Cashman or the duo of Steinbrenner brothers to act. If Alex Rodriguez believes he can simply flout many of the game’s most sacred rules then it says a great deal about the disrespect that he has for the games’ very tenets . And his situation certainly hasn’t been helped that he has been enabled , coddled and allowed to be treated as an enfant-terrible much to the disdain of many purists of the game. Some may well delight in this fact as they believe that a superstar ought to be treated differently from his teammates ________ but baseball is not about any one individual it is in essence a team sport. While while Rodriguez’s career stats speaks for itself and the very hallowed marks that he hopes to surpass I can’t help but wonder what else the player will now do to further sully his reputation and that of the game !
Alex Rodriguez’s name has repeatedly come up in the Justice Departement’s investigation and subsequent indictment of Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galea but somehow the player has yet to be questioned by the governmental agency or anyone from the league hierarchy on the matter. Galea had been indicted on grand larceny , the sale and illegal transportation of PED’s across state lines , international borders , also of anabolic steroids and other prohibitive substances. The doctor also had amongst his clients at his Orlando medical facility a number of prominent sports’ stars amongst of which Alex Rodriguez and Tiger Woods were said to be clients of his . The golfer hasn’t confirmed that he has been approached by the Justice Department but issued a statement through his agent Mark Steinberg that he would willingly cooperate with any ongoing investigation by the department. Rodriguesz for his part has simply refused to answer any direct questions concerning his name being associated with Galea, instead seeing it as a none issue given his prior act of contrition in terms of the apology offered . But such has been the idiocy of the claims that MLB has cleaned up the image of the game and its association with the steroid era , in part when we know that Alex Rodriguez can continue to make a mockery of the image of baseball.
The talk is that steroids because there were embroiled and became a part of the game one shouldn’t at all see it as a detriment of baseball . I say bullshit, given the fact that not one person who views this all as a none issue even cares to discuss the health ramifications from the misuse and abuse of steroids and other PED’s . Renal failure , psychological issues are nothing to gloss over but somehow this is all ignored when this issue is discussed and I might say not with a great deal of clarity as to the real inherent dangers . Just as asinine might be the very fact that no one at first within the NFL was actually willing to admit to the cause and effect of chronic head trauma after repeated concussions during the games. Now all of a sudden the MLB hierarchy as well as the MLBPA are on board as to the dangers in the abuse of steroids within the game. It would appear that neither Bud Selig nor his minions or for that matter Michael Weiner as the executive director of the union would openly care to discuss this matter .
As a player I’ve always admired the abilities of Alex Rodriguez but his candor and lack of contrition as to his misdeeds has me wondering why the public and fans should continue to put up with his stupidity. Sooner or later Bud Selig and the other bumbling oafs of the league hierarchy and team owners ought to pull their heads out of each others’ ass and actually do something right ! If it has to take the government and in particular the Justice Department under tenure of AG Eric Holder to do what needs to be done by league itself . Then it simply shows how gutless the MLB hierarchy , team owners and MLBPA are said to be ! We may well admire these players from afar but who in this day simply condones cheating and feels that it’s actually appropriate within a game that purists believes to be so pure ?
Granted , this game his been tainted by issues that one would deem to be far more serious , such as racial bigotry during the segregation of baseball and the immediacy of its aftermath during the integration of the game when players such as Jackie Robinson , Larry Doby , Willie Mays and Hank Aaron carved out long lasting stellar carreers . And if one remembers when Aaron surpassed what was at the time Babe Ruth’s home run record the player was subjected to death threats , torrents of racial abuse prior to and after the event of achieving the feat. And there are historians who woud now choose to gloss over such events as something of a none issue and to be put to rest.
For a player of Alex Rodriguez’s alleged stature he had done little to suggest that he should be viewed as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter once his career comes to an end with the New York Yankees . Having become the team’s all-time hits’ leader Jeter’s career is now winding down. A multi All Star , Golden Glove winner and as we all know 5 World Series triumphs over the course of his career and what has been an exemplary example of how it ought to be done. There are players within the game of baseball they tend to exemplify something good about the sport . Derek Jeter , Albert Pujols , Ken Griffey Jr , Paul Molitor and Ozzie Smith who to my mind played the game of baseball with such effervescent zeal and infectiuos appeal. Watching those individuals play simply brings to my mind why it is about the sport can be so thrilling . Unfortunately when I now see Alex Rodriguez that becomes a none event as I simply despise everything that he’s said to stand for !
