Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it ……

Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it

By Tophatal

Well, the MLB preseason has commenced and Opening Day saw a glut of games to start the season, preseason that is. And over the next seven weeks we’ll get to the league’s teams set about finding a rhythm while looking to get their free agent signees and none roster invitees acclimatized to playing something akin , to competitive baseball . The biggest talking point, may well be whether or not teams such as the Washington Nationals , New York Yankees, Oakland A’s , Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers can get over last season’s failings , as things played out during the regular and postseason .


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While I have no wish to see the idiocy of 2012 paraded in front of me by Bud Selig and the league hierarchy, the conclusion has to be , the sooner the commissioner steps down , the better off the game of baseball will be. And quite reasonably , I believe that the majority of the game’s fans are of the belief, that Selig has performed poorly over the course of his almost two decade career. And the commissioner as always , has continued to sing the praises of the game and its economic strengths. Am I mistaken ? How can a franchise with a $ 60 million payroll expect to compete competitively with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees , who between them will have a combined payroll of almost $410 million for the upcoming season. Somehow, I get the belief that the schleppers at the bottom rung of the payroll ladder will be feeding from the cast-offs left by their more resourceful peers .

Far be it for me to suggest, but with Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers having won the AL MVP in conjunction with baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in four decades , after what was said to be a highly debatable vote . The question remains , can Cabrera rebound and prove in 2013 , that last season was not an aberration ? At the same time, AL MVP , runner-up , Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels can further excel, after leading the Angels in so many offensive and defensive categories in 2012. Now while I don’t begrudge Cabrera his win of the AL MVP , I did feel that so much of what Trout did for his team was simply brushed aside . That being said , the Angels , failed miserably , when so much more was expected of this ball-club from last season .

Angels’ owner , Arte Moreno and GM , Jerry Dipoto , did not stand pat during the off-season, as they sought to bolster the roster with the biggest free agent acquisition on the market , with Josh Hamilton signing a multiyear deal with the Los Angeles Angels’ organization in December of 2012. Say what you will , but Mike Sciocsia , the Angels’ manager will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed , as one of the longest tenured managers , active in baseball. The team’s last postseason forays have been and came in 2009 , when the franchise went to the ALCS and in a 4-2 series’ loss to the New York Yankees. However, the franchise’s most triumphant moment came in 2002 , with the Angels’ triumph over the San Francisco Giants in a thrilling 4-3 series’ victory over the NL pennant winners of that season. I get the feeling that Jerry Dipoto and Arte Moreno are getting extremely impatient , especially when you take into account that over the past three seasons the franchise has spent in excess of $500 million payroll commitments , to get a meager return in that time-frame .

Josh Hamilton for his part , after a tremendous start to the season with the Texas Rangers , simply cooled off offensively , causing many to believe that the outfielder simply didn’t have the temperament to lead. The player’s acquisition by the Angels , after what was something of a protracted negotiation process with Rangers’ team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels . At the end of the day, a long-term deal was never a consideration for the Rangers , who felt Hamilton , apart from being injury prone, the player , repeatedly had problems concerning his sobriety and drug dependency issues. And with his acquisition by the Los Angeles Angels, it did not take Hamilton all that long to alienate his former supporters by being overly critical of the Rangers’ fan-base and their lack of loyalty to that ball-club.

If the Angels are to succeed in 2013 , then , the team’s offense will certainly have to be far more productive than they were in 2012 , and the pitching and defense will have to be top caliber , if they are to have any semblance of success as a cohesive unit .

Considered to be among the favorites, this upcoming season within the AL for the pennant as well the World Series . I do believe for the Angels this season , all roads leading to the title will have to go through either the Texas Rangers or the Detroit Tigers . Those two teams given their balance , I believe could and should be contesting the AL pennant in 2013. And while there are proponents out there for the always competitive New York Yankees , I am not so sure that the famed franchise , given their aging core roster , will be fully equipped to take down the might of either of the aforementioned teams.

If the Angels are to succeed in 2013 , then , the team’s offense will certainly have to be far more productive than they were in 2012 , and the pitching and defense will have to be top caliber , if they are to have any semblance of success as a cohesive unit .

