Rarefied air and toxicity ….

Rarefied  air and toxicity
The sports’  world is all aghast and with good reason , we have seen the  New England Patriots reign supreme unmasking  the  Atlanta Falcons  as being something of a fraud, even if the   Superbowl  itself was an exciting game . What cannot be denied as evidenced with the coverage of this game,  was the very fact the Falcons  fell apart during the finals eight minutes of regulation play  before the contest went into overtime,  with New England prevailing for their    fifth win   of the Lombardi Trophy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Slide show .

The victory placed Patriots’ head coach  Bill Belichick    and the team’s quarterback    Tom Brady  in   rarefied air , as the only head coach and quarterback in NFL history with five  Superbowl rings to their names. The   NFL remains a year-round league in terms of the ongoing news’ stories to be found and it will be that way throughout much of the off-season as the league now has its free agency period, as well as the upcoming     NFL Draft . The New England Patriots will have the privilege of taking the   last pick     in the  first round    of the Draft, which is befitting the best team in the NFL. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this all Bill Belichick and his      coaching staff    seek to bolster the   current     roster     with a fresh crop of players to add to the Patriots’ arsenal. Break-out players for New England   during   the regular season were     James White  whose heroics in the Superbowl was there for everyone to see. As were the talents of White’s teammates ,who ably abetted Tom Brady as the quarterback would go on to win his fourth Superbowl MVP Award.

This off-season should prove to be interesting for the New England Patriots as well as the other teams around the NFL as they seek to bolster their respective rosters through, free agency , trades and the NFL Draft. It could all prove to be very fruitful for the Patriots based on their past experiences , especially over the last five seasons .

Kyle Shanahan has now become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers , succeeding Chip Kelly , whose firing along with that of GM Trent Baalke did not come as a great surprise to many. However, it was Baalke’s successor which might well have taken everyone off-guard, as team CEO Jed York made the formal announcement that Jon Lynch , former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ player would be hired for the position. Lynch has no NFL front office experience and with Shanahan now assembling his own staff, it will be extremely difficult to see how this franchise can be seen as being in a position to be competitive this upcoming season. This past season was one of sheer incompetence on the part of the coaching staff as well as the players , as the Forty Niners labored both on and off the field of play. Their record was reflective of that very fact with their being no signs of competitiveness at any point during the season. Colin Kaepernick was a mere shell of the player who guided the team to a Superbowl appearance less than five years ago. Kaepernick’s teammate Blaine Gabbert , whom Chip Kelly threw his weight behind as being the team’s starting quarterback at the start of 2016, was equally incompetent in the role. There is no doubt San Francisco will be looking to draft a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft or they will be seeking a free agent passer of proven ability .

Carson Palmer will be returning to the Arizona Cardinals for the 2017 regular season and during his five years with the franchise, Palmer’s leadership has come into question. Under Bruce Arians the Cardinals have become more resolute, but postseason success for this franchise has been lacking. One could seek to blame the veteran quarterback for this or place the blame elsewhere by placing it squarely on the shoulders of the front office , where GM Steve Keim leads the staff. Keim was a replacement to for Rod Graves , but whose tenure as the general manager for the Cardinals, saw highs and lows.

Having failed to make the postseason in 2016, the Arizona Cardinals will have to assess the roster and look at where the improvements will have to be made as to the makeup of this team. If there are deficiencies on the Cardinals then clearly, it starts with the secondary and the fact the defense showed how vulnerable it just happened to be. Larry Fitzgerald the veteran wide receiver on the playing staff, still seeks that elusive Superbowl ring and title as a player. Considered to be one of the best receivers in NFL history , it is hard to believe that during his career , Fitzgerald has never been able to play on the NFL’s biggest stage with an appearance in the “big game ” itself. It was rumored Larry Fitzgerald was considering retirement and were that to take place , then it would leave a considerable gap in the Cardinals’ lineup for next season. It is hard to envisage how the Arizona Cardinals would look without their veteran receiver on the roster, but with the league now being about the here and now , the window of opportunity for this team is now closing fast.

The Atlanta Falcons’ destruction of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game was as embarrassing for the team as it was for not only the NFL, but also for the fans watching. In spite of what Aaron Rodgers might now feel concerning the Packers, this team simply wasn’t prepared for the game. A great deal of the blame must lay squarely on the shoulders of Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff . Green Bay’s front office have already begun to take swift steps to shed players from the current roster , with the first casualties being veterans Sam Shields and James Stark . Yet , I do believe the pairing will not be the only ones to be let go during what is likely to be a turbulent off-season for the Packers !

Aaron Rodgers was among the NFL’s best quarterbacks during the regular season , but his performance and that of his teammates against the Atlanta Falcons left a great deal to be desired as the Green Bay Packers fell to the Falcons , losing by the score of 44-21 .

The fallout from the head coaching dismissals in the NFL was not much of a surprise , but I do believe many of the firings were warranted , as several of the head coaches in question, simply obfuscated their responsibilities , created a toxic atmosphere within their regimes, while also failing to acknowledge their own shortcomings.

Rex Ryan having been dismissed by the Buffalo Bills has continued to behave like a spoiled child whose pacifier was taken away from him , along with his rattle and assorted toys. The fact that he led the Bills into a deeper morass as the season progressed , simply showed that he was completely out of his depth and never capable of leading the players to any type of success envisaged by team owner Terry Pegula or the organization . Buffalo’s downward slide is likely to continue, as the team’s depth is sorely lacking at just about every position imaginable . Many of the players on the Buffalo Bills’ roster are likely to be gone during this off-season , as they seek to pare down their cap , creating enough cap space for some acquisitions beyond their likely draft choices.

Having seen a triumphant New England Patriots’ team win their fifth Superbowl , the fans of the Buffalo Bills can only admire their AFC East rivals from afar wondering what might have been.

Through unconfirmed sources, it is rumored Jeffrey Loria , erstwhile owner of the Miami Marlins reached an agreement to sell the South Florida based MLB franchise for $1.6 billion in what would prove to be the second largest sale of a ball-club in baseball history. Only the $2.156 billion paid by the consortium headed by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Earvin Magic Johnson , for the auction ( sale of then bankrupt) of the Los Angeles Dodgers , has there ever been a large sale or purchase of a professional baseball team. The purchasing consortium for the Marlins is made up several businessmen , but one name which comes up as part of the buying group is that of John Kushner , brother to Presidential adviser Jared Kushner , who just happens to be the son-in-law of Donald Trump . Now one can speculate as to whether or not there might well have some sort of White House influence concerning this impending sale remains to be seen, but given the ongoing incompetence shown the current Presidential administration and the idiocy of Trump’s own special adviser Kellyann Conway , it would be reasonable to assume , nothing as of now, would appear to be off-limits.

It should be noted there was no transparency seen when former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was seen consorting with several members of the Miami Dade County Government and the Miami City Council in the lead-up to both government entities taking a vote on whether or not Marlins Ballpark would be a publicly funded expenditure , when the stadium was built at the cost of over $600 million ,through a mixture of taxes , bond issues , which could end up costing both the city and county as much $3 billion , because of the structured financing of the project.

Only now have the chickens come home to roost , while Jeffrey Loria will walk away with a cool $1 billion in his pocket . There hasn’t been this sort of financial malevolence since Frank McCourt , former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers , who filed for bankruptcy protection of the ball-club in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from his wife. McCourt was said to have used the ball-club and several of its assets as part of several private business deals , all of which contravened the bye-laws of Major League Baseball , but not once did Bud Selig or any member of the league hierarchy seek to formally press charges or seek Frank McCourt’s removal as a franchise owner within baseball while this was all going on . It should be noted Selig and then MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner claimed that the Dodgers were a well-ran organization, with its finances meeting the league’s own stringent financial threshold . Clearly , without an audit having been conducted by MLB , this was all a big fat lie.

Jeffrey Loria presided over one of the two World Series’ triumphs by the Miami Marlins , but it has been several years since their last appearance in the MLB Postseason and during that time , little success has been evident for the organization. Managers have come and gone, as too have several famous players . Yet , some how in the midst of this all, Loria , David Samson and GM Michael Hill have pulled the wool over the eyes of the fans. Since the opening of the Marlins Ballpark and its inaugural game , the venue has never been filled to capacity for a home game. Subject to the MLB approval and the ratification by the owners , this proposed sale could be passed unanimously be the next meeting of the league hierarchy and team owners or with an emergency being called. This latest scenario could provide the MLBPA (Players’ Union) with all the ammunition they need to seek a major increase with regard to baseball’s next collective bargaining agreement (CBA) . Something I firmly believe the owners as well as the league hierarchy will want to negotiate from a position of power, rather than staring down the barrel of a sawn off shot-gun with the union firing their volley of shots across the bow of Major League Baseball.

For years as a team owner Jeffrey Loria plead poverty , but yet he in conjunction with Bud Selig, coerced local politicians to finance a deal so outlandish, it places both the city of Miami and Miami Dade County with a fiscal crisis , which many would determine was actually of their own making. Concessions will have to be sought from the new owners of the Miami Marlins that the team will not be relocated and that all agreements now in place will be adhered to. As to the competitiveness of the team in its present form , a great deal of this will be based on the managerial acumen shown by Don Mattingly and his managerial staff .

The death of Miami Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez shook this Marlins’ organization to its very roots, along with the fan-base of the ball-club. It will be hard to replace a player of Fernandez’s stature and popularity. His teammate , Giancarlo Stanton is expected to be the vocal leader of this team alongside seasoned veteran Ichiro Suzuki . While I believe the Miami Marlins to be a good team on paper , I do not expect them to be a legitimate contender within the NL East , much less a favorite for the NLCS Pennant or the World Series itself. There remains far too many flaws in this lineup and I believe Don Mattingly hasn’t proven himself to be a manager capable of winning the big games that really matter !

The Miami Marlins will begin their Spring Training Schedule with a game against the Houston Astros on March 1st at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas , before embarking on their regular season schedule, where their Opening Day Game of the regular season will be against the Washington Nationals on the 3rd April , 2017.

There has to be something real troubling when a former player of an NBA franchise creates more excitement on a basketball court than the home team itself. This was the case when Charles Oakley was arrested and escorted away from his seat at a recent New York Knicks’ game in Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York . The Knicks were playing the Los Angeles Clippers in a home game against their Western Conference opponents . Oakley got into a verbal altercation with court-side staff and the former NBA star directly a profanity laced tirade against the employees. Knicks’ team owner James Dolan has since issued a statement , advising and informing Charles Oakley he is no longer welcomed to attend games at Madison Square Garden , with or without an apology from the former player.

Clearly, Charles Oakley’s behavior was unwarranted, but the banishment I believe was certainly an over reaction from the owner ! The employees were not physically assaulted by Charles Oakley and in the heat of the moment , his anger got the better of him as the situation got out of hand. Oakley’s reputation is well-known around the NBA and it has been chronicled thousands of times , as his play was a reflection of his image and persona , a bad boy, perhaps one of the toughest players in the league among his contemporaries. Just a pity that sort of grit and determination is not shown by the current crop of Knicks’ players. Their loss to the Clippers has been reflective of what is lacking in the team over the course of this season.

Next up for the New York Knicks will be a contest against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday afternoon and with New York having lost on Friday night in a game against the Denver Nuggets , I have to now ask myself are the Knicks one of the most incompetent teams in Eastern Conference other than Brooklyn Nets when it comes to facing opponents from the opposing conference ? I will continue to say this about Phil Jackson , he may well know how to win championships and to inspire championship caliber players , but when it comes to assembling a competitive roster , he simply knows nothing at all . It has been his ego all along , which has proven to be fallible and the entire reason why the New York Knicks will continue to be a rather mediocre team ! Jackson brings along his own toxic mess and utter stupidity , while his admirers look on from afar, lapping it all up as if it were perfection .

—-

—-

Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual image you can view the picture along with a narrative.

What have been your most recent observations taking place within , the NFL , MLB and the NBA which have given you the cause for greatest concern ?


  Tophatal    …… 


  NFL   news 

NFL standings (divisional) 2016

The 2016 NFL postseason

2017 NFL Draft

NFL cap 2017

NFL free agents
🙂

MLB news

MLB transactions

MLB Spring Training

MLB important dates


NBA news

NBA standings (division) and by conference

NBA standings overall

NBA player stats and rookie stats

A legacy … aspiring to be a legend in baseball

A legacy …… aspiring to be a legend in baseball

With the rash of trade maneuvers which have taken place during the off-season within baseball. One has to wonder how and where the teams in question are able facilitate the deals in terms of their finances . Granted , year in and year out were are repeatedly being told by the league’s hierarchy the game has nothing to worry about with regard to their finances. Yet it is difficult to try and justify how the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last two seasons have spent close to half-a-billion dollars ($500,000,000) in payroll to come up short in the postseason twice in sucession. OK, you could point to the fact the team’s owners are well backed financially, with their being owned outright by Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC , whose parent company just happens to be one of the nation’s largest venture capital firms with asssets exceeding $125 billion ($125,000,000,000). Guggenheim Partners Inc whose lead executives are Todd Boehly and Mark Walter , joined forces with Magic Johnson and Hollywood media mogul Peter Guber to purchase the Dodgers after the franchise was taken out of bankruptcy proceedings in US Federal Bankruptcy Court .