As I alluded to earlier the player (Rodriguez) has been coddled , emboldened and led to believe that he’s above the game , beyond reproach and that’s further indemnified by the lack of action by the game’s hierarchy ____ in particular by New York Yankees even in the aftermath of the player having been warned already by an official from the commissioner’s office about his gambling . It now begs the question if baseball simply cannot police itself appropriately then who if anyone can rein in and force the league and its players to act with some semblance of decency rather than further indulging the sport into a downward spiral of indignity .
For the New York Yankees’ immediate future and the contributions of Alex Rodriguez as the team strives towards the postseason . They currently sit one game behind the division leading Boston Red Sox within the AL East . If anything it is their lead amongst the wildcard aspirants that indicates the Yankees will ease their way in the postseason. While Rodriguez has had something of an indifferent season it has been the contributions of Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia that if anything has typified the usual things we have somehow come to expect of the New York Yankees . Love them or hate them you simply cannot ignore them because in doing so it may well be to your disadvantage. Joe Girardi may well be overlooked as one of the better managers within the game and granted he has at his disposal the best that money can buy .It’s the New York Yankees’ way and that’s not likely to change this or or anytime soon !
What action or actions if any do you feel appropriate should be taken against Alex Rodriguez if these allegations are proven to be true ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts if any on the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent .
(1) CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 03: of the New York Yankees of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 18-7 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….
(2) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees ducks away from an inside pitch as A.J. Pierzynski (12) of the Chicago White Sox gloves the ball at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …….
(3) Mark Teixiera (25) of the New York Yankees greets teammates Russell Martin(55) and Brett Gardner (11) as they score runs in the 7th inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …..
(4) Alex Rios (51) of the Chicago White Sox misplays a fly ball in center field as teammate Alexei Ramirez (10) runs out against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..
(5) CLEVELAND, OH – FILE: Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees reacts after the end of the second inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 6, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. It was reported that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is to undergo knee surgery, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The player now subject of MLB inquiry resulting from his alleged involvement in several high stakes poker games . This has been the second such incident concerning the player this season and he’d been warned by an official from the league hierarchy to curtail his actions with regard to gambling . Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images …..
It has been really interesting as of late to watch the way things have unraveled within the AL East . And as many prognosticators believe the division may well be the most competitive in all of baseball it goes without saying that the reasoning is very much justified . As an ardent admirer of the game I have a certain fascination with the team that is local to Central Florida. And that happens to be the Tampa Bay Rays who over the last two years , have been twice a winner of the division , an ALCS Pennat winner and made their sole appearance in the World Series in 2008 which ended in sadness with the team losing to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in the best of seven series . At the helm as the team’s manager has been Joe Maddon the organization’s most successful coach.
New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter returns to the dugout after being thrown out at first base to end a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Rays won 5-1. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …
The Rays have been very lucky with the fact that their pitching has held up well and the mere fact that there now seems to be a great deal of confidence throughout their starting five as well as the relievers would suggest that they are quite capable of giving the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees a real run for their money down the closing stretch of the season . I firmly believe that if the team is within two games of the lead coming into the month of September then all bets are off as to the division being anything but a two horse race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees as it now appears to be !
With the All Star Game scheduled this upcoming week the Tampa Bay Rays’ schedule becomes ever so important. The team is a mere four and a half games behind the division leading New York Yankees (51-14) but only a 1 1/2 games behind the second placed Boston Red Sox (51-35). The Rays are coming off a resounding 12-5 shellacking of the Minnesota Twins. If the team can continue with that sort of the momentum then their upcoming series of games against their divisional rivals the Red Sox and Yankees should prove to be very interesting. The New York Yankees host the Rays at Yankees Stadium for home series of three games before the midseason break and the festivities surrounding the All Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona .
Now while much of the focus has been the Derek Jeter watch as he makes his way to the 3,000 hits plateau as he is now but three hits away from reaching that milestone and become the organization’s all time hits leader . The fifteen year veteran now sits atop of the mountain and will now be instantaneously be immortalized by the Yankees’ fans . Jeter has already surpassed Yankees’ legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig but if anything this modern day icon and the face of the game to most and in particular the Yankees’ fans. One has to admit that the player is now winding down his illustrious career .
If the Rays can get to the pitching of the Yankees of which I believe is the team’s Achilles Heel then quite possibly they can win this series , cut the deficit that Bronx Bombers has over the other residents within the division. I think it’s pretty safe to say and that Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are out of the running for the wildcard spot within the AL in terms of a postseason berth !