Considered to be among the favorites, this upcoming season within the AL for the pennant as well the World Series . I do believe for the Angels this season , all roads leading to the title will have to go through either the Texas Rangers or the Detroit Tigers . Those two teams given their balance , I believe could and should be contesting the AL pennant in 2013. And while there are proponents out there for the always competitive New York Yankees , I am not so sure that the famed franchise , given their aging core roster , will be fully equipped to take down the might of either of the aforementioned teams.

As an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves , with the retirement of future Hall of Famer , Chipper Jones , it will be interesting to see which of the players on the roster will now assume the role of the leader of this team . GM Frank Wren and team President John Scheurholz have seen fit to be prudent in their off-season acquisitions and that was most the case with organization acquiring BJ Upton and his younger sibling Justin Upton via a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks .

Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff will be looking to have his team prepared for the regular season , and most certainly they will be using their preseason schedule to assess the makeup of their roster , with that of their none roster invitees , and budding prospects they deem ready to be part of their everyday lineup. The ball club has gotten off to an inauspicious start having lost the first two games of their preseason schedule. Game one was 2-1 loss to the Tigers , with a subsequent 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Yankees. The team on Sunday , will play the Pittsburgh Pirates , in a game staged in Bradenton , Florida .

Going forward a great deal will be expected of this team , and most certainly from the Upton brothers , as they join a select group of siblings to have played in MLB at the same time , either as teammates or as opponents . That asides , the infancy of the season, should provide us with little to gauge the overall the competitiveness of the teams , at the start of their schedules.

If the baseball gods are watching over the game this season , then hopefully they will be watching the minnows within the game . As I alluded to earlier, they are the bottom feeders , who are simply left to either feast or famine , by way of the scraps left at the table . There are those who would suggest that baseball has real parity by way of the postseason and the participants there each season . From my own perspective , nothing could be further from the truth , because in essence , the majority of the entrants tend to be some of the high salaried teams we have grown accustomed to seeing .

The Atlanta Braves’ regular season schedule will begin on the 1st April , 2013 when the team will play host to the Philadelphia Phillies , in a two game series at Fulton County Stadium /Braves Ballpark in Atlanta , Georgia,.

I don’t believe that it is necessary to delve any further into problems of Alex Rodriguez and the fact that the team’s hierarchy seem completely devoid of any intelligence and how best to deal the third baseman’s continued off-field issues. Beyond that, an aging roster , a pitching staff where other than C C Sabathia , there is little to suggest that this pitching staff will be good enough to win AL East outright, and make it to the postseason . From an offensive standpoint , we know that the team will be good enough , and they will be led by Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter , the Yankees captain .

The Yankees’ stiffest opponents within the division could very well be provided by the Baltimore Orioles , rather than either the Tampa Bay Rays or Boston Red Sox. As the ball club seeks to reinvent itself from being a high-spending opulent franchise , the organization now seeks to be frugal. The franchise will have pared down their payroll of $197 million in 2012 , the franchise have in fact increased its payroll for 2013 to approximately $210 million for this season and roughly $3 million behind the free-wheeling Los Angeles Dodgers and their commitment of $213.455 million.

The fact that the Yankees have given up that title , in terms of team salaries , does come as a surprise , but it will not negate the fact that the franchise will this season pay in excess of $60 million in terms of baseball’s “ luxury tax”, which each season , several teams within the league pays as a surcharge , for exceeding $150 million threshold , that kicks in for the ball-clubs above the aforementioned figure. The accumulated figure is then split amongst the franchises deemed as being among the small market teams within the game. The fact that this is the sort of idiocy deemed necessary from an economic standpoint for Bud Selig to suggest that this is the best way to create a level playing field is somewhat akin to trying to make the claim the commissioner is fully cognizant as to irreparable harm caused by abusing steroids . The commissioner , continually remarks that the game has seen marked improvements in how it polices itself while seeking out the offenders within the game who continue to cheat by using banned substances to aid them in their on-field achievements . The mere fact that there are no signs of abatement and former Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling , states that he was asked by the then management staff , headed by Terry Francona , to use banned substances to aid him , in his recuperative measures, while injured . Well , it would further suggest that in part , that either front office executives and team owners simply didn’t give a damn . or the mere fact that the league hierarchy itself , would knowingly turn a blind eye to such an incident. Care to offer up your thoughts on this all ?