===========================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=======================================================

Slideshow .

Now while this whole chapter, may well have been beneficial for the game of baseball. The fact of the matter cannot be denied, the dealings which took place concerning this,was all clouded in a great deal of secrecy , with very little being made known to the public , in spite of the claims of former commissioner Bud Selig , everything was done above reproach. Having Bud Selig make those claims is tantamount to having a fox in a hen-house taking care of the occupants. Selig during his years has simply made sure this game has been presided over by buffoons , while he and the team owners take pride in the fact , apathy remains among the majority of the game’s fans , the print and television media as well as municipal and state agencies. The ongoing imbalances within the baseball beyond the very fact the game is still unable to rid themselves of steroid cheats , has been the fact Bud Selig and his successor Rob Manfred are either afraid to address the issue or choose not to initiate a hard salary cap which is equitable for all thirty teams within the game .

The Dodgers’ meltdown during this past postseason was enough to suggest Don Mattingly and his managerial staff were ill-prepared, complacent and felt it preordained they would waltz their way through the postseason. Perhaps buoyed by the fact they possessed the best pitcher in baseball during the regular season. Clayton Kershaw was meant to lead the Dodgers through their playoff foray. Unfortunately , for the team , their opponents had other plans and the explanations behind the team’s postseason demise bordered upon being comical to downright ridicule of a group of players, who were simply overconfident and had little respect for their opponents .

Don Mattingly and his team will enter into 2015 with a payroll exceeding $260 million and not exactly in a position to try and justify anyone’s belief they can be considered one of the best teams in the National League this upcoming season. With Andrew Friedman coming to head up the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Baseball Operations , it was believed sweeping changes would be made among the player personnel. Friedman saw a need for the change after the abject failure seen during the past two postseason forays for the Dodgers. It would be foolish to believe the front office would accept these failings and not let their angst be known. Magic Johnson may well be the public face of the Dodgers’ organization from an executive standpoint, but Johnson should not be thought of only in the complexity of being one the NBA’s all-time greats, because he has now become an extremely successful businessman and philanthropist , whose corporation runs a gamut of business entities with revenues exceeding $1.8 billion annually. Profits and success are at the forefront of the Dodgers’ desire within this ownership group by just about any means necessary , but after the vast financial commitment made in 2013 and 2014, it became obvious something was missing from the template engineered by the management staff for the players.

Gone from last season’s roster are Josh Beckett , Matt Kemp, Brian Wilson , Dee Gordon and Dan Haren. The most notable acquisition for the team was short-stop Jimmy Rollins, whose presence could add some stability and leadership , which were sorely lacking and missing from those traits last season. I firmly believe , if Don Mattingly is unable to turn things around for the Dodgers this upcoming season , then the likelihood of his remaining would prove to be a disastrous . This season is likely to prove to be very competitive against baseball’s current World Series’ champions the San Francisco Giants . If the Giants are not seen as prohibitive favorites for the NL Pennant in 2015 , then the dominance seen from this ball-club over the past six seasons can only be viewed as bewildering . Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy will be seeking to replicate the success witnessed last season as the franchise won its third World Series’ crown in the past six years.

There is no denying a ball-club such as the Los Angeles Dodgers with a legacy of such famed stars and Hall of Fame players as as Jim Bunning , Gary Carter , Don Drysdale , Sandy Koufax , Pee Wee Reese , Don Sutton and Jackie Robinson to name but a few . The vestiges of those halcyon days are long-gone with the franchise having not made the World Series in over twenty-five years , it begs the question , if the Dodgers are not able make another serious run in the postseason, will they ever succeed winning another title ? What I believe to be sorely lacking on this current Dodgers’ roster is someone willing to assume the role of a vocal leader both on and off the field of play. If the addition of Jimmy Rollins can provide the trait sought then so be it , but it is astonishing to think with such veterans already on this team as Carl Crawford , Adrian Gonzalez , Juan Uribe , Darwin Barney and AJ Ellis . How is it , that a team with such highly paid stars can continue to fail so miserably ? Is it a lack of managerial acumen from Don Mattingly or quite possibly the simple fact, this ball-club was never that good to begin with ?

An undeniable talent, but either the Miami Marlins are over-stretching in their belief that paying slugger Giancarlo Stanton a whopping $325 million will be a cure for what ails the organization can either be viewed as outrageous or an act pure genius on the part of GM Michael Hill and his fellow front office executives . Stanton’s thirteen-year deal averages out at $25 million annually , but it would still not make him the highest paid player in the game . Yet this is somehow the trait so many front office executives believe they need to exhibit. It’s either pay up, or you are likely to miss the boat . In baseball , few players have been able to live up to those live up to or meet the expectations or even surpass them. Simply ask Alex Rodriguez if he feels ,that his accomplishments within the game have not been tarnished by wantoned misuse of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) ? I am sure New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman must now be ruing the day he re-signed Rodriguez to the second of his two multimillion dollar deals . Twice in a lifetime , two $250 million deals have been “inked” by Alex Rodriguez and not once was an eyelid raised over those contracts , even in the aftermath of the player’s admission of guilt for the use of a banned substance , which begs the question, why is baseball still filled with such apathy and hypocrisy , not just among the fans , but also within the game’s hierarchy ?

One of the decade’s best players found himself a new home during this off-season when Ichiro Suzuki joined the Miami Marlins signing a one-year deal with the hope his presence will prove to an adequate complement to the team’s roster . Ichiro is likely to maintain the productivity we have come to know over the years. The former AL Rookie of The Year and AL MVP is nearing a career milestone as he approaches the 3,000 career hits’ plateau . A first ballot future Hall of Fame inductee , it will be interesting to see how Ichiro will be feted upon surpassing the mark many hitters aspire to reach , but few are seen as legitimate legends of the game. Ichiro Suzkuki is definitely a legend within the Major Leagues and his career bears this out !

This upcoming season, I believe both the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees will live and die by the accomplishments of Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Rodriguez ! Stanton is lucky enough to still be in the infancy of his career, whereas , there is now nothing Rodriguez can now do to remove either the stain or stench associated with his past or his future . Two futile acts of contrition, cannot hide the fact he remains one of the most despised and hated athletes in all of major professional sports , bar none .

I believe it would be fair to suggest, both Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen offer the best hope for baseball, as the faces of the game and its likely saviors, if the sport is to truly prosper and for its long-term future ! Both have been recipients of the AL and NL MVP’s within their respective leagues. Though postseason heroics have been fleeting for Trout and McCutchen , there is no doubt in my mind at some point in their respective futures both are likely to be recipients of a World Series’ ring or a World Series’ MVP for their exploits. Granted , in the past three seasons neither the Los Angeles Angels or the Pittsburgh Pirates have met the expectations sought by their fans or prominent MLB analysts . Respective team owners Arte Moreno and Bob Nutting having willingly spent millions of dollars over the past few seasons painstakingly seeking a championship, but coming up short at various points of the postseason in recent years. This season, will hopefully promise a great deal and bring out the very best in the Angels and the Pirates. Certainly , that will be what respective managers Mike Scioscia and Clint Hurdle hope to obtain from the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates as they enter the first month of the 2015 regular season schedule beginning on the 6th April .

A confident start could go a long way in determining how good or great their respective seasons are likely to be. If both Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen can reproduce the form shown during last season, then it could also aid their teams to the desired success of possibly winning a World Series’ crown. The Los Angeles Angels will begin their season with a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim , California , whereas , the Pirates will play the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio , in the Reds’ home opener .

It is way too early to try and define the careers of Andrew McCutchen and Mike Trout ,but if either can remotely live up to a number of their predecessors with either the Pirates or Angels , then there is absolutely no reason not to believe why they cannot go on to have long and distinguished careers within Major League Baseball . In my honest opinion these two great young players are exactly what the game needs , fresh faced and talented individual players who simply excel, while showing a great deal of leadership skills and maturity !

Safe to say , with the ” stain ” associated with the careers of Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez , perhaps the best player in baseball over the past decade might well have been Albert Pujols whose list of career achievements have been well- chronicled . Since being acquired by the Los Angeles Angels his statistics have ebbed and flowed, but at his very best, there was no denying he was one of the most dominating , intimidating and best hitters in the game , while also showing his power as a home-runs’ hitter .

Many of Pujols’ current peers over past eight years have had their fair share misfortune either through their misdeeds or a decline in productivity. Pujols for his part remains an extremely popular player, with a large fan-base , while becoming a highly paid and lucrative marketing tool for a major corporate sponsors. The Angels’ slugger is one of a rare breed within baseball, whose image allows him such privileges in and outside of the game of baseball. Yet, I do not believe this is what defines Albert Pujols as a player or as a human being, because it has been his humanitarianism and philanthropy that has continued to stand out, throughout much of his decade-plus career. As he earnestly strives to win a third World Series’ title and his first World Series’ MVP Award , the sole individual award he has yet to win over the course of his astonishing career.

The common thought remains, if the Angels are to succeed in their goal to win their first World Series since 2002 when Troy Glaus was the hero of the series in their triumph against the San Francisco Giants. Then Albert Pujols , Josh Hamilton , David Freese , Chris Iannetta , Erick Aybar , CJ Wilson , Jered Weaver and Huston Street will certainly have to play a great deal better , while following the lead of Mike Trout, now considered to be the real leader on this team.

This season might well prove to be the last for Mike Scioscia, if the Los Angeles Angels should fail to make the postseason. Inconsistencies over the years have led to gaps in the Angels’ postseason appearances in recent years. Prior to last season’s playoff foray the Angels’ last such appearance came as a participant in the 2009 ALCS where they would fall to the New York Yankees , who would go on to win the 2009 World Series . Heading into this season there are at least six AL teams teams likely to be considered contenders for this year’s ” Fall Classic ” . The Angels are one of those ball-clubs, I believe can make a credible challenge for the AL Pennant , along with the Oakland A’s , Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers , Seattle Mariners and last season’s ” Cinderella Story ” the Kansas City Royals if they can retain a number of last season’s stars and keep their momentum going in 2015.

The four inductees for the 2015 14 Hall of Fame Class were nominees deserving of the accolade. The careers of Craig Biggio , Randy Johnson , John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez not only warranted serious consideration but these four players at one time or another were dominant at certain points during their respective tenures in the game. While there were other eligible candidates for this year’s class , many of those eligible were closely associated with the “steroid era “ of baseball , something Major League Baseball will never entirely escape in spite of the statements attributed to Bud Selig and the very fact the continued misdeeds of the players at the Major League and Minor League Level still has not brought about an abatement of the players’ use of banned substances (PED’s, anabolic steroids , Stanazolol) and a lack of response and a clear line of unison between the league hierarchy and union (MLBPA) leads me to believe, both parties are only prepared to pay the issue mere ” lip service “ as they see fit , when there appears to be outrage on the part of the fans. Not there has been any type of outrage from within the media , covering the game, in particular by the always hypocritical BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) .

The years in which Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were laying siege to and obliterating the single season home run record , even when there was possible evidence to suggest, not everything was completely above board , the baseball writers were simply lauding the players’ efforts, as if were actually witnessing history in the making. Now we know Bonds’ 2001 mark was not only dubious but even the seven-time NL MVP still refuses to properly address and explain whether or not at any point during his career he knowingly used a banned substance. To my mind Roger Maris’ mark of sixty-one home runs (61) remains the legitimate record in the baseball annals , along with Hank Aaron’s career home runs’ tally of seven hundred and fifty-five (755). Correct me if I’m wrong , even during the era of segregation and the civil rights’ era , was the sport of baseball ever in such disarray , as it was known to be in this and the past decade ? Answers please ? Or should we continue down the merry road of apathy as constituted and led by Bud Selig and now his successor , Rob Manfred ?

=========================================================


========================================================

Picture gallery .

Spring Training is just around the corner , merely less then six weeks away and the plot-lines within the game of baseball are now being written. Like last season we are likely to see a fair share of controversy being played out both on and off the field of play. So what should the fans expect during the first few months of this upcoming season ? Which players and teams do you believe will be taking away the individual and team honors at the end of this regular and postseason (MLB) schedule ?

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below.