The contributions of Damon to the Rays this season cannot be underestimated as he’s provided a steadying presence to the team and the younger players I believe are thoroughly appreciative of that fact ! As for the Tampa Bay Rays’ fans their hometown hero has given them something to believe in with the advent of the ongoing financial woes of the organization. Say what you will but team owner Stuart Sternberg , GM Andrew Friedman and the associated partners have remained steadfast that for now the team will remain within this locale . But it appears that with each passing moment the likelihood of the Rays remaining within the area is unlikely as no common ground can be found between the two opposing factions.
The Tampa Bay Rays for their part have continued to surprise many but there’s a growing belief that what we’re now seeing are the waning moments of a ball-club that is in transition of moving out of the area , as the fans lament what they believe to be a double standard in terms of baseball’s hierarchy of merely leaning towards and assisting those who essentially are financially more well to do. From top to bottom the organization of the Tampa Bay Rays is a well ran operation with a farm system that’s the envy of many organizations around the league. The one stumbling block of the Rays has been the financial constraints because the ownership group is limited in its resources. I will always continue to maintain that a ball club cannot exist on a meager fan base of no more than 15,000 hardcore fans ! That seems to be bearing true as of today, with the Rays averaging no more than 19,000 fans per home game at Tropicana Field this season . In a number of cases the fanbase is simply outmatched with the arrival of either Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees and there we will see the attendance rise to as high as perhaps 25,000 to 30,000 in attendance . Hardly conducive when the away team is actually drawing far more supporters than the hosts of a scheduled home series but such are the vagaries of the game as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays.
I certainly do believe that the Rays’ organization is now clutching at straws in the belief that an accord can be reached where they will remain in Central Florida ! It has now become abundantly clear with the financial worries of both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties that neither county government can facilitate the financing needed to build a new venue for the team. Both county administrations are facing acute financial difficulties of their own having to furlough employees , slash budgets and a slew of sundry maneuvers has many questioning whether or not a multi million dollar facility is the right thing to do in order to facilitate the whims and wishes of a multi millionaire baseball team owner . It is not as if Stuart Sternberg or any of his senior partners have shown good faith by even suggesting that they are prepared to assist in the financing of a new venue. Any statement forthcoming , be it from Sternberg , Andrew Friedman or Matt Silverman for that matter , has essentially been about the need of a new venue rather than how best to cooperate in working together in making such a scenario happen.
As many of you know my disdain for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig knows no boundaries ! I find him to be obnoxious , a buffoon , an ignoramus and someone who is now completely out of touch as to the realities of the game and its numerous problems ! Rather than trying to be of assistance to the Tampa Bay Rays in attaining a new venue , he has seen fit to be critical of the organization’s endeavor even going as far to suggest that they will never stage an All Star Game until they have built a new venue that is to his liking and that of the league hierarchy’s . Suffice to say if the fans in the area haven’t seen that as the nail in the coffin to the organization’s efforts it has been heard loud and clear by the officials who sit on the boards of both county commissions in Hillsborough and Pinellas County . I don’t believe that Selig could have put the situation anymore succinctly than that , thereby laying to rest what now may well be a futile exercise on the part of the county governments of each ___ as well as the Tampa Bay Rays. The local sports talk radio hosts and print media may well hold out hope that things may well change but they are facing an uphill battle in their thinking that a venue can and will be built at this juncture .
It would indeed be sad to see the Tampa Bay Rays leave the area but facing a reality that the area cannot sustain a franchise that in essence hasn’t a long history or pedigree of success . Never mind the fact that this is simply a first or second generation of supporters who are now loyal to this franchise . The vast majority of the teams within the game have a long history of support that is steeped in the loyalty of its fans and with familial ties . But here with the Rays the success though only recent cannot hide the fact that there is a glaring and stark reality to this organization’s history. Its first decade under Vince Naimoli has more to do with it being a comedy of errors , with an owner who essentially saw this team as his own personal bauble and fiefdom for him to reign over like a king. Success never manifested itself to any degree and the organization came to be known as a laughing stock around the league .
Now even with its recent successes the Tampa Bay Rays still finds itself bedeviled by worries about its financial security more than anything else . With a payroll amongst the lowest in the league the coaches and front office will have to get by on a squad of good if not great players , their future prospects and as I alluded to earlier a farm system that is amongst the best in the league .