From my own perspective , I find Curt Schilling to be a self-serving conceited and absorbed asshole , who remains a publicity seeking whore of the highest order ! As to the player himself and the idiots who believe him to be a candidate worthy of being enshrined in the Hall of Fame , please get a goddamn clue ! Why further taint that already tarnished institution any further ? Beyond that , I have nothing else further to say !

With the latest realignment which now sees the move of Houston Astros from the NL Central to the AL West . I am not so sure that the AL’s newest franchise will fare any better than they did last season , when the team ended with a league worst 55-107 record in 2012. The move to the AL West was seen as a “sweetener “ for Astros’ owner Jim Crane who purchased the franchise for $775 million, from then owner , Drayton McClane . The fact that Bud Selig seeks to once again favors the owners who in part have played their role in ruining a game that generations have come to love . Much of his however, has been led by the sheer ineptitude shown by the commissioner , the league hierarchy and the self-absorbed union and its Executive Director Michael Weiner , who in his short time, in that position , has made the limited achievements of his predecessor, Donald Fehr seem like a landmark for labor issues within the realms of sports , which in reality , and anyone who has been able view Fehr’s legacy , will know, that he has done little for the sport , and as he has recently continued to do so , in a similar role , with the NHLPA (players’ union) and their recent three-month long labor stoppage within the NHL , which saw that body realize a loss of $800 million in revenues during its lockout . Beyond that , what else can anyone say ? The relevance of the NHL ranks up there alongside fecal matter on being placed upon a wall and deemed to be art . Fuck that piece of crap and fuck the NHL ! What a joke of a sport from top to bottom !

Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow , Bo Porter and his coaching staff , I firmly believe will be in for an arduous task to get this team prepared for the regular season ! Even with their preseason foray , I still believe that the Astros will struggle even within this environment , as a precursor to their regular season schedule . The chances of the Houston Astros even coming close to challenging any of the habitants within the AL West , given the all-round proficiency said to be on view , will be remote at best. The team’s best player J D Martinez , will have to go a long way reproducing the form exhibited in 2012 , but clearly the franchise believes that the player to be the face of the organization for years to come . Martinez and his teammates will have a great deal prove if they are to be taken seriously as a legitimate contender within the AL this season .



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With baseball’s schedule now in its infancy by way of the Spring Training Schedule , these games cannot necessarily be seen as a precursor to regular season itself , but it may well provide us with one or two surprises by way of players one could expect to see as being dominant throughout much of 2013. Your thoughts on this and anything else you believe relevant on the subject matter ? Do chime in with your thoughts , and thanks as always for your continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

Picture and slideshow details below.

(1)Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper waits to take batting practice during a spring training baseball workout in Viera, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. The young Nationals’ phenom hopes to reproduce the form shown for the team of last season , as they seek to fortify their position within the National League . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack …

(2) New York Mets non-roster invitee outfielder Marlon Byrd (6) slides in with a run past Washington Nationals catcher Chris Snyder (7) on an RBI single by Jordany Valdespin during the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in a game played between the two NL East residents . AP Photo/Julio Cortez …

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly , left, and Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura talk before an exhibition spring training baseball game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(4) Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham , left, tags Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier out trying to steal second base in the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

(5) Detroit Tigers’ Prince Fielder , right, greets third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) after his home run during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in Lakeland, Fla. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall…

(6) Los Angeles Angels’ Mark Trumbo , left to right, Mike Trout , Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton pose for photographers during photo day before a spring training baseball workout Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia and GM Jerry DiPoto are hoping that the acquisition will provide more potency to the team’s lineup as well as their defensive capability as they hope to mount a more successful challenge within the AL West this season , which sees the arrival of the Houston Astros as the division’s newest arrival . AP Photo/Morry Gash …

(7) Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws during the first inning of a baseball spring training exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall …..