====================================================

(1) Matt Kemp, center, , once considered a mainstay within the Los Angeles Dodgers’ franchise but during the off-season he was traded to fellow NL franchise the San Diego Padres . Kemp is seen here with Padres’ front office executives , left GM A J Preller and manager Bud Black. . AP Photo / Gregory Bull …

(2) Mark Walter lead managing partner in the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Getty Images / Mark Powers

(3) Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins . During the off-season the player signed the largest contract in baseball history , a thirteen-year $325 million deal to remain with the franchise . He will be joined by former AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP Ichiro Suzuki , who signed a one-year deal with the NL East ball-club. AP Photo / Paul Ross

(4) Andrew McCutchen , left of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels . These two outfielders are considered to be the two best players in Major League Baseball . Few would consider to the contrary, given their list of accomplishments , since entering the Big Leagues . AP Photo / Mike Potter

(5) Ichiro Suzuki seen here in a New York Yankees’ uniform for whom he played last season , but will enter 2015 as a member of the Miami Marlins, with a view to aiding the team from an offensive and defensive standpoint. Getty Images / Mike Thomas

(6) ) Alex Rodriguez , picture inset , is seen here striking out during a game in 2013 for the New York Yankees . The third basemen sat out the 2014 season for the team , having to serve a league-mandated suspension for violation of the league’s steroid policy . Rodriguez hopes to make a successful return to the ball-club in 2015 with the organization in transition after retirement of Derek Jeter and departure of several players , notably Ichiro Suzuki who joins the Marlins in a one-year deal . Rodriguez’s return also will also place once again among the top-twenty earning players in terms of annual salary and a contract , bearing in mind, he is the only player in MLB history to have signed two deals paying in excess of $240 million for each contract . He is also the top-earning player in league history by way of life-time contract earnings. At this stage of his career , it is not hard to suggest how Alex Rodriguez’s career is likely to be remembered . A two-time league substance abuse offender , dubious career statistics , top career-earnings , the public’s disdain and dislike of him as a player. Getty Images / David Hughes

(7) From left to right , Barry Bonds , Sammy Sosa and Mark McWire . For the decade covering the nineties and the early part of this past decade , the trio were part one of the most inglorious eras in baseball’s history , as they laid siege to the single-season home run record . The figure of sixty-one home runs first held by Roger Maris who hit 61 home runs for the New York Yankees during the 1961 season , is still looked upon and revered as the legitimate record in baseball history . though it was surpassed by Bonds in 2001 with seventy-three home runs. The mark is currently recognized by statisticians for MLB , the Hall of Fame , BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) and Elias Stats Bureau . Barry Bonds also holds the record for career home runs , (762) surpassing the total (755) of Hank Aaron , a Hall of Fame inductee in a game for the San Francisco Giants played against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver , Colorado on 5th September , 2007. . The pitcher who gave up the home run was Ubaldo Jiminez . AP Photo / Emmanuel Ortega

(8) ) Roger Maris who alongside teammate and close friend Mickey Mantle set the season alight in 1961 , where along the way Maris would break the single season home run record with a total of sixty-one home runs . In that same season the New York Yankees would go on to win the World Series defeating the Cincinnati Reds and where Whitey Ford would be named World Series’ MVP . UPI Archives

(9) Baseball legend Hank Aaron and his wife, Billye Aaron , smile as they listen to Hall of Famer Willie Mays reminisce during the dedication of the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum April 14, 2010 at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Aaron’s childhood home, originally built by his father, was moved to the stadium’s “Gaslight Park” and restored in November 2008. The celebration, which included a ribbon-cutting and private reception, was attended by a star-studded roster of Hall of Famers and baseball dignitaries, including Mays, Reggie Jackson , Ozzie Smith , Bob Feller , Rickey Henderson , and Bruce Setter , along with President of Minor League Baseball Pat O’Conner, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Jeff Idelson , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , and Hall of Fame senior director of exhibitions Erik Strohl . Hank Aaron, in many circles, is still recognized as the all-time career home-runs’ king , having surpassed the mark achieved by Babe Ruth of seven-hundred and fourteen . Aaron’s tally (755) has since been superseded by Barry Bonds . The Braves’ icon , now successful businessman with a themed style restaurant chain and several auto dealerships in the greater Atlanta area , is now , one member of a consortium close to buying NBA franchise the Atlanta Hawks , currently the best team in the league , record-wise . Apex Media-wire photo by Carmen K. Sisson

=====================================================

🙂

Tophatal

Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com

Baseball related articles within this site

http://wp.me/poxLH-a67

============================

MLB

MLB news

MLB schedule important dates (2015)

MLB Official Opening Day

MLB transactions

This week in MLB History

MLB projected payroll (2015)

Los Angeles Dodgers’ news

Los Angeles Angels’ news

Miami Marlins news

New York Yankees news

Pittsburgh Pirates’ news

Other news’ related articles to this subject : Report: Alex Rodriguez is training with Barry Bonds (Click on link shown to read in its entirety) Courtesy of USA Today

USA Today

—–

2015 MLB Award winners

AL and NL MVP’s

World Series’ MVP’s

World Series champions

Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York

Hall of Fame inductees

Eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame in 2016

🙂

===

===

If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned polls .

==============================

Former MLB Commissioner Allan ‘Bud’ Selig seen on the dais at National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York .

There’s something about October …

There’s something about October …

At this time of the MLB season , well specifically baseball’s postseason , teams will either flounder or rise to the occasion. . It has clearly been the case in the divisional round of the 2014 MLB postseason , where this year’s surprise team the Kansas City Royals pulled off a stunning come from behind victory to defeat the Oakland Athletics in their AL wildcard game. Within the NL the Pittsburgh Pirates were simply no match for the San Francisco Giants , who under manager Bruce Bochy are seeking their third World Series title in the past six seasons .

===============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===============================================

Slideshow.

The Kansas City Royals having their first postseason appearance in almost three decades, made sure they will be around for the long haul and they are now proving their defeat of the A’s was no mere fluke , as they now have the Los Angeles Angels on the brink of elimination, having jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the best of their five-game series in the ALDS contest between the two teams. As to what this suggests about the Angels , after their spectacular season within the AL West is now open to speculation , as too , the future of Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia , should his team lose this series, having captured the divisional crown as well as the second best record within the AL this season.

The failure of Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees’ to make the postseason as baseball bade farewell to the Yankees’ captain, will not provide the player with the fairy tale ending he might have sought inwinning a sixth World Series crown and ring. Simply put, Joe Girardi and his players were never in any real contention to make a bid for a postseason berth. This Yankees’ team began to age fast as their season wore on and there really no signs of them being competitive as their season came to a close.

Baseball’s most successful franchise might well have had a down year , but their closest rivals by way of popularity , the Los Angeles Dodgers were back in the mix once again with the team having made a successful defense of the NL West divisional crown. Along the way pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett enjoyed a rare feat of throwing no-hitters for the Dodgers during the season. As great as the team is said to be , this postseason the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown their flaws and their NLDS contest seems to be turning into a repeat of their NLCS clash with the St Louis Cardinals in 2013, which ended in a lopsided series’ win for the NL Central based Cardinals .

Too early to speak of the Dodgers’ demise ? Perhaps not , but with the inconsistency now being shown by team, I get the feeling Don Mattingly has become increasingly frustrated by the lack of determination shown by several players in the lineup. The Dodgers’ 10-9 loss to the Cardinals was as troubling to watch as it might have been for the fans in attendance at Dodgers Ballpark on Friday night , was deeply disturbing for a number of reasons. Dodgers’ starting ace Clayton Kershaw came up short in his duel with Adam Wainwright , who this season has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the NL .

When this series resumes on Saturday night, Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be seeking to place his team back on an even keel, squaring the series when he faces Lance Lynn in game two . An 0-2 deficit for the Los Angeles Dodgers would certainly be an uphill task for the team, as they seek to make a second consecutive appearance in the NLCS , with a view to making their first appearance in the World Series since 1988 when they faced the Oakland A’s, defeating them 4-1 .

It would be pretty much safe to say, the Baltimore Orioles have remained underneath the radar throughout much of the season. The expectations were, they would play a role in determining the destination of the AL East crown , but with the failure of the New York Yankees to compete , the Tampa Bay Rays’ customary swoon and the continued excuses offered up by their fans and management. It would appear the Orioles simply had to waltz their way to the title . Needless , to say , the defending champions, the Boston Red Sox’s fall from grace was baffling , but a great deal of their misfortune came down to the complacency of the players and some of the rather idiotic moves made by GM Ben Cherington during the off-season . As for the Toronto Blue Jays , this was a team that was never really in contention , played without passion and whose front office remains jaded and without a clue.

Buck Showalter and the Orioles have to be looked upon as the prohibitive favorites for not only the AL Pennant but also the World Series, itself. Even with a litany of injuries the manager and his staff have found ways for this team win and to win decisively . Chris Davis has come back down to earth after productive productive 2013 which now has to be looked upon dubiously ,after his being suspended for the use of a banned substance not prohibited under baseball’s drug policy. Makes you wonder, with all of the player’s prior denials on his part , after suspicions were raised about his home run total last season , why no protests concerning his suspension, refuting the evidence ? Clearly , a case of another “steroid cheat “ within the game and baseball’s all too lenient policy when it comes to reprimanding a player for deliberately breaking the rules.

The Orioles will be looking to derail the Detroit Tigers’ title hopes and it would appear that Brad Ausmus and his team are quite quite willing to aid their opponents all too quickly with the task, as the Tigers once again show signs of a team too scared to compete in the postseason. With game three taking taking place place on Sunday, Detroit is in need of the win , to at least have a chance of making this series (ALDS) competitive, already down 0-2 and on the brink of elimination. Bud Norris of the Orioles will be looking to place his team one step closer to their goal, when he faces David Price at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan , on Sunday afternoon.

When Major League Baseball makes the announcement of this year’s nominees for their individual regular season awards it will be very interesting to see whether not Matt Williams , manager of the Washington Nationals is one of the contenders for the NL Manager of the Year. Williams has guided his team to the NL East title while the Nationals have posted one of the best records in the game and leading them to their first postseason appearance in several years . Team owner , Ted Lerner and GM Mike Rizzo have not only shown their implicit faith in their manager, but there now seems to be the belief, he is the candidate they had long sought to bring some semblance of competitiveness to the ball-club after years of struggling , since assuming their current persona as the Washington Nationals . Now stars such as Stephen Strasburg , Bryce Harper , Jordan Zimmerman , Denard Span , Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond will get the chance to appear centerstage in a postseason series for their team.

Facing off against the San Francisco Giants in what has proved to be an entertaining series (NLDS) , the two teams played the longest game in postseason series history , battling through eighteen innings , with an end result of the Giants pulling off a narrow and thrilling 2-1 victory . The season series between the two National League teams have been crisp , thoroughly entertaining and might actually play a part in how this postseason match-up ends.

This series will resume with the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals looking to continue their thrills . For the Nationals in particular, game three will prove to be a decider in whether or not they continue in the postseason or pack up their bags and return home. An 0-2 deficit is not the scenario I believe the Nationals might have envisaged , when they entered this series against the Giants and clearly their fans have to be somewhat devastated they are on the brink of being eliminated from the postseason. Doug Fister of the Washington Nationals will face off against Madison Bumgarner whose postseason heroics of a shut-out for the ball-club has Giants’ fans relishing this contest and perhaps seeing their team inch closer to another pennant and World Series’ title .

This postseason has provided the fans will a great deal of excitement and baseball’s hierarchy has to be enjoying their time in spotlight whereas their NFL counterparts are now self consciously struggling with their image and rather mediocre play through the first quarter of the season .

The Fall Classic is the one time the year baseball has every right to shine , with several players being on show seeking to make a name for themselves along with their teams. As this postseason has gotten off to such an exciting start, I am not so sure which team now deem to be favorite to win the World Series. In the AL it appears the Baltimore Orioles are in the driver’s seat and an appearance in the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals doesn’t quite pose the excitement sought, were they perhaps facing the Detroit Tigers or Los Angeles Angeles, but it could provide the fans with the series they dearly deserve. In the NL , Don Mattingly knows this might be his last chance to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to where many of the team’s senior executives believe the franchise rightfully belongs . In the almost two years of by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Magic Johnson , the franchise has spent almost a half billion dollars ($500,000,000) chasing the dream of winning a World Series title . The other nine participants during this postseason , combined, they do not have not the resources to match the financial clout of the Los Angeles’ based franchise.

Baseball’s Achilles’ Heel will remain the lack of leadership shown by Bud Selig , its hierarchy , team owners and his still inherent belief the game can continue along its idle path with, so many economic imbalances , players’ escalating salaries and that of the teams’ payrolls . Yet somehow, it all seems to be forgotten once the month of October comes into being and the postseason begins .

=====================================================

=====================================================

Picture gallery.

How do you see baseball’s postseason panning out and which two teams do you believe will be making an appearance in this year’s World Series ? Take the time to comment on this and anything else you believe relevant to the topic .