Should the organization in the ensuing years leave the vicinity of Central Florida then the death knell of the game at the major league level within this area will have clearly sounded. Spring Training is all that the area will then have to cling to and that in of itself may not be such a bad thing after all. The teams who make the area their home during the preseason bring with them a burgeoning legion of fans and snow birds into Central Florida all looking to give support to their teams and aid the area with their income and making creating something of a vibrant economy during their time here . Now in spite of that fact it doesn’t lessen the blow that a Major League team now finding success may well have to leave its locale merely because the league hierarchy in its infinite wisdom has been about as helpful in their cause to remain as one could consider Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be in assisting in a peaceful settlement of the Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiations . Whereas Bud Selig was front and center in assisting the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the facilitating and building of their respective venues ( Citi Field & Yankee Stadium) he has been nowhere to be seen in assisting the Tampa Bay Rays in their endeavor to have a new venue built. But given the fact that as odious as the commissioner is , I can’t help but feel that the fans are now having the last laugh as things have gone to spiral out of control for himself and the league hierarchy as they now try to sort out the ongoing mess of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which will undoubtedly be followed by the web of intrigue and malfeasance that has taken place within the New York Mets organization . . Here’s to you Bud , you ingrate and piece of crap !
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? And how as such do you view the race now taking place within the AL East ? Simply chime on in with your comments as you deem fit .
(1) Ben Zobrist (18) of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images ….
(2) New York Yankees fans hold up the number of hits Derek Jeter has, during his at-bat in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Jeter grounded out to end the game as Tampa Bay won 5-1 . AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ……
(3) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter returns to the dugout after being thrown out at first base to end a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Rays won 5-1. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …
(4) Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is congratulated by catcher John Jaso at the end of the Rays’ 5-1 win over the New York Yankees in a baseball game Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …..
(5) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 6: Johnny Damon (22) and Kelly Shoppach (10) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a two-run home run by Shoppach against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning on July 6, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …..
(6) Casey Kotchman (11) and B.J. Upton(2) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ……..
(7) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 6: Sean Rodriguez (1), Evan Longoria (3) and Casey Kotchman (11) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a two-run home run by Rodriguez against the Minnesota Twins in the eighth inning on July 6, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 12-5. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….
Despite all the accolades that Derek Jeter has reaped over the course of his career it has me wondering where as such that places Alex Rodriguez in terms of his career should be as we presume break the now existing all time home run record ? At present he’s the active leader in home runs and all signs point to the fact Rodriguez sees that as his redemption and the chance to prove himself worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame . A three time winning league MVP and the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as the presumptive leader of the New York Yankees . I somehow think that the player with all of the controversy that has surrounded his career both on and off the field now has to prove he’s worthy of those claims ..
Rodriguez for his part has said little in public to create any form of controversy in spite of the fact of the paparazzi surveying his every move as his relationship with actress Cameron Diaz seems to be taking on a life of its own . And as he and the team look to make their presence felt within the AL East and show everyone that they’re the team to beat when it’s all said and done. This team on paper is good but how good we’ll just have to wait and see as the course of the season unfolds .
Now we all know that the only thing matters to the Yankees’ organization is winning and their success is built upon that foundation of bringing AL pennants but in particular World Series titles to Yankee Stadium so that the players and organization’s ravenous fans can bask in the glory . There’s a reason why the now late George Steinbrenner bought the team and then slowly built it into a competitive and financial juggernaut . So much so , that the team is now the most valuable professional sports franchise in the world . Even outstripping its closest rival in the league by some $ 850 million . With an estimated value of $1.65 billion and now seated in the nation’s largest advertizing market it’s easy to understand the reason why they’re the most envied and perhaps at the same time most despised team in all of baseball.
As the season progresses there’ll be a lot to assess as it regards this team _______ can they make up for the disappoint of last year’s postseason ? Their failure was magnified all the more with the fact many of the players thought to be the leaders on the team simply underachieved there and during the regular season . If this team is to succeed then Rodriguez will have to step up to the plate front and center alongside Robinson Cano , Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson . We all know that the team’s offense won’t tail off but as I alluded to earlier it is their pitching that has become suspect . As Jeter inches closer to the plateau of reaching 3,000 hits and further adding to his legacy of becoming the Yankees’ all-time hits’ leader surpassing another legend of the organization Lou Gehrig . If anything , Jeter , we know will be a bonafide first ballot Hall of Famer further adding to his legacy as perhaps one the team’s beloved players over the course of this organization’s history.