(8) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Clint Barmes , right, celebrates with Gaby Sanchez , left, after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball spring training exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates would defeat the Braves 9-2 . AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall …

(9) Newly acquired Braves’ outfielder BJ Upton is seen here with the team’s GM Frank Wren . The player an unrestricted free agent , was signed to a five-year $72.5 million deal , that sees him joining his younger sibling Justin Upton , who was> acquired in a multi-player trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the off-season by the ambitious Atlanta Braves . The franchise might now posses one of the best outfields in all of Major League Baseball if you care to peruse the team’s depth chart and everyday lineup . AP Photo/ Chris Morrison …

(10) From left to right , Braves’ GM Frank Wren , Justin Upton , center , and the team’s manager , Fredi Gonzalez . With the pairing of the siblings , the Upton brothers will join a select fraternity of brothers to have either played as teammates or as opponents over the course of baseball history . Upton gifted athlete and prodigious talent , will undoubtedly make the Atlanta Braves a great deal better, as a defensive unit and his productivity , by way of his offense should prove to be an added bonus for the team this upcoming season . AP Photo Chris Morrison …..

(11) Houston Astros’ new manager Bo Porter , right, with owner Jim Crane , answers questions during a news conference, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …



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Alchemist ……. ” Hold U Down ”

Looking for a few good men ………

Looking for a few good men

By Tophatal

It’s getting somewhat serious as the MLB off-season reaches its crescendo with a number of teams looking cement their rosters through free agent acquisitions. Nowhere has this been more self-evident than with the upheaval taking place concerning the Los Angeles Angels , with the front office seeking to rid itself of a number of high-priced unproductive players on their roster. Manager, Mike Sciocsia , after what was a tremendously disappointing season , must have been in agreement with the decisions made by GM, Jerry Dipoto , and owner Arte Moreno to make these changes .


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Once a stalwart on the team’s pitching rotation , Ervin Santana was traded to the Kansas City Royals , within the AL Central. And given the issues of that organization over the past few seasons , it would be hard to see how much of an improvement Santana would be able to provide to a team that has labored with so many problems beyond their pitching within the AL . Dan Haren, once a prominent starter with the Angels , was due $15.5 million for the upcoming season , but the decision made by the organization to buyout his contract for a mere $3.5 million, allowing Haren to become an unrestricted free agent. In a turnaround the Angels , then made the decision to trade the pitcher to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Carlos Marmol .

How the Los Angeles Angels seeks to rebuild their roster during this off-season , should give us a clear indication as to the direction they seek to take. Mike Sciocsia’s players were never truly in contention for the AL West throughout much of the season , having fallen by the wayside. Ultimately, that situation would prove fortuitous for the Oakland Athletics, as they prevailed in supplanting the Texas Rangers as the AL West champions in 2012. Far be it for me to suggest, but the Rangers having led the division for one hundred and seventy-eight days of one hundred and eighty-seven days of baseball played over the 162 game schedule. It was simply exacerbating to see the Rangers wilt under pressure as they fell to the A’s in their final game of the season, thereby allowing Bob Melvin and his players to celebrate their first divisional title in several years. That situation, left Rangers’ team President , Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels looking for answers , as to the reasons why the team failed so miserably in 2012. One of the biggest decisions the front office will have to make, concerns the future of outfielder Josh Hamilton. It should come as no surprise that the player will undoubtedly become one of the biggest and most prized marquee free agents during the off-season, should the team choose not to re-sign Hamilton. A long-term deal is being sought by the player , but it appears doubtful that the Texas Rangers would seek to offer the player an eight or ten-year deal , as is being sought. All evidence points to the fact , that anything short of decade long $260 million deal would fall short of what Hamilton seeks. That type of contract would place the player in the upper echelons of being one of the highest-paid players within the game of baseball. It remains to be seen whether or not the Rangers will seek to meet the demands of the player’s agent , whatever those terms might be.

St Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach, Mark McGwire , has informed the organization that he will be leaving the team, vacating his role, to take up a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers.We all knew that the Dodgers’ intent was to spend at will , in order to be competitive , and this was borne out in their commitment to trade for the Adrian Gonzalez , Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett , and thereby committing themselves to $265 million owed to the three players. Dodgers’ managing partner, Mark Walter, Head of Baseball Operations, Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson and GM Ned Colletti are keenly aware as to what the fans’ expectations were this past season and this upcoming season. Don Mattingly , the team’s manager knows , he has a roster built to win now, but having fallen way short in 2012, questions now abound as to what happens next? Trying to figure out as to what McGwire can offer a team , that once they hit their stride are as talented offensively , as any other team within baseball. Personally, I am not so sure what the former slugger can now seek to pursue from this all, other than to suggest that this is simply a progression for Mark McGwire , as he not only seeks redemption for his past indiscretions , but also some semblance of respectability, as he seeks to move up the managerial ladder.

After a disastrous season in 2012, the Boston Red Sox rid themselves of Bobby Valentine , and hired former pitching coach, John Farrell , at the time , manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. To listen to the explanation of GM Ben Cherington explain the reasons behind Valentine’s firing , was akin to listening to a child claim why he failed to listen to a parent ,when told not to disobey a direct order. In truth, much of the blame for this malaise was not solely because of Valentine’s incompetence , but also, the sheer stupidity shown by Red Sox team President , Larry Lucchino , in overriding the general manager’s decision to hire a manager who was simply “ full of air” , rather than managerial acumen.

One of the big decisions by the organization by the Red Sox was to re-sign DH, David Ortiz , to a two-year extension that will pay Ortiz $26 million , with an additional $ 4 million in incentives , making the deal worth $30 million. The slugger , proved to everyone during 2012 , why it is , that he is one of the franchise’s most productive players over the course of the team’s history, putting up stellar numbers , albeit that he missed several games to due to a litany of injury woes. As to whether or not the Red Sox can see Ortiz season highs in 2013 , wherein we will also more productive numbers from Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, along with several of the other seasoned veterans on this roster. There is no denying that beyond a lack productivity in producing runs, it has been the team’s pitching that has been woeful over the past two seasons. Whether or not, Ben Cherington will seek additional pitching strength, by pursuing a top-flight free agent pitcher to complement a rotation led by Jon Lester and Clay Bucholtz , remains to be seen. However, there is the belief that the franchise’s farm system and top prospects will bear a treasure trove of top-notch pitching talent.

We may not have liked what we witnessed during the 2012 World Series , but there is no denying that Pablo Sandoval and his teammates raided and laid the cupboard bare when they marched through the postseason like a panzer movement of sheer precision , showing grittiness and determination. What might be even more astounding is the very fact that the Detroit Tigers, as the AL pennant winners were so listless , on their way to being swept 4-0 in such a lopsided series. Sandoval was named the Series’ MVP , allowing Bruce Bochy , his managerial staff to come away with the franchise’s second World Series’ crown in four seasons. Giants’ owner Bill Neukom and GM Brian Sabean , I believe will simply be prudent and make the decisions the feel best , in bolstering the team’s roster as they have done so often in previous seasons. There is a reason why the San Francisco Giants were dominant this season , and much of that came by of this team’s determination and their “never say die attitude”. Unfortunately, that was not seen the vast majority of teams within baseball over the course of this season.



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What thoughts if any do have concerning the points raised within this article ? And do you believe that the San Francisco Giants can be dominant once again in 2013 ? Or will be there another team either within the AL or NL,that can overcome the current World Series’ champions?


Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal.

(1) Ervin Santana (54) of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after he was replaced by a relied pitcher against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 21, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America …

(2) File-This Feb. 29, 2012 file photo shows pitcher Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to trade Haren to the Chicago Cubs for closer Carlos Marmol . The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday Nov. 2, 2012, because the deal had not been completed yet. AP Photo/Morry Gash ….

(3) Mark McGwire (right) is seen here in the dugout with manager Mike Matheny , far right during a game played at Busch Stadium , St Louis, Missouri during the postseason . McGwire has revealed that he will be leaving his position as the Cardinals’ hitting instructor to take a similar role with the Los Angeles Dodgers . One would assume that the former player , sees this as the next step , in what he hopes will lead to managerial career within the game . AP Photo/ Mark Thompson …

(4) FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2012, file photo, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, right, talks with, from left, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and first base coach Alex Ochoa in the dugout before a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore. Valentine told NBC’s Bob Costas in an interview Tuesday, Oct. 23, that Ortiz spent more time than expected on the disabled list then returned to it after playing one game when the team made a major trade that signaled it would not compete for a postseason berth. AP Photo/Nick Wass …..