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below .
=================================================================

(1) Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer , center, celebrates his two-run home run with Salvador Perez , left, in the 11th inning against the Los Angeles Angels in m Game 2 of baseball’s AL Division Series, in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(2) Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout waits in the dugout before Game 2 against the Kansas City Royals in baseball’s AL Division Series, in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Trout and his teammates have performed miserably in the series against the Royals and are now on the brink of elimination facing an uphill task of staving off their 0-2 deficit. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ..

(3) Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura, left, checks on catcher Salvador Perez after Perez got hit by a pitch during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Game 2 of baseball’s AL Division Series in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. AP Photo/Gregory Bull …

(4) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp celebrates his home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's NL Division Series in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong …

(5) Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria , center, watches as Baltimore Orioles celebrate after Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy , bottom left, scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of Game 2 in baseball’s AL Division Series in Baltimore, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Baltimore won 7-6 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(6) Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph tags out Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera at home plate on Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez’s double in the eighth inning of Game 2 in baseball's AL Division Series in Baltimore, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. Baltimore won 7-6. AP Photo/Nick Wass …

(7) San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt watches his solo home run in the 18th inning of Game 2 of baseball’s NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals in Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Washington. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(8) San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey signals to the umpire he’s safe after sliding into home in the ninth inning of Game 2 of baseball’s NL Division Series at Nationals Park, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Washington. The umpires ruled, after review, that Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, left, made the tag and Posey was out. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

=================================================

🙂

🙂

tophatal …. 2014/10/04

Follow Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com

==========

MLB press releases and news

MLB postseason and overall picture

MLB schedule three days at a glance

MLB results 4th October

MLB results 3rd October

2013 MLB postseason

MLB World Series champions

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history

————————————

Penny-Mathis/

Penny Mathis

We the people, deserve better !

We the people deserve better!

As an avowed fan of the game of baseball , albeit, that I still believe that the MLB hierarchy under the leadership of Bud Selig has been completely incompetent along with the lack of direction and integrity of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) . I do feel that with the recent voting and soon to be induction of into the Hall of Fame of former players Tom Glavine , Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas , quite possibly , the game itself might well be seeing light at the end of the tunnel , in terms of the fans’ acceptance of integrity returning to the sport. It must be said, with the still ongoing spectacle of baseball’s constant battle with the misuse and manipulation of its rules by players, such as Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and the litany of players who in 2013 were suspended by the league hierarchy for their use of a banned substance . The question that has to be asked by the fans, has to be, why the leniency of Bud Selig, when it is clear that the players and the union can simply confound the league and its ongoing incompetency with an appeals’ process, that simply makes a mockery of the system now in place and said to be part of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and Major League Baseball ?

=======================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================

Slideshow.

Baseball has yet to get its finances and house in order, in terms of the ongoing issues that it now faces , yet , the idiocy of Bud Selig ringing another rule change that will allow the use instant replay in 2014, simply addresses an issue that in reality, is meaningless , when the question ought to be, how qualified are the game’s officials and their actual knowledge of the sport they adjudicate ? Now while I do believe that in general, the vast majority of the umpires are quite capable , doubts do come in, when repeatedly , the same officials are making mistakes that in instances , have cost a team a result or that has led to a great deal of controversy, without their being response from Bud Selig’s office on the matter. Managers and players alike, must also bear a certain amount of the responsibility, in such instances and come to a consensus , as to how best address the issue of blown calls and seek to work in conjunction with the officials to deal with the matter succinctly.

Alongside the induction of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas , baseball will also welcome into its hallowed edifice in Cooperstown , New York, are former managers Bobby Cox , Tony La Russa and Joe Torre . That triumvirate of managers, between them have won a combined eight World Series , several AL , NL pennants and are considered to be amongst the finest managers ever to have been involved in the game at the managerial level. Away from it all, it should come as no surprise as to the obvious names, who were overlooked, in terms of the other nominees considered eligible for induction in 2014. Controversial as the names of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens , Mark McGwire , Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa are said to be . The very fact that their names were on the ballot, can either been seen as an affront to the game of baseball or the willingness in part of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) to let its members vote with their conscience, as to whether not these players are worthy of the game’s highest singular distinction , enshrinement and induction into the Hall of Fame.

One of the more seedier issues to come out of the voting for the class of 2014 , in terms of the players to be inducted in baseball’s Hall of Fame, was the very fact that one particular journalist was said to have offered his vote for sale. That journalist is now known to the public , and though Dan Le Batard has stepped forward and categorically stated that he did not sell his vote to Deadspin.com , but gave it to them free , explaining that his intent was to show how flawed the voting system was said to be and that his fellow members could be induced monetarily to sway their votes. Le Batard , is either that much of an idiot , or having been caught in an all too embarrassing situation , is now seeking to extricate himself from an incident of his own doing.

The sports’ website, still insists that they paid a member of the BBWAA for their vote and one now has to question not only that body’s integrity, but also that of Dan Le Batard and his own character , integrity and alleged honesty . As to what this might possibly mean as to his professional career , the columnist and sometime on air personality with cable sport’s network ESPN , may well have to offer up some type of apology for his actions. It is abundantly clear, Le Batard’s actions, were that of a self-ingratiating individual, simply seeking more notoriety, that he might not have gained elsewhere, unless through making some scandalous allegation. Not that , he has never been known to make such claims, yet in reality, the network and his primary employer , the Miami Herald , are unlikely to reprimand the journalist at this moment in time. Speaks volumes, as to the fact, that sports’ journalism and news’ gathering in general , continues to sink even lower levels, than ever before !

With the BBWAA now taking away Dan Le Batard’s rights to participate in any further Hall of Fame voting for nominated candidates . It begs the question , what will the institution itself seek to do , in addressing the issue of players associated in the steroids’ era that wreaked havoc in baseball , while at the same making a number of these players financially secure in their long-term future. The writers within this organization frowned upon these stories once they began to first surface, believing themselves above the fray and simply wanting to report on the events taking place within the game . At the same time , even the on air television personalities took a somewhat similar stance as their counterparts in the print media , perhaps not wanting to upset the apple cart and their paymasters , the MLB hierarchy. Little else needs to be said concerning the altruism of the BBWAA , their hypocrisy and that of the broadcast networks who cover the game of baseball.

The off-season in baseball , brought about the usual movement of players as a number of marquee free agents sought to move elsewhere , not necessarily for competitiveness’ sake, but more for the opportunity to pad their wallets, monetarily. From my own standpoint, I do believe that Robinson Cano’s departure from the New York Yankees for a move cross-country to join the Seattle Mariners , was actually one of idiocy, rather than a decision made prudently ! Cano, through his representatives at RocNation Sports , stated, that he was never given the respect due for a player of his status. Asking for a reputed $300 million multi-year deal , while also having your agent , Jay-z publicly taunting the New York Yankees as to their unwillingness to pay his client , may well have been the ultimate act of portrayal , as viewed by the Yankees’ organization and in particular by Brian Cashman as the general manager of the baseball club. Cano’s career began with the franchise and over the past three seasons, he has been by far , the Yankees’ best offensive weapon.

The Mariners may well feel, that they have obtained a player capable of making them a far more competitive ball-club in 2014, than they were last season , during which they were fell off the map, in terms of their final divisional standing within the AL West . It will be interesting to see whether not Robinson Cano can provide the sort of impact sought , in order for the Seattle Mariners to challenge the likes of the Houston Astros , Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers this upcoming season. The fans will be able to get a first look of the newly revamped Mariners’ roster during their Spring Training ….. schedule and then when the team kicks off their regular season schedule with a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim Stadium , in Anaheim , California on the 1st April , 2014.

No doubt, there was a great deal of disappointment amongst a number of teams last season , who were thought to be legitimate contenders for the World Series . It would be fair to suggest, that even with the late spirited run of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their winning of the NL West, comfortably. The team’s failure in making a deep postseason run and gaining what many felt would be an inevitable World Series’ berth , was all to no avail , as they succumbed to a very lopsided defeat in the NLCS in a 4-2 series’ defeat . The final game of that pennant series simply summed up in many respects how conceited that Dodgers’ team and managerial staff were said to be, as the St Louis Cardinals romped to a 9-0 victory .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers were left to wonder what might have been , Mike Matheny and the Cardinals would prove to be no match for the Boston Red Sox in baseball’s showcase finale for the postseason . John Farrell and the Red Sox, strolled to the franchise’s third World Series’ title in the span of nine years, which would be ball-club’s eighth title overall. For Dodgers’ senior managing partners , Todd Boehly, Mark Walter , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , for all of the money spent assembling a roster of All Stars , under the watchful eye of manager Don Mattingly and his staff . The extraordinary fashion under which that team wilted, either says more to the lack of intestinal fortitude as to the makeup of the team , or the very fact that the players themselves were simply not that concerned and just wanted to rest on their laurels of the regular season. It would be fair to suggest that there will be moves afoot to bolster the roster and undoubtedly an increase in the Dodgers’ already considerable payroll , well above the existing $220 million , as it currently stands .

Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti is under no misconception, as to what is expected of this Dodgers’ team in 2014 . Anything short of a World Series’ title and the fans and pundits in general , will begin to question the mindset of a franchise , still waiting twenty-five years later , after their last triumph in a postseason finale contest.

Say what you will about the New York Yankees , but a postseason without most successful franchise tends to push the ratings down for the a television broadcast of game’s most celebrated event. That being said, the travails of the franchise this past season , have been well chronicled , from the on field woes, to off-field controversies and the ball-club’s inept handling of issues surrounding Alex Rodriguez . The team’s late owner, George Steinbrenner III , must be rolling around in his grave, while viewing the haphazard handling of this fiasco by Hal and Hank Steinbrenner as well as Brian Cashman. As the franchise’s general manager, Cashman has been lauded for a great deal of the Yankees’ success over the past twelve years . Inasmuch, as that may well be the case, this past season , the general manager has shown himself to be completely out of touch on a wide variety of issues concerning the team and the organization in general.

To suggest merely, that the New York Yankees failed miserably in 2013 , would be an understatement. Joe Girardi and the managerial staff , in having to deal with a litany of injuries over the course of the season, but the real issue he faced , was the fact that without team captain Derek Jeter on the field to lead by example , there was simply nothing shown by this team. In the midst of it all, there was Girardi throwing his support behind the beleaguered Rodriguez, whose ongoing litigation case against the league hierarchy (MLB) , also had a the player and his legal representatives seeking to sue the team’s personal physician , but not the ball-club itself .

Alex Rodriguez, has subsequently walked out of the arbitration hearing, covering, his seeking the rescinding of his two-hundred and elven game suspension , rendered by Bud Selig, for what the commissioner believes to be the player’s known association with Biogenesis and that supplement company’s distribution of performance enhancing drugs to several players within the game. Rodriguez , continues to maintain his innocence, calling the league’s case against him a witch-hunt and the gathering of the evidence used against him , as ill-gotten and underhanded. However, under subpoena , Biogenesis ‘ founder Anthony “Tony” Bosch , has continued to maintain that the Yankees’ slugger purchased many of the company’s products knowingly, having them sent to several addresses under assumed aliases. When pressed, to answer those allegations, Alex Rodriguez has proceeded to brush those claims aside and pointing to his legal representatives, Joe Tacopina and David Cornwell to provide the answers. I can only surmise, that the player has no wish to once again be caught in lie , while further embarrassing a ball-club that knows only too well , they have placed themselves in a situation of their own making. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner failed to heed the advice provided to them in April 2013, by the Yankees’ Chief Legal Counsel and SVP Lonn A Trost that the franchise would be well within their right to terminate the player’s contract and the $43 million still owed to the team’s highest paid player . Take into account the third baseman’s lackluster season and you can simply see why this ball-club failed ,miserably in a so many areas of the game .

With a revamped lineup for 2014 , the Yankees will enter the season , with a number of doubts ,concerning its their pitching and whether or not their latest acquisitions, such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann with their sizable deals can gel with what is already an aging roster. Derek Jeter, while providing a great deal of the leadership sought by Joe Girardi, Jeter’s athleticism and productivity is no longer what it once was , when he first came into the game as a short-stop for the ball-club. The team’s season, will be measured by the success they are able to attain , by way of making at least the postseason. In what, is sure to be a tough AL East division, the Yankees might not be even the second or third best team within the division by way of the make-up of their roster, when adjudged against that of the Baltimore Orioles , Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays .

New York’s opening schedule for 2014, will begin with a three game series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, with the opening game on the 1st April, 2014. One down, one hundred and sixty-one to go and therein, lies what is head for the New York Yankees over an arduous schedule .

===========================================


===========================================

Picture gallery .