Over the course of time it’s my belief that the players embroiled in the steroid era and saga will be judged by the public and press alike as either heroes or felons. They say …”time heals all wounds ” but I firmly believe that the players , their union (MLBPA) , the league hierarchy and the team owners have done the game an even greater disservice by hiding behind this idiotic facade as to a right of privacy ! Cheating in a game inherently built upon its virtue of having been above reproach and now it has become sullied by the sheer stupidity because the miscreants involved in this solely for personal financial gain. Anyone of the belief that the likes of , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire , Barry Bonds , Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez solely did this as a way excelling further at the game may well be either gullible or in reality enjoyed the spectacle of seeing the players rip these records to shreds further making those feats now seem all the more irrelevant . I’d hate to think that Hank Aaron has in actuality given his blessing in seeing Bonds surpass his all-time home run record ! Somehow I’d like to think that the man himself sees it as a disservice given what he had endure in achieving that feat .
As a fan of the game from my own perspective even with the league’s steroid policy in place I do feel that it’s all too little too late ! The damage had already been done because of the intransigence shown by Bud Selig as the commissioner and that rather inane stance taken by then union Executive Director Donald Fehr . The duo combined showed about as much common sense as could collectively be found inside the entire legislative chambers of the US House of Representatives and Senate ! Doubt my word then simply look at the idiocy we are now witnessing within both legislative chambers of Congress ?
Alex Rodriguez’s legacy is tainted but he obviously believes he can revamp his image and further add to that once bright future many believe that he had . It will be interesting to see the stats put up by the player over the course of this season and how it will have related to previous seasons before his admission that he had in fact used steroid over a period of his career he’d now rather forget . Chances are it will be in line with his usual productivity and thereby giving the New York Yankees a chance to pursue another World Series title .
As a fan how do you see Alex Rodriguez’s legacy as a player ? Do you also believe that upon his retirement he stands a better than even chance of being an inductee into the Hall of Fame ? And overall how do you view the New York Yankees’ chances and their pursuit of another World Series title this season ? Merely leave a comment on the topics raised within this piece and anything else you feel pertinent to the baseball season . And as usual thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !
* NB : As a bye-note I’d like to thank the Baltimore Orioles already flaming out this season and already putting their own season to rest . Their humiliating 15-3 loss to the Yankees where Rodriguez mutl-homered and hit his 22nd grand slam of his career placing him second in that category behind Lou Gehrig
Picture and slide show details below
(1) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter, left, and Robinson Cano celebrate their 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in 11 innings of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011 in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ….
(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Robert Andino, center, reacts after being called out at the plate by New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin (55) on a double by Brian Roberts during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. Also pictured is Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones (10). AP Photo/Gail Burton …..
(3) New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson follows through on a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ……
(4) Mark Teixeira(25) and Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees wait in the on deck circle against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….
(5) Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees (L) Derek Jeter (2) (center) and manager Joe Girardi (28) look out from the dugout during the eighth inning of their 15-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……..
(6) Lou Gehrig (left) is seen here with Vaudeville performer George M Cohan at Yankee Stadium . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Chip Deffa Productions LLC . …..
(7) A statue of Hank Aaron sits outside of the stadium ahead of the Philadephia Phillies versus Atlanta Braves during their opening day game at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images ……….
(8) Singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte and baseball legend Hank Aaron attend the 2011 Trustees Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement dinner and presentation at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on February 25, 2011 in New York City. Stephen Lovekin /Getty Images North America ……
(9) Hank Aaron seen here hitting home run 755 which would become a historical feat in the annals of Major League Baseball . Courtesy of Topix Archives Inc .
There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA — regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .
For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !
There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA — regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .
With the NBA postseason set to commence in the second week or third week of April (April 16th), it’s easy to understand why these teams contending for a playoff berth would want to hit form of consistency that sets them on the right track as the playoffs approach . My own thoughts are that the teams looking to make a postseason berth are going to have to raise the level of their game as the playoffs approach.