(5) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, presents Carl Crawford with his new Dodgers jersey, during a news conference at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. Crawford was acquired by the Dodgers in August from the Boston Red Sox in a trade, along with players Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes ….




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Hot chic pic of the day Laeann Moss .

It’s not a story until the events are told or written ………….

It’s not a story until the events are told or written

By Tophatal

Well the knockout punch was delivered to the New York Yankees’ postseason hopes , as the Detroit Tigers simply went about their task in defeating their opponents 8-1 , in a four-game sweep of the ALCS , and doing so with consummate ease. In the wake of that debacle , the bloodletting begins, and the questions will be asked , as to why the Yankees’ season came to such an abrupt end . Does anyone truly care at this juncture ? Needless to say, a number of excuses will be proffered up by various individuals within the New York Yankees’ organization , without their being any type of gesture to suggest that they were simply outplayed by a far better team , in the Detroit Tigers. Where this now leaves Brian Cashman and the front office executives as they move forward, having surveyed the damage done , remains to be seen.


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One glaring issue, is the lack of real productivity in the postseason from this Yankees’ offense. And specifically in the series against the Detroit Tigers , as the bats of Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira , normally seen as the players who spearhead the team’s offense , as witnessed throughout much of the regular season. However, in the series against the Tigers, those bats were dormant and extremely quiet. Collectively, the salaries of the aforementioned players , is in excess of $75 million . And considering the number of teams within the game, whose payrolls are short of that mark, it begs the question . Are the New York Yankees simply overpaying for the talent mustered together on this roster ?


Losing , then leaving . Bryan Heyza loads the New York Yankees bags into a vehicle after the team lost Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. The Tigers, who won 8-1, move on to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

With Derek Jeter having gone down injured earlier in this pennant championship series , and lost to the ball-club for the remainder of the postseason. Manager, Joe Girardi , must have been looking for one of his more seasoned veterans to step up to the plate and assume the mantle as the inspirational leader of this team. Girardi , himself, has been less than inspiring , and one could sense that a series’ defeat , though not a series’ sweep was something that he looked to avoid. Well for all of the manager’s words of wisdom, neither one of those scenarios have been avoided , as the franchise was inflicted its worst postseason series’ loss in almost two decades . If there is blame to be apportioned , then surely the majority of that blame has to be squarely placed upon the shoulders of Alex Rodriguez. And though the fingers can be pointed elsewhere , towards other members on this roster, it has to be at the third baseman , as he is the most seasoned and experienced player on the team. That being said , it should not be overlooked that he is also that team’s highest paid player. To my mind, Alex Rodriguez has never been a player , or the player to inspire or lead a team , as I don’t believe he possess the demeanor to assume that role. Yet , somehow , he is sometimes to referred to as a player , who can change the face of a game with one swing of the bat or with an outstanding defensive play. Well, that hasn’t been evident with Rodriguez in quite a while , and the $30 million annual salary that he is now being paid does appear to be an exorbitant waste of the Yankees’ resources.

In the off-season , after this embarrassing series’ sweep , it remains to be seen as to what decisions will be made concerning number of players on this Yankees’ roster , whose contracts are set to expire or those who it may well be felt are superfluous to the managerial staff’s needs. A great deal of speculation has been made that Brian Cashman will seek to trade Alex Rodriguez , but I seriously doubt that there will any “major players” or takers willing to assume the remaining $114 million left on his existing contract (not including bonuses). If anything, I firmly believe that Rodriguez will be forcibly challenged to assume more of a leadership role of this team. At best , both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera , have no more than one or two more years of play , left in them. Once their careers have come to a close with this franchise, a post Jeter , Rivera chapter , a new era will begin , and it will be left to Rodriguez to lead this new-look organization into the future as they seek further glory.