In 2013 the MLB season reached some great highs and plummeted to some extremely low depths of ineptitude , both on and off the field of play. Yet, it would appear that purists still believe, that there still remains something to be relished about the game of baseball. The MLBPA (union) remains distrustful of the league hierarchy and Bud Selig’s tenure , soon to come to an end, has been an unmitigated disaster as the game’s highest ranking executive . As to the team owners and general managers. Well, their idea of fiscal restraint seems to be very much in line with the continued idiocy of this Presidential administration and both legislative chambers of the US Congress. Unfortunately, with idiots, championing the merits of fiscal hawks, such as Rand Paul , Paul Ryan and Max Baucus . It is easy to understand why the country still remains on a precipice, as it relates to its financial health , along with MLB itself . Surely, the fans and the nation deserves a great deal better from both entities, than we have witnessed at present ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

🙂

Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

————————————————–

(1) Greg Maddux (left), of the Atlanta Braves baseball club and Tom Glavine , right, are two of the former players who will be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame this year . Glavine and Maddux will join a list of illustrious list of Braves’ players enshrined in Cooperstown, New York . The third player joining the pair of Braves’ pitchers will be former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas . @ copyrighted material … Barbara Germano

(2)KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 7: Frank Thomas (35) of the Chicago White Sox bats during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 7, 2004 in Kansas City, Missouri. The White Sox won 4-3 . Photo by Dave Kaup/Getty Images …

(3) From left to right , Tony La Russa , Joe Torre and Bobby Cox . All three former Major League Baseball managers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, as part of the 2014 induction class in Cooperstown , New York . AP Photo/ Gail Marshall …

(4) Dan Le Batard, a columnist with the Miami Herald , an on air radio personality in the local sports’ media market , and sometime analyst and provider of content for sports’ cable broadcast outlet ESPN. Le Batard embroiled in a controversy , in which he acknowledges having given his Hall of Fame vote to website Deadspin.com . As a member of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) the columnist confirmed his actions , but has reiterated that he did so without any monetary gain. Deadspin however , states that money exchanged hands and that the vote took place as part of the 2014 vote process. Getty Images North America/ Paul Harris …

From left to right , Sammy Sosa , Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds . All three players having been on the ballot of the 2014 class of eligible nominees for the Hall of Fame ,but failed to garner enough votes to be inducted into the institution . The trio will once again be up again for the ballot in 2015 along with several other eligible candidates looking to be inducted in Cooperstown . Getty Images / Phil Townsend …..

(6) Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners is seen here with the team’s general manager Jack Zduriencik after the franchise’s high-priced acquisition was formally introduced to the convened press at Safeco Field , in Seattle , Washington ,. Cano signed a ten-year $240 million deal with the Mariners , having been rebuffed by the New York Yankees , in terms of resigning with the New York based franchise. Mark Potter/ UPI Universal ……….

(7) New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi is seen here with GM Brian Cashman as the duo take a moment to peruse a play at the team’s training complex at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida . After a disappointing season in 2013 , the ball-club made several off-season moves seeking to improve the roster . An aging core of players and with the managerial staff not seemingly having enough faith with the players within their farm system . It would appear that the franchise will going to this upcoming season with a group of high-priced staff , as they seek to win their twenty-eighth World Series’ title. Getty Images / Jason Wilson ….

(8) Peter Guber , Stan Kasten , Mark Walter and Magic Johnson of the Los Angles Dodgers . Having purchased the team for a reputed $2.156 billion in 2013 , the ownership group saw the team make the NLCS only for the club fail in their quest to make it to the 2013 World Series . The Dodgers will enter the 2014 season with a high-priced roster and a managerial staff headed by Don Mattingly . Fans and the organization, alike are hoping to succeed in bringing a title back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1988 , when the Dodgers defeated the Oakland A’s in the World Series that year . Getty Images North America / Rafael Fuentes …..
—————————————————

🙂

tophatal …… 2014/01/09

🙂

MLB news

MLB schedule & important dates (2014)

MLB transactions (January 2014) and transactions in December 2013

2013 MLB postseason

This week in MLB history

This date . in MLB history (January 9th)

Eligible candidates for the 2015 Hall of Fame class

A few good men at the right price, its baseball

A few good men at the right price, its baseball

The MLB Winter Meetings came and went, with a number of trades being initiated , with several teams coming away better off than they were last season in some respects , in terms of the makeup of their personnel. One of the biggest acquisitions made, was the signing of former New York Yankees’ first baseman Robinson Cano by the Seattle Mariners to a ten-year $240 million deal . A far cry from the desired $300 million contract that was being bandied about as the compensation package t that analysts said it would take for the Yankees to retain the player. Out of that deal, came what now can be stated as being bar, for other offensive players, by way of the deals now being set.

==============================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


==============================

Slideshow.

The New York Yankees for their part, have made a number of moves sought to bolster what has been an aging roster that was uncompetitive and unproductive for much of last season. New York’s failure to reach the postseason was a further indictment of a number of issues that befell the team in 2013. Injuries may well have plagued the Yankees , but a lack of leadership from anyone on the roster , while Derek Jeter remained on the disabled list further emphasized what was wrong with this team on the whole. Manager Joe Girardi and his staff tried their best to motivate the players, but nothing at all seemed to work. Less we forget also, the franchise still has to deal with the issue of Alex Rodriguez and his long-term future with the organization , as he seeks to have his two-hundred and fourteen game suspension overturned by a special arbitrator appointed by the MLB hierarchy . The fallout from this all, could very well see a new change within the game should Frederic Horowitz rule in the league’s favor in upholding the player’s suspension.

3

MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day-to-day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

Rodriguez and his lawyers, David Cornwell and Joe Tacopina have sought to make this a vendetta that the MLB hierarchy has , in seeking to drive the player out of the game. Alex Rodriguez’s candor in this matter, would suggest, that he has a great deal to hide , beyond the monetary compensation he is likely to lose , were the suspension upheld. Forty-three million dollars is the estimated amount, the player would lose, beyond his now tainted legacy. It has been baseball’s mishandling of the entire “steroids’ issue “ and the apathy shown by a number of the game’s fans , that this issue and the game itself , can no longer be taken seriously on its merits, much less with regard to the integrity of the sport , itself . The vast majority of the players have remained silent , their union simply disingenuous on the matter , and less we forget Bud Selig has continued to act like a buffoon from the very start , which has now led us to the present predicament .

While, I do not begrudge the New York Yankees their immense success over the course of their existence, it should not go without notice , that a great deal of the triumphs attained, were simply availed by way of the vast financial resources and the very fact that the organization has been simply been able to outbid an opponent in order to acquire a player. Repeatedly, we have seen this become the norm , but yet , the fans and league hierarchy ignore that fact and liken it to the cost of doing business . It has probably escaped the notice of MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner , that with more than one-quarter of the league’s thirty teams failing to show an operational profit , unless aided by the luxury tax system, the financial health of baseball would be in dire straits. In reality, the game is teetering on a precipice, with the hierarchy simply failing to address the issue.

Hal Steinbrenner as the lead managing partner of the familial holding company that owns the New York Yankees, has sought to reduce the team’s payroll in recent seasons , but in reality , it has become an act of futility , as GM Brian Cashman has been countenanced to carry on with the capricious spending the organization has been continually known for. One simply has to look at baseball’s payroll and the very fact of the ten highest paid players in the game , three of the players atop of that list, just happen to be on the Yankees’ current roster .

With Jacoby Ellsbury’s defection to the New York Yankees and the signing of a seven-year $153 million deal, questions are being asked, why would they sign a player who in recent years has been more known for his health issues , rather than his on-field performances ? Granted, Ellsbury was a part of the . Boston Red Sox’s World Series winning roster this past season, where his contributions played a part of the franchise’s postseason success. As to whether or not the player can make a solid contribution to the team this upcoming season , in spite of the offensive woes that befell the team for much of 2013, beyond the lack of in-depth pitching, remains to be seen.

The New York Yankees are likely to be competitive in 2014, but I do not believe that they are the best team in the AL East , as the season gets underway . That status will remain with the Boston Red Sox, whose manager John Farrell , proved himself to be the best manager within the division as well as perhaps the most adept in getting the best out of his players, no matter what type of adversity stood in their way. . As New York’s fortunes declined this past season, to the point where it appears that Cashman , the coaching staff and the lead executives seem to have no faith in the farm system , it not only shows how reliant this ball-club is on the revenues derived from its baseball operations , but also of their proprietary cable sports’ broadcast outlet the YES Network . Without the revenues of the programming entity , one seriously doubts that the Yankees could afford to keep up their vast spending on team payroll , without adding to the fact that in the past five years the franchise has paid over to the league hierarchy in excess of $150 million in luxury tax compensation. Baseball’s idea, of taking more out of the hands of the wealthy and simply giving not necessarily to the “needy” as they see fit .

Courtesy of New York Daily News

Yankees slapped with $28 million luxury tax bill for 2013 season

Because the Yankees have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times, they pay at a 50 percent rate on the overage, and their $28,113,945 bill was second only to their $34.1 million payment following the 2005 season. The Yankees are responsible for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all clubs since the penalty began in 2003.

By Mark Fiensand , New York Daily News

No wonder the Yankees want to get their payroll beneath the luxury tax threshold. The Bombers were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Since luxury tax penalties began in 2003, the Yankees have shelled out more than a quarter billion dollars, accounting for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all teams in the majors.

RELATED: ROBERTS AGREES TO 1-YEAR YANKEES DEAL

The Dodgers joined the Yankees as the only teams to blow past the $178 million threshold this season, paying $11.4 million. The Dodgers’ total luxury tax payroll was $243 million — $9 million higher than the Yankees — but they were charged at only 17.5% since they were beneath the threshold in 2012. Having exceeded the threshold for four straight years, the Yankees paid out at a rate of 50%.

Should the Yankees somehow get their payroll beneath the threshold next season — that number rises to $189 million in 2014 — they would reset their tax rate to 17.5% and become eligible for some revenue-sharing refunds.

RELATED: NEW POSTING RULES HAVE YANKS WAITING

According to the AP, the Yankees’ payroll is now $177.7 million with only 15 players signed, and it appears their only hope to stay under $189 million will be a season-long suspension for Alex Rodriguez.

==============================

The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers might well be, two of the biggest disappointments, in terms of their respective performances throughout last season within the AL . Combined payroll for the two teams, exceeded $240 million . General managers Jerry Dipoto and Jon Daniels saw little, by way of a tangible return, with both ball-clubs failing to make the postseason . Within the hierarchy of the Rangers , former team President and a minority stakeholder, Nolan Ryan was ousted from his position by his fellow partners , with Daniels, now being given a greater say, in the day to day running of the franchise. The off-season for the franchise has proved to be eventful , with the team sending every day utility player Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for slugger , Prince Fielder . As to what that may well indicate about the Rangers’ offensive woes last season , begs the question , with Fielder not providing much aid to the Tigers’ own issues in that category, something must be awry with the mindset of Jon Daniels and the organization.

Texas now adds a burdensome contract to its payroll , while simply having not achieved anything of merit by obtaining Prince Fielder, adding to the woes of an under-achieving franchise over the past five seasons. Albeit, that with back to back World Series’ appearances , the outcome with each , was profoundly disturbing in 2010 and 2011 , with the lack of effort from the franchise. . The Texas Rangers may well be lucky enough to actually do something exciting in 2014 , but based on their showing last season , I believe that their fans will be in for more of the same !

Angels’ owner Arte Moreno may well have decided to give Mike Sciocsia one last chance to prove himself as the manager of the team . Yet I felt , that he was extremely close to being fired , in spite of his relationship with the team’s owner and general manager Jerry Dipoto ! This season may well be the last chance for Sciocsia to get it right, albeit , that the fans of the Los Angeles Angels will point to the fact that Albert Pujols was lost to the club for a large part of their season. The lone bright spot for the franchise remains the rising profile of Mike Trout , who now , might just be the best player in the American League , in spite of the achievements of Miguel Cabrera over the last two years.

Mike Sciocsia’s tenure, as one of the longest-serving managers in the Majors has come at quite an expense for an individual , who is well-respected amongst his peers. However, but for the Angels’ lone success , in 2002 , the subsequent years for the ball-club have been very lean. The last postseason appearance for Los Angeles came in 2009 and the team’s foray was extended, until they ran into the New York Yankees in the ALCS , where they succumbed to the New York based franchise in six games , losing 4-2 . The makeup of this Angels’ lineup , built up around the power-hitting of Pujols , Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout, will have to be at its very best , along with a pitching lineup that must be effective and consistent throughout this upcoming season.