A work colleague of mine brought up the subject of the NFL labor dispute and the lockout and made the statement that how is that all of a sudden the league now sets to paint the NFLPA in a dark light bearing in mind that they were the ones who sought instigate the lockout because the Executive Committee of the union were unwilling to acquiesce to a number of conditions that league proposed ? With Neil being a labor relation’s lawyer I found it somewhat surprising that he raised that point ! One of the sticking points now appears to be the league’s wish to have a comprehensive drug testing policy as it relates to PED’s and in particular HGH . For some reason I was under the impression that the league already had what they’d deemed to be a comprehensive drug testing policy but obviously it’s no better than the policy that MLB hierarchy has in place . Now if this is one of the real sticking points said to be many that the league and the union are said to be far apart on then it this lockout suddenly becomes not merely about money but a great deal more.
I know that the league (NFL) does test for certain prohibitive substances , namely marijuana , anabolic steroids and certain other illicit opiates but if they weren’t already testing for HGH then this is the question I’ve got to ask what the hell is going on within the NFL and their own credibility as it relates to the use of HGH ? Given the fact that we’ve all seen the dangers of abusing steroids and in particular a number of these opiates how is it that they’ve continued to not address the issue of HGH being used by the players . I know that it’s use has to be closely scrutinized by a medical professional. But herein lies the caveat if it’s only now that the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to address this issue then clearly there’s something that the NFL and owners weren’t prepared to make public unless they’re prepared to use it as leverage against the union. At the same time in the midst of this all Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams issued a public statement saying that it is his belief that a 2011-12 season will commence on time . Unless Bud Adams is actually fully aware of some upcoming turn of events then clearly the league feels that they now hold the upper hand in any proposed return to the table concerning resolving the labor negotiations.. I’m not so sure that now appears to the case as I do believe that Goodell and the owners have been out-maneuvered by the NFLPA headed by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .
The NFL believes now is the time to include human growth hormone testing in its banned substances policy and is pushing players to add it to a collective bargaining agreement — whenever one is reached.
The NFL and NFL Players Association discussed the policy before the union decertified March 11 and league owners imposed a lockout March 12, but no details were provided regarding where things stood.
News of the league’s insistence on HGH testing being part of the new CBA was first reported Thursday by FoxSports.com.
Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s vice president of law and labor policy, said Friday that the league has pushed for HGH testing since 2008, but with the opportunity to re-cast terms of a labor deal, it has become a priority. The NFLPA had resisted it in the past because of HGH testing methods and the reliability of results.
Blood testing remains the most reliable means to detect the presence of HGH, and that has been the sticking point — not both sides’ desire for fair play, Birch said.
“In terms of the policy, we’ve always been in lockstep with the players,” Birch said. “It’s an important tool in deterring — that’s maybe the most important part — and detecting those who are using (HGH). It helps the public understand what they are seeing is legitimate and that it’s not the result of artificial means. It’s equally important to players to know that someone hasn’t gained an artificial advantage over them.”
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At this juncture the whole labor dispute nonsensical and personally with each passing day with the damage being done to the image of both parties , I now feel that the fans couldn’t give a sh_t how things turn out. It’s not as if the league or players have ever had the fans’ best interests at heart any time during their deliberations !
With the trial of Barry Bonds now hitting its stride it’s amazing to see to read or hear about the testimony now be given by the number of witnesses subpoenad to appear at the trial by the prosecution in this case the US Justice Department and the attorneys representing the People of the US. With Jason Giambi having testified that he was a recipient of steroids from Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson and Bonds’ former mistress Kimberly Bell testifying that in her time spent with the MLB slugger over the course of their relationship the player got considerably bigger. I can only surmise that apart from Bonds’ rigorous training regimen that she was trying to allude to the fact the player was using something illicit to spurt his growth or could it be that she was also taking about the size of his member ? And as absurd as this case has become I do believe that we’re going to hear a great deal more than goes from the sublime to the ridiculous !
The longer this charade goes on as to the money being spent on this case the more I continue to question the asinine stance of the MLB hierarchy under the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in particular the owners within the game , managers and the MLBPA under then Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA . If the NHL and the sport of hockey hasn’t gone through enouhh problems as it is ther Players’ Union hires Fehr to become their Executive Director ? Are they fu_king mad ? The game is still in a financially tenuous position and it’s not as if Gary Bettman as the NHL Commissioner has actually got them now heading in the right direction as of now is it ?