Now while the ALCS has come to a quick close, the NLCS continues, as the St Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants seek to earn the right , to play the Detroit Tigers in this season’s World Series. Bruce Bochy’s players now find themselves down 3-1 in this best of seven-game series . Tonight , his team will seek to erase that deficit, and square the series, when the two teams meet at Busch Stadium , in St Louis , Missouri,. On the mound will be Barry Zito of the Giants, facing the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn , in what will be a “must win game” for the San Francisco Giants. Failure to do so , would see Mike Matheny’s Cardinals team take what would appear to be a not an insurmountable lead , but quite possibly leaving the Giants with an uphill battle that would prove difficult to overcome.

Zito will have to pitch the game of his life if the San Francisco Giants are to have any hope of evening this series . As the defending World Series’ champions , Mike Matheny , will seek to become and join a select group of individuals to have won a World Series in their first full season as a manager . The last person to do so was Bob Brenly, as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks , when they won the title in 2001, defeating the New York Yankees , in five games (4-1). It has been a tremendous season for Matheny and the Cardinals , and the very fact that his team brushed aside the heavily favored Washington Nationals , while almost staring at an 0-2 deficit in their NLDS series , does indicate how resolute these Cardinals’ are . No Albert Pujols , no problem, merely insert David Freese , in his place , throw in , Carlos Beltran , Daniel Descalso , Matt Holliday , and Yadier Molina . And you would be hard pressed to prove that the team had skipped a heartbeat, in light of last season’s triumph.

The San Francisco Giants had a tremendous season in 2012 , and for Bruce Bochy , and this franchise whose victory in 2010 brought this famed ball-club their first title in over four decades. In defeating the Texas Rangers, it brought the Giants back to prominence, and placed an even greater spotlight on such young stars as Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum. Posey , it would appear, is one of the leading candidates for the NL MVP award in 2012. As to whether or not these two young players can lead their team back a second appearance in the World Series in two years , remains to be seen. ,

A potential Detroit Tigers’ match-up against either St Louis Cardinals or San Francisco Giants , given the fan-bases of both of these organizations within their locale and on a national basis. It would prove to be a ratings` bonanza for Foxsports Television , who will broadcast the entire World Series’ schedule during prime-time. For Jim Leyland , but in particular for, GM Dave Dombrowski and team owner, Michael Ilitch , their personnel moves made during this season , have borne fruit , and put the Tigers on their path to success this season , and that is with all of the heroic contributions of their 2012 Triple Crown champion, Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers’ fans have waited long and hard for the franchise to redeem themselves and gain their first World Series’ title since 1984. In the ensuing years since that triumph , the baseball god’s have not looked upon this baseball club favorably, and that is in spite of their history and attempts at making a return to the game’s biggest fare.



Picture gallery.

Whatever the outcome of the NLCS , I think that we can all agree , that this season within the game of baseball has been truly a tremendous one . I would certainly like to believe that this postseason will prove to just as entertaining and as thrilling in terms of the suspense and performances provided in 2011 ! What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the 2012 postseason fare ? Your comments are most certainly welcomed , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !


Picture and slideshow details below .

(1) The Detroit Tigers rush the field after the team won the American League championship series against the New York Yankees in Game 4, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. The Tigers, who won 8-1 , move on to the World Series. In “sweeping” 4-0 , the Tigers inflicted the New York Yankees one their most lopsided series’ defeats , in the franchise’s postseason history. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ..

(2) From left, Detroit Tigers’ Gerald Laird, Phil Coke and Jhonny Peralta celebrate after winning Game 4 of the American League championship series 8-1, against the New York Yankees, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. The Tigers move on to the World Series. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(3) Bryan Heyza loads the New York Yankees bags into a vehicle after the team lost Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. The Tigers, who won 8-1, move on to the World Series. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ….

(4) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez watches as he flies out in the sixth inning during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Detroit. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(5) San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy scratches his head in the dugout during the seventh inning of Game 4 of baseball’s National League championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(6) The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after Game 4 of baseball’s National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 8-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(7) San Francisco Giants catcher Hector Sanchez can’t handle the throw as St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter scores from second on a single by Matt Holliday during the fifth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s National League championship series Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky ..,.




MLB news

MLB postseason schedule (2012)

MLB results 18th October 2012

MLB probable starters

This week in baseball history

This day in World Series history

MLB history chronological information


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