The Atlanta Braves proved to be a tremendous disappointment during the postseason , falling by the wayside in the NLDS, as they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their highly bankrolled roster of players . A great regular season during which the Braves laid waste to their divisional rivals within the NL East , with what appears to be the utmost of ease . GM Frank Wren , in seeking to make the Braves competitive this past season, the organization acquired both Upton brothers by way of trades, with Justin Upton leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks to make his way East , to be joined by his elder sibling BJ Upton . Adding that type of offensive firepower , to be alongside Brian McCann , Evan Gattis , Dan Uggla , Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward actually paid dividends during the regular season , but the team’s postseason was heightened by inconsistency alongside what turned out to be an exceptionally poor showing by the pitching lineup in that series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That divisional series’ loss by the Atlanta Braves was simply indicative of what I believe to have been a great deal of complacency on the part of Fredi Gonzalez and his staff. The team, was ill-prepared and there can no excuse for such a lackadaisical approach by the players and coaches . This off-season the team saw the departure of Tim Hudson as a free agent, who has since signed with the San Francisco Giants . Several other players have departed , most notably catcher Brian McCann who signed a multi-year deal with the New York Yankees and filling that role for the Braves will be Evan Gattis. Having also acquired pitcher Gavin Floyd and Ryan Doumit , this will bolster the Braves’ lineup and giving it additional depth in a number of needed positions. However, if the Braves are to not only repeat as NL East champions next season, then there will need to be a great deal more consistency from the pitching staff .

If there is said to be a franchise in need of a World Series’ win, then it would have to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. The acquisition of the franchise for an outrageous figure of $2.156 billion , all countenanced by Bud Selig , gives even greater credence that the game has lost touch with reality. Granted, the Dodgers’ principal owners, Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC, under that of parent company Guggenheim Partners Inc has a great deal of monetary backing ,with assets exceeding $125 billion , and a television deal in conjunction with cable giant Time Warner Inc , reputed to be worth over $ 8 billion over the next two decades. Stakeholders , such as Magic Johnson , Hollywood movie mogul Peter Guber , along senior managing partners Todd S Boehly and Mark Walter are intent on winning that elusive series . The fact that the Dodgers have not won baseball’s biggest prize since 1988 , only adds to the franchise’s allure . A quarter of a century is a long time to wait for one of baseball’s most venerable organizations to simply say we are champions . The expectations were high during 2013, during which the Dodgers’ fans were introduced to rookie sensation Yasiel Puig , who led the baseball franchise on an improbable fifty game stretch , where the team went 42-8 over that period .

The Dodgers’ ignominious failure against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS was as shocking , as it was simply ridiculous , in what was said to be an explosive Dodgers’ offense , that the Cardinals’ pitching simply closed the door on during the series , coming away with an all too easy 4-2 series’ victory . Don Mattingly , was clearly out of his depth , as Mike Matheny and the St Louis headed to their third postseason appearance in the past seven seasons . This off-season Mattingly , Stan Kasten and for Ned Colletti , their biggest priority , remains “inking” pitcher Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal , albeit , that the Cy Young Award winner is likely to be rewarded with the highest arbitration salary, ever given to a starting pitcher in league history. There seems to be some reluctance on the pitcher to accept what may well be the most lucrative contract in baseball history , which is likely to top Alex Rodriguez’s ten-year $275 million compensation package and currently the highest paid pitching contract, being the deal signed by Justin Verlander , which pays him an astonishing $180 million over seven years .

Kershaw and his agent J D Smart are fully aware that the Dodgers will move heaven and earth to get a deal done, at any price, as the pitcher is by far the best starter on the team’s pitching rotation . His amazing season in 2013 , speaks volumes as to his prowess , and over the past two seasons , he has been simply been the best starting pitcher in the game .

If the rumors are to be believed, that the Golden State Warriors` CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and his partners are likely to make an unsolicited bid for the Oakland Athletics. Lew Wolff and GM Billy Beane have not made any formal statements on this latest news concerning the franchise. If the rumors are to be believed, then Lacob’s preemptive strike and $600 million valuation of the franchise might be on the high side . Yet, given the issues that the Athletics are dealing with, and their being no aid from Bud Selig, in assisting the organization in their quest for a new stadium , now seems to be the norm , unless that ball-club just happens to be in a major ad-market .

In the A’s quest for a new ballpark to replacing the aging O Coliseum , it would appear that Alameda County and the state are noncommittal in aiding the franchise. More out of budgetary concerns and their own looming fiscal deficits , it is now time for team owners and the league hierarchy to show their alleged business acumen , instead of this continued asinine rationale that every damn sports’ venue has to publicly funded using taxpayers’ monies . Fans seem oblivious to this all , either through sheer apathy , stupidity or simply the fact that they do not understand or care . Personally, I believe it to be all of the aforementioned , given the idiocy I have witnessed and read in certain comments attributed to alleged knowledgeable fans of the Tampa Bay Rays and their idiotic sentiment that a new ballpark for that franchise ought to be paid for by using public funds. The locale barely supports the Rays, which annually ranks amongst baseball’s least supported thirty franchises, in terms of home attendance and overall support . As to the idiocy, that they are a viable brand in terms of market share for viewers. Consider the market that the Tampa Bay area covers, and that there is barely nothing else to compete with the Rays, in spite of the franchise’s limited success over the last eight years . The same can be said of the Oakland A’s and their continued struggles to compete with a number of the big market teams , but moreover with the likes of a Los Angeles Angels , Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants , in terms of their respective payrolls .

If Lew Wolff is receptive to this proposed bid, then it would mark a changing landscape within baseball , with the A’s following the sale of the Dodgers last season , which came out of that franchise having been placed into bankruptcy reorganization , because of the mismanagement of the ball-club by then owner Frank McCourt . Major League Baseball is now in need of leadership within its upper echelons , by someone who can lead , has an insight of the ever-changing economic landscape , but above all, a leader who actually is not afraid to confront the MLBPA (union) , rather than shying away from confrontation. All of the traits, that have been exhibited by Bud Selig throughout a great deal of his tenure, as the MLB Commissioner.

———————————————-


———————————————

Picture gallery .

Your thoughts on the points raised within this article , and what if anything, do you hope to see come out of the upcoming season within Major League Baseball ? Chime in with your comments on this and anything else you believe to relevant to the subject matter.

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below .
—————————————————

(1) Robinson Cano is formally introduced by the Seattle Mariners during a news conference at Safeco Field in Seattle on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The second baseman is flanked by general manager Jack Zduriencik , left, and manager Lloyd McClendon . Cano having left the New York Yankees as a free agent, signed a ten-year $240 million deal with the Mariners and hopes to lead the franchise to their first postseason appearance since 2001 , where they made it to the ALCS , which resulted in a loss (4-1) to the New York Yankees . Dean Rutz/ MTC ….

(2) From left, New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart , manager Joe Girardi , shortstop Derek Jeter and first baseman Juan Rivera (54) wait out a pitching change after Girardi removed starter Andy Pettitte during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The 38-year-old Jeter hadn’t played the field since breaking his left ankle in the first game of the AL championship series last October. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day to day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

(4) New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman presents Kelsey Ellsbury with flowers as her husband, center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury , right, looks on at his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on December 13, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras negotiated the deal for his client which puts the player almost at the forefront, in terms of the compensation packages paid for center-fielders . Getty Images North America / Maddie Meyer ….

(5) Atlanta Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez is seen here alongside player Justin Upton. The Braves’ preseason acquisition left the field after suffering a mild concussion in a collision with a teammate during a game played against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in Miami, Florida ,. Atlanta would go on to defeat Miami 4-3 in the contest . AP Photo / Christine Monroe ….

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw who was the runner-up in the 2011 Cy Young Award voting ballot , but won the prestigious accolade in 2013 , after a phenomenal year by the pitcher . Now in arbitration , Kershaw is likely to be the largest recipient of the largest offer ever made to a starting pitcher in league history. Meanwhile , the front office of the organization under the authority of Magic Johnson a minority stakeholder in the franchise has informed team President Stan Kasten that a sizable offer should be made to sign the pitcher , in what is likely to be the largest contract offer for a starting pitcher that is likely to top the $180 million contract currently in existence with Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander . AP Photo / Joe Morrison ….

(7) Golden Warriors’ CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , are two of the primary owners of the NBA franchise . Lacob a former senior partner with capital asset management company Kleiner , Perkins , Caufield & Byers LLC , is now said to mulling over whether or not it is feasible to make an unsolicited $600 million bid for the Oakland Athletics . Current A’s owner Lew Wolff has not issued a public statement concerning the issue , who along with GM Billy Beane are part of franchise’s ownership group , with Wolff being a majority stake holder. Getty Images / Paul Woodley …..

(8) Oakland A’s team President Michael Crowley , left , is seen here with Lew Wolff , center and GM Billy Beane . All three individuals have yet to issue a public statement concerning what is said to be an aggressive and audacious $600 million bid for the AL West based baseball franchise . Chronicle / Kristina Koci Hernandez ….

—————————————————
😦

tophatal ….

😉

MLB news and MLB press releases

MLB transactions

This week in MLB history

This date in MLB history December 18th

MLB World Series

MLB Postseason (2013)

MLB World Series’ champions and championships by organizations
🙂 …. 😦

Los Angeles Angels news

Boston Red Sox news

New York Yankees’ news

Oakland Athletics’ news

Texas Rangers news

Feds watching ……………

Feds watching ……….

Well baseball`s season having been encompassed by an ongoing steroids` scandal that now even Bud Selig actually wants no part of , along with the executives who oversee the game, is now looking to wind down its regular season. After a schedule that began on the 31st March 2013 , we are now one hundred and twenty-nine games into the season , with a mere 33 games left before the schedule reaches its finality. Not all of the divisional races are completely known in terms of an outright winner , but it would appear that barring a major catastrophe the Atlanta Braves are likely to be the runaway winners of the NL East . Now not wanting to disparage the other contestants within the division but their challenge to the Braves this season , has bordered on being downright abysmal, if not insulting to the fans of the game.

======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=======================================================================

Slideshow .

At 77-49 , the Atlanta Braves currently possess a fifteen game lead over their closest rival within the division , the Washington Nationals (62-62). With the Philadelphia Phillies having fired manager Charlie Manuel , who has subsequently been replaced by Ryne Sandberg as the ball-club`s interim manager until the end of the season. It remains to be seen, how the team will fare over the remainder of their schedule. Sandberg knows , that this well be the best chance to prove himself to GM Reuben Amaro and the ownership group , that he is a worthy successor to the deposed Manuel . As to the fact, that the team has performed so poorly, with a high-priced roster of overpaid stars , this off-season is likely to be a tumultuous one for this franchise and how they will seek to remedy the issues that have befallen the team. Certainly, Amaro will be looking to off-load a number of the free agents , who the staff will have deemed to be unproductive. In all likelihood , the front office will assess their farm system , promoting from within and pursue not so expensive free agent assignees.

The Phillies will face the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Ballpark, in Philadelphia on Thursday . That game itself, will pit Chad Bettis of the Rockies against the Phillies` Kyle Kendrick . For the Rockies this has been something of an unproductive season , where they are now languishing in third place within the NL West , behind the high-flying Los Angeles Dodgers , leaders of the division followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks .

Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves will take their talents on the road to face the St Louis Cardinals , who are in something of a dog-fight , as they seek to chase down the Pittsburgh Pirates within the NL Central , one of the surprise stories of this MLB season . . Taking the mound for the Braves will be Paul Maholm facing off against Joe Kelly of the Cardinals. This will be one of the more interesting pitching duels of the day within baseball . Atlanta faces something of a minor dilemma with the recent injury to Jason Heyward , with the player being struck on and suffering a broken jaw during a game against the New York Mets at Citi-Field in Flushing , New York. The cause for concern, beyond the player`s return to the team`s DL , was the very fact that in the lead-off spot for the Braves` offense. Heyward had been hitting .364 over his last eleven games for the team along with an on base percentage of .404 and a slugging percentage of .659 , with three home runs and five runs batted in. Yet, the player`s defensive ability was also one of the things that Fredi Gonzalez and his staff had come to rely on during that time-span. The Braves` manager is likely to platoon his playing staff to make up for the loss of Jason Heyward.

Beyond the itinerant stupidity, that we have already seen displayed by baseball`s hierarchy . Is it not enough that we now have to deal with the hypocrisy of the players themselves as it relates to issue steroid abuse within the game ? So much has been made of the recent incident during the game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees , where the Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster struck Yankees` third baseman Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. Yankees` manager Joe Girardi vented his anger, and was removed from the game by the officials . Dempster, was subsequently punished by the league drawing a fine and handed a five-game suspension . Call me naïve , but given the controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez at present , baseball has just taken a step backwards in terms of its action against the pitcher . Albeit , that is being stated that Ryan Dempster has been at the forefront of players speaking out against the use of steroids within the game . To my mind, that has got to be the biggest crock of fecal matter within the game of baseball altogether , much like the idiocy of Matt Kemp`s rather childlike uttering , as it related to the now suspended Ryan Braun . The entire baseball fraternity of players, have remained silent for all too long , and only now are they voicing their displeasure , solely because of the fans` and public`s anger over the issue . As to Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz coming out in support of Rodriguez after Dempster`s actions during the game. Need we be reminded that Ortiz`s name was amongst the one-hundred and four players named in the now infamous `Mitchell Report` of players , who reportedly tested positive for a banned substance ? How soon we all forget , most notably David Ortiz, himself .