As it now stands the legacy of the game throughout the nineties and into the early part of this decade has been irrevocably damaged and harmed ! With the advent of the regular season about to start as of tomorrow I can’t help but wonder what the teams , owners , union , fans and the game’s hierarchy hope to see when in large part the fans are still being reminded of the inane stupidity of the league hierarchy’s lackadaisical approach to the steroid issue . Bud Selig and his then counterpart Donald Fehr and the union as a whole were complicit in perpetrating this fraud upon the public and wherein the teams and players had a financial windfall. Were this a white collar crime committed I can assure you that the FBI , Justice Department and dare I say it the idiots within both Congress and the Senate would be asking that there be indictments of all of the guilty parties concerned ! But instead those blowholes have remained mind numbingly silent , even with those odious and sleep inducing Congressional hearings that took place and was overseen by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce . What was achieved by those hearings dependent upon one’ s views ranged somewhere between the idiotic with the grandstanding by those congressional committee members and the idiotic statements and testimony given by the league hierarchy and the players subpoenad to testify !
The one thing I for one question now is given what we may or may not know to be true is how the public view the records attained by players during the steroid era and how they ought to be viewed by the fans and public in general ? God knows the single season home run record as well as the home run record ought to have an asterisk placed at their side . I don’t state this as a damning indictment of Bonds alone . But I do feel if that he’s now to be viewed as the face of the steroid era along with Jose Canseco and several other players whom we all know to be associated with the illicit use of steroids amongst other substances banned by the game then we also ought to question silence maintained by players such as Derek Jeter , Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who’ve often been viewed as what’s right within the game but with their avowed silence on the issue , has to have the fans thinking up to a point whether or not they condoned the actions by their fellow players ? I mean even the most menial and lowly of the low within the union (MLBPA) as well as the marquee names have profited greatly from the era having seen their salaries rise not merely based on potential alone but from the stats that were achieved during the era . And with the idiot general managers then willing to pay exorbitant salaries to players while being lassoed in by uber-agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem and Leigh Steinberg making the players immeasurably wealthy beyond their wildest dreams . It now begs the question what credibility does the game of baseball really have as to its legitimacy in being viewed as the nation’s favorite pastime as well as the integrity of its players , managers and the league hierarchy itself ?
As the NFL labor dispute continues to meander along whatever route it presumably takes how do you as such view the situation as a discerning fan of the game ? Do you also feel that the league’s stance with regard to them wanting to instigate a test for HGH via blood testing is the proactive thing to do by the NFL ? Or do you feel that a the federal laws in place as it relates to the use of steroids is enough of a deterrent to the players as a whole ? And what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the recently commenced federal trial of former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds ? Simply leave a comment on your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter as you’d deem fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalists Nnamdi Asomugha (R) of the Oakland Raiders and Israel Idonije (2ndR) of the Chicago Bears pose with the Peyton family, Connie Payton (2ndL), wife of former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton, and her children Brittney (3rdL), Jarrett (3rdR) and Adolpho Birch (L) during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images North America Inc / Doug Pensinger ……..
(2) Birch (center) seen here with officials of the NFL and local dignitaries in Arlington , Texas prior to this past season’s Superbowl played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers . AP Photo Chris Morgan ………
(3) DeMaurice Smith (R), NFLPA executive director, arrives with NFL Players Association Spokesman George Atallah (L) and Kansas City Chiefs player Brian Waters (C) for an extra day of negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners during a 24 hour extension in negotiations. Brian Smialowski / Getty Images North America …..
(4) Former TN. Govenor Phil Bredesen, Honoree/Owner NFL TN. Titans Bud Adams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and current TN. Governor Bill Haslam present Bud Adams with the “Lifetime Humanitarian Award” at the 2011 T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala at the Hutton Hotel on March 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Rick Diamond / Getty Images ……
(5) Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds leaves federal court at the end of the day on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ……..
(6) Major League Baseball player Jason Giambi leaves federal court after testifying during Barry Bonds’ perjury trial on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images North America ….
(7) Kimberly Bell the former mistress of Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds is seen here leaving the US Federal Courthouse in San Francisco , California, having given her testimony in the player’s obstruction of Justice and perjury trial . AP Photo / Phil Montgomery …
(8) Former Major League All Star Jose Canseco known steroid user whose revelations of widespread steroid and PED use amongst his peers in the league led to widespread outrage along with the watered down Mitchell Report and MLB ‘s inane drug policy . AP/Reuters / Keith Pettigrew ……….
(9) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (L) is pictured alongside then Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Donald Fehr during testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on the Mitchell Report into the use of steroids in baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington January 15, 2008. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Major League Baseball’s players and owners must come together “in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort” to remove steroids from the national pastime . Andy Krupp /Reuters ……