As the fourth placed New York Yankees of the AL East seeks to make inroads into the leads held by the Boston Red Sox , Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles ahead of them within the division. It is interesting to note, that beyond the off-field drama that concerns the team , and what is now said to be a lukewarm relationship between GM Brian Cashman and the team`s now unpopular third baseman , Alex Rodriguez . There have been few bright spots to the team`s season, and one of those occasions, came last night . Ichiro Suzuki would add to his already impressive resume` by record by claiming his 4,000 hit in baseball, and granted 1,278 of those hits were recorded playing in the Japanese League (JBL). Yet whichever way you look at it, it is still an astonishing feat by this MLB All Star . Twelve years into what has been one of the great careers in baseball by a Japanese born player , and for any player over the past decade. Ichiro has notched up some incredible feats. His 2722 hits, during his now storied MLB career, places him third amongst active players , only behind Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez , respectively. That figure also places him in fifty-ninth place among the career hits` leaders . Combined however, his 4,000 hits, would only be supplanted by Hall of Fame enshrined Ty Cobb and the . all-time career leader in that specific category , Pete Rose .

The game in which Ichiro Suzuki notched that historic 4,000 hit came against the struggling Toronto Blue Jays , with pitcher R A Dickey , being the player unlucky enough to be part of history . Alfonso Soriano broke open this showdown , but the night obviously belonged to Ichiro , as the team romped to a 4-2 victory over their slumping AL East rivals and further sending the Blue Jays` season into an abyss of sheer mediocrity , from which there now seems absolutely no escape .

New York, is now a mere ½ game behind the third placed Baltimore Orioles within the AL East, but their thoughts must now be firmly placed on the second placed Tampa Bay Rays , who hold a five game lead over the Bronx Bombers . A three game series between these two teams to be played at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida, with the opening salvo taking place on Friday , is sure to be a raucous affair. This might be one of the few times this season where the Rays will actually have a sellout for all three days. And with all three scheduled games due to be televised nationally, this series does promise to be filled with fireworks, as well as undoubtedly , the Rays` fans looking to give Alex Rodriguez a less than salutary welcome at their venue. Taking the mound for the Rays on Friday will be their young pitcher Chris Archer who will face Yankees` starter Hiroki Kuroda . Pitching will be the key to this series , as well dependability from both offenses .

The season series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays have been fairly close affairs this year, with Joe Maddon`s team holding a slight 7-6 edge in their meetings so far in 2013. There are three more scheduled contests between the two dueling divisional rivals that will take place take place during the final month of the regular season , from the 24th to 26th September at Yankee Stadium , in New York City , New York . There is no denying that Joe Girardi and his players know how important this series just happens to be , in spite of all of the off the field issues . Likewise , Joe Maddon , must feel that any kind of misstep that allows the New York Yankees to inch closer to the Rays in the divisional standings as well as the wildcard picture , places and even greater burden upon his team , whose recent record of late, has been a model of inconsistency .

For much of the Rays` season it has been James Loney leading the way , yet there have been some valued contributions from other players on the team . This off-season there is no doubt in my mind that once again for this troubled franchise , it will be a matter of cutting their expenditure to meet their needs . A patron of my site, who is an avid supporter of the Rays` organization points to the fact that the ball-club is a profitable entity. Yet what he continues to overlook is the very fact that the Tampa Bay Rays would not be a profitable concern, were it not for the fact the organization is continually reliant upon baseball`s hierarchy to provide them with an assist by way of the luxury tax. For GM Andrew Friedman , who as been able to work wonders on almost a shoestring budget in terms of the team payroll and being able to acquire players who have proven to be productive, gives credence to his acumen as one of the better general managers within Major League Baseball. I truly believe that both Friedman and manager Joe Maddon are the most valuable assets within the Rays` organization , bar none ! .

The recalcitrant shown by senior managing partner , Stuart Sternberg is now beginning to grow thin along with his continued whining and the most ridiculous of statements that can be attributed to him directly , Beyond knowing that he will never have the full support of Bud Selig, in aiding the franchise to obtaining a new ballpark . Fans in recent weeks have listened to Sternberg readily admit, that teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees having large payrolls , is actually good for the business of baseball . Now unless Stuart Sternberg has not been taking note as of late, at least one-quarter of the teams within the game continue to struggle from a financial standpoint , with many in a similar position if having to rely on the good graces of league to provide them with an assist to actually stay afloat . All this, from an individual, who is said to have made is fortune in the field of the commodities` market as a managing partner of a brokerage firm ?

I firmly believe that the vast majority of the owners within baseball are not completely in touch with reality, very much in a similar vein as Bud Selig remains in the dark , as to real issues that have brought down the game of baseball, where it has now become a complete laughing-stock for all of the wrong reasons ! If the commissioner now believes that his latest edict of instant replay to be initiated in 2014, is the best that he can now offer, while the issue of steroids within baseball runs amok at not only the Major League Level, but also remains a troubling issue in the Minors , then clearly , it is now time baseball`s Board of Governors to start considering their options for a noteworthy successor to the incumbent commissioner . It would be in their best interest to look completely outside of the game for someone with fresh and progressive ideas, rather than someone who is simply willing to tow the line of a group of owners, whose only concerns seems to be greed and offering the fans a somewhat mediocre on-field product .

While Bud Selig continues at large to run around like a headless chicken , it also troubling to note that once again , it has been left to the US Justice Department to try and rid the game of individuals such as Doctor Anthony Galea , Victor Conte and Anthony Bosch. Unfortunately, even after their eventual demise, be it through their imprisonment or simply being exposed as a fraud. There is likely to be someone else to take their place, with the MLB hierarchy simply sowing no vigilance as to the impending and growing dangers within their midst . Baseball has now become so damn incompetent , mirroring what we continue to witness each day with the federal government and their own incompetency, there. Feds watching and not much is really being done at the end of the day !

==========================================================================

==========================================================================

Picture gallery .

By all means leave a comment as to your thoughts on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site, as it greatly appreciated !

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .

========================================================================

(1) Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton , second from right, is congratulated by pitching coach Roger McDowell , left, and manager Fredi Gonzalez , second from left, as he is followed into the dugout by Paul Maholm , right, after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals would defeat the Braves 6-2 . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(2) St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(3) Philadelphia Phillies’ Michael Young , left, is cheered by teammate Carlos Ruiz after making the game-winning run on a hit by Domonic Brown during the ninth inning of a baseball game to defeat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 , Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson ….

(4) The Philadelphia Phillies’ new manager, Ryne Sandberg, is greeted by Chase Utley, right, before the start of action against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, August 16, 2013. RON CORTES, MCT ….

(5) New York Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki, of Japan, follows through on a single for his 4,000th career hit in Japan and the major leagues, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(6) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez tosses his helmet after he was called out at first for the third out in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runners on-base in a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(7) FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2012 file photo, Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun speaks during a news conference at spring training baseball in Phoenix. Braun stood on a spring training field and proclaimed he was innocent of using banned testosterone. Braun has finally admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs during his NL MVP season of 2011 . The suspended Milwaukee slugger said in a statement released Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, by the Brewers that he took a cream and a lozenge containing banned substances while rehabilitating an injury. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong …

(8) BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 21: Adam Jones (10) of the Baltimore Orioles is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 21, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Orioles won, 4-2 . Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images …

(9) BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 21: Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) of the Tampa Bay Rays is relieved in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 21, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images …

(10) ST. PETERSBURG – AUGUST 13: Infielders (L – R) Yunel Escobar (11) and James Loney (21) of the Tampa Bay Rays relax during a pitching change against the Seattle Mariners during the game at Tropicana Field on August 13, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(11) From left to right, Tampa Bay Rays` managing partner Stuart Sternberg , Matthew Silverman , GM Andrew Friedman and the team`s manager Joe Maddon. The executives and manager were pictured at Tropicana Field in 2008, when the team won the AL pennant and were the league`s representatives in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies . They would subsequently lose the series in a lopsided fashion 4-1 . This off-season the managing partners will face some tough questions by way of the team`s payroll and whether or not to reduce or increase it, dependent upon the resources available . The organization still seeks help from Bud Selig`s office in seeking a new venue , and the commissioner has been reluctant to help the franchise. Further exacerbating the situation , has been Bud Selig`s repudiating remarks, calling the team`s owners unambitious and the local municipalities uncompromising . Courtesy of Tampa Bay Times/ Keith Connolly …..

————————————————————————–

😉

=========================

tophatal ………….. 08/22/2013

—————————————–

MLB news and news from around the league

MLB archived stories

MLB schedule

MLB probable pitchers

MLB results 21st August

MLB schedule important dates

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB standings one year ago today and wildcard standings

MLB results one year ago today

MLB probable pitchers (22nd August 2012)

😉

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history

=======

Atlanta Braves` news

New York Yankees` news

Tampa Bay Rays news

=========================================================

2 Chainz … feat`g Pharrell ………. `Feds watching`

People who live in glass houses

People who live in glass houses

People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones . Well, I do not live in a glass house , but I am going to throw a rock at this issue . Major League Baseball and its hierarchy led by Commissioner Bud Selig , have now drawn the ire of the fans, with many showing their disgust in the way that the commissioner has handled the latest controversy to sully the ongoing image of baseball . Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees remains an obstacle in how many now view the game and its legitimacy. Of the thirteen players named in baseball`s case, embroiling them in the Biogenesis ` scandal` . It is Rodriguez, who remains the lone holdout, in not wishing to accept a suspension for his alleged involvement violating the league`s performance enhancing drug policy. The player continues to plead his innocence, of all of the allegations made against him. Meanwhile, the Yankees` organization , obviously embarrassed, remain at a loss as how best to resolve the matter, while not seeking add to their financial burden concerning the now beleaguered third baseman .

=======================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=======================================================================

Slideshow .

In the latest turn of events Alex Rodriguez has hired one of New York city`s most prominent criminal defense attorneys , Joe Tacopina , to be a part of his legal defense team to defend him in his upcoming appeal , which will be a tribunal appeal held in front of an independent arbitrator. Now while this is not a criminal trial , each side will be allowed to present their case to the arbitrator , whose decision will be final and binding . Rodriguez, is unlikely to take the stand in his defense, with his attorneys presenting their case, on behalf of their client. Tony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis will be the main witness on behalf of baseball (MLB) in the presentation of their case against the player.

Now dependent upon what you might read into the addition of Joe Tacopina to Rodriguez`s legal defense arsenal. The presumption of guilt, must be weighing heavily against the player , in which he has now added a criminal defense attorney to an already heavy-hitting legal team made up of several high-profiled litigators. . At stake, is not only Alex Rodriguez`s livelihood, but also, his very future within the game. If the league`s case is upheld , then in all likelihood Rodriguez`s career in baseball would most certainly come to an abrupt end . There is no way that any team within the game is likely to sign the player, were he made to sit out the entire 2014 baseball season, as well several games into 2015. Two hundred and eleven games, were meant to be the sum total of the player`s suspension, that would cost him in excess of $36.5 million in lost income, by way of his salary over the time frame in question . Sitting out an entire year and then seeking to make a return adds insult to injury given the fact that Frederic Horowitz , the adjudicator presiding over the case sees Alex Rodriguez`s act as one of premeditation as well , as his ongoing deceit.

As the game`s highest paid player , Alex Rodriguez has been lucky enough to have signed two multi-year deals, paying him on each occasion in excess of $250 million . The two teams involved in both of these transactions were the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers . This season, it must be said, that the Rangers do seem to be faring a great deal better than their AL East counterparts. And though as of late , with Alfonso Soriano is having exceptional two-game stretch , where he has been more productive for the New York Yankees , than he was, in his previous fifteen games for the Chicago Cubs , from whom he was acquired earlier on this month . Rodriguez is trying to up the ante , in terms of his value to the Yankees, as he seeks to resume what has been an extremely controversial and troubled career over the nine years .

In March of 2010 , Alex Rodriguez admitted his use of performance enhancing drugs, after years of denial to the press and MLB hierarchy alike. The fact that since that admission of guilt, the player`s name has been twice associated with the use of a prohibitive and banned substance , but not until 2013 , has Bud Selig seen fit to take direction action against the player , in spite of the mounting evidence and his continued denials over that time. What has also been very troubling during this whole comical saga mishandled by Major League Baseball, has been the very fact that the commissioner did not seek to expedite a speedy tribunal hearing. Instead, it has been Rodriguez seeking the input of the MLBPA (union) , who having filed the player`s appeal , will also assist him in his defense.

I get the feeling that the Players` Union, seems to be more concerned with their members, than it is for the purity of the game . In our midst at present, I do believe that we now have the most despised player within the game of baseball ! Rodriguez , may well seek to use whatever excuse, to placate himself from another calculated misstep , that has now seen him fall from grace for a second time within four years. Major League Baseball, for its part , allows the player continue with his career pending the appeal process. If the player is found guilty , then the question becomes, results obtained by the New York Yankees during the formal announcement of the player`s suspension up until the time of arbitrator`s verdict , will they be allowed to stand , if it has somehow cost a potential AL wildcard aspirant a chance of making the postseason ? Those opponents should have every right to feel aggrieved that Alex Rodriguez has been allowed to play.

A preliminary appeal date for Alex Rodriguez` hearing has been not been set , and all likelihood the appeal`s process is unlikely to begin until after the end of the regular season and quite possibly not until after this year`s World Series. Very much in line with what the player no doubt set out to achieve in getting a chance to play in the postseason and being able to contribute to the Yankees` endeavors ,should the team actually make it that far. The Yankees` third baseman , has tried to set himself apart from many of his peers. As a teammate , who is always willing to help the younger members of the team and assist them in any way possible. Yet, the facts do not seem to bear this out , and if the rumors are to believed , his relationships with a number of Yankees` players is said to be strained and often lukewarm. Clearly the relationship between Alex Rodriguez and general manager Brian Cashman must now be at an all-time low . The most recent dust-up between the two, led to an unsavory incident that made the sports` pages of every major newspaper in New York city , with the player being made the villain of the piece, and being castigated by many of the journalists and op-ed contributors, as well as by many of the sports` fans, who sought weigh in with their own opinion of the latest scandal to hit the New York Yankees` organization , further tarnishing its image.

Courtesy of CBS Sports.com

Weiner: A-Rod’s appeal won’t be done until season is over

By Dayn Perry, Baseball Writer

More A-Rod: A-Rod, 12 others suspended | Heyman: A-Rod to appeal | Impact on Yanks

As noted, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez intends to appeal his 211-game suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, and he’ll remain on the active roster and eligible to play until his appeal is heard and ruled upon.

And that brings us to this comment from MLBPA head Michael Weiner :

There’s a very clear implication here, and the implication is that A-Rod will play the entire remainder of the 2013 season. That’s significant, of course, because the Yankees are in the playoff race, and A-Rod, even at age 38 and with two surgically repaired hips, has the potential to give them a substantial upgrade at third base.

As CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman noted earlier on Monday, the time-frame of the appeals process is as follows:

The evidence is said to suggest Rodriguez bought or used steroids in 2010, ’11 and ’12. However, all of it will be heard at a hearing certainly within 20 days; the JDA actually calls for the “panel to convene a hearing as soon as practicable and, absent good cause show, no later than 10 days after grievance is filed.” With only one case presumably to be heard, perhaps the hearing could be expedited.

Baseball’s arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz, will then have 25 days to render a verdict.

And by the sounds of things, you can certainly expect A-Rod’s appeal to be a vigorous one. First, here’s A-Rod’s official statement:

“I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight. I want to thank my family, friends and fans who have stood by my side through all this.”

And now here’s Weiner’s:

“We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously. We must revisit the JDA’s confidentiality provisions and consider implementing stricter rules for any breach.”

And finally, A-Rod’s attorney, David Cornwell :

“It is regrettable that the Commissioner’s office has taken this unprecedented action. Major League Baseball has gone well beyond the authority granted to its Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement. Consequently, we will appeal the discipline and pursue all legal remedies available to Alex.”

For the time being, get used to seeing A-Rod in the Yankee lineup.

===================================================

==================================================

.

At 62-58 , currently lying fourth within the within the AL East , the New York Yankees are nine games behind division leaders the Boston Red Sox (72-50) and a . mere six games behind the two leading wildcard seeking candidates within the AL, who are the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A`s . Yet the ball-club would also have to leapfrog the other three teams also seeking one of the two available berths. And given the play of the Baltimore Orioles , Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals , this could prove to be too tall a task to ask of the New York Yankees. And that is in spite of the latest chain of events concerning the inspired play of Alfonso Soriano. . On Thursday, in the final game of their trilogy against the Los Angeles Angels , New York would become unglued , going down in an 8-4 loss , in a game marked by a lack of consistent pitching and the sudden silence of the Yankees` offense in terms run production ,albeit that the team collected fifteen hits in the defeat .

With a three game series , set to begin on Friday, against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park , in Boston, the New York Yankees will be looking to old rivalries , while seeking close the gap on the AL East divisional leaders. Taking the mound for the Yankees will be Andy Pettite (7-9,ERA 4.62) against Felix Doubront (8-5, ERA 3.66). The New York Yankees do need to win this series, if they are to have any hope of narrowing the margin between themselves and the teams ahead of them in the wildcard standings. I do not believe that the divisional title is within their grasp and with the Orioles and Rays seemingly with a tight grip on their places within the AL East . It now becomes game, of which team is now liable to crack under pressure , as we approach the final month of the regular season schedule .

With the career of Derek Jeter now winding down , the very public face of this Yankees` franchise will now become a vacuum . Certainly, Alex Rodriguez cannot fill that role , albeit that he was looked upon by team`s owners as being the individual to become the heir-apparent to Jeter in that role . Add in the fact that if Rodriguez while an active player on the roster were to break the all-time career home run record , of which he now leads all active players in that specific category . It would simply add one more feather in the cap of baseball`s most illustrious franchise . That now seems to be something of a remote possibility and if anything, a feat that would be looked upon rather dubiously , dubiously, given that the current holder of baseball`s most heralded record remains a pariah within the game.

Barry Bonds` departure from baseball was looked upon as a blessing and a curse , because a Pandora`s Box was opened up to a seedier side of the game , that not even Bud Selig can now close with any measure of success. Any thought that the game of baseball has been able to clean up its image in terms of two tainted decades of rampant cheating, can now firmly be placed alongside the Black Sox scandal as one of the most self-destructive periods and things to have happened in the game`s history. The remnants of the Biogenesis debacle will remain with baseball for years to come and will not be easily forgotten, because of the deceit , and depth of depravity shown by the players embroiled in this controversial chapter of baseball history . Revisionists will seek to rewrite this episode, as being something of a faded memory. Yet, records will show how rampant an epidemic, the use of performance enhancing drugs had become, along with the names associated with the scandal .

Robinson Cano remains a fan favorite amongst the New York Yankees` fans , and with very good reason . The player embodies what the franchise is said to be about, in terms of the players steeped in tradition long associated with the history of ball-club. However, with Cano set to become a free agent at the end of this season , there now seems to doubts setting in, as to whether or not he will remain with the only organization he has ever played for in the Big Leagues. The six-year , $57 million deal, signed by Robinson Cano in 2008, comes to an end this season. There now seems to be a growing reluctance by Brian Cashman to sign the player to a multi-year deal that would most certainly make him amongst a the highest paid players on the New York Yankees` roster. Now represented by RocNation Sports , a company founded by rapper and entrepreneur Jay-z in conjunction with CAA Sports . Cano is the highest profiled athlete signed to the artist`s fledgling sports management company, and now looking g to make inroads in all four of the major professional team sports, as well pursuing acquiring fighters within the UFC as well as boxing. The rapper also known as Sean Carter , would like nothing better than to have his client sign a deal that would not leave an imprint of his success in this new endeavor , but also garner further attention for RocNation Sports, with the hope of luring other dissatisfied athletes to his company .

The New York Yankees certainly do need Robinson Cano , with an injury riddled and an aging roster, no longer what it once was. Losing Cano to free agency would be a devastating blow for the organization. A career . 308 hitter , Robinson Cano and his representatives know that there would be a willing number of suitors looking to pay for his unique services. It would not be out of the realm of possibility that the player could sign with another team willing to acquire him at the right price . With the vast resources available to the New York Yankees , a decision will have to be made quickly, during the off-season . Because there is no doubt in mind, that Jay-Z will have begun to shop around his client`s services the moment he becomes an unrestricted free agent. A seven or ten-year contract, for no less an asking price of between $220 million to $245 million, does not seem out of the question or truly exorbitant, given the payrolls of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, respectively. Yet, it has been baseball`s unwillingness to deal with its financial imbalances , that now seems to be leading it even closer to a precipice , where in due course, it will undoubtedly take that foreseen plunge over the edge .

====================================================================


====================================================================

In light of what you have read in this article, do you believe that any decision rendered by the arbitrator presiding over Alex Rodriguez`s appeal will be the right verdict ? Or are you of the opinion that baseball`s continued failure to be proactive and have more even more oversight in the monitoring and testing of the players for performance has been a monumental and miserable failure , even with the advent of this latest scandal ? Should the New York Yankees miss the postseason , who should bear the brunt of the responsibility for the team`s failure this season , Alex Rodriguez , Joe Girardi or Brian Cashman ? Finally, were Robinson Cano to leave the Yankees` organization as an unrestricted free agent, would it matter at all to you where he ultimately landed ?

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
==================================================================================

(1) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in New York.. In another turn of events , it is being claimed that the player or a member from his inner circle leaked information that implicated both Ryan Braun and his Yankees` teammate Francisco Cervelli in the Biogenesis scandal . The claims are made in a soon to be seen episode of the CBS news magazine program ` 60 Minutes ` but was first revealed in print by Yahoo Sports . AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(2) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig speaks during a news conference following baseball meetings at the Otesaga Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Cooperstown, N.Y. AP Photo/Mike Groll …

(3) New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart (19) congratulates left fielder Alfonso Soriano after the Yankees’ 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in a baseball game , Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in New York. Soriano had seven RBIs in the game. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(4) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig checks his watch before a news conference following baseball meetings at the Otesaga Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz stands at right. With the league hierarchy and owners coming to an agreement that instant replay will now become more widely used within the game in 2014 , it now remains to be seen how and when the hierarchy, will also reach a compromise, as to a more stringent form of testing, for performance enhancing drugs with even more oversight. The commissioner at present, seems noncommittal on that lone issue , still insisting that baseball does have the most stringent testing protocols of the four major professional team sports . AP Photo/Mike Groll ….

(5) Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina shows a video as address the jurors during closing arguments in the fatal boat crash trial. Anthony DiGilio the boater accused of killing another boater and injuring two others in on trial in Toms River. DiGilio, a 33-year-old construction worker and electrician, is accused of speeding and then fleeing the scene of the accident. Charged with one count of vehicular homicide and two counts of death by vessel, DiGilio faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Friday April 19, 2013 . Patti Sapone/The Star-Ledger ….

(6) Robinson Cano , left, of the New York Yankees is seen here signing an agreement with rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z , founder of RocNation Sports , The full consultancy and sports` management company now represents the player after he fired his former agent Scott Boras . In recent months the entrepreneur and businessman has been busy in building his stable of sports` clients, having added the WNBA`s Skylar Diggins , Geno Smith , quarterback for the New York Jets and Seth Jones of the NHL`s Nashville Predators . Getty Images / Aaron Curry ….
=================================================================================

😉

tophatal ……..

================================

MLB news

MLB schedule

MLB probable starting pitchers

MLB results 14th August

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB transactions

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history

New York Yankees news

==============

Wendy Fiore . Always seeking to make your day feel a great deal better ..

When good men fail to act or take action , then evil will always prevail ….

When good men fail to act or take action, then evil will always prevail ….

It should come as no surprise that Alex Rodriguez has filed a grievance against the MLB hierarchy through the MLBPA (Players` Union) in seeking to have his suspension overturned, with his appeal going in front of an independent arbitrator . This matter further prolongs what has already been a painful episode for the game of baseball . Meanwhile, fans are offering either the most reasonable of solutions or making some of the most asinine statements possible . Even the most anal retentive within this domain are offering up solution, as why not simply let the players carry on using whatever illicit substances they want . And it is for this lone reason, why I believe this country should no longer get the respect, it simply feels it deserves from the outside world ! When you have that sort of unintelligent and asinine reasoning being made as an argument , it shows a complete lack of understanding of the situation and furthermore, it shows ignorance and stupidity . Hell , the country simply does not deserve anything, by way of respect from the outside world, given its present economic climate and some might rightfully agree , a government and an administration , simply devoid of intelligence and any real leadership .

======================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=====================================================

Sideshow .

Rodriguez`s appeal will be presided over by an independent arbitrator, whose decision will be final . From my own perspective , I believe that the MLB hierarchy has handled this whole matter with the aptitude and incompetency of an impaired driver behind the wheel of a vehicle careening down a highway at a high rate of speed, that is about to plow into a group of innocent bystanders. With a pending appeal process, Alex Rodriguez will be allowed to play for the beleaguered New York Yankees , who now find themselves in fourth place within the AL East and falling further behind divisional rivals the Boston Red Sox , Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles . The third baseman`s stats , since his return this season from hip surgery , one could suggest, has been anemic . Not that any assistance provided by the player would not be welcomed,given the plight of this team under Joe Girardi and his staff this season .

The Yankees` next game will be a home series (three games) at Yankee Stadium , starting on Friday, against the Detroit Tigers of the AL Central . On the mound for the home team will be Ivan Nova , as he faces off against Rick Porcello of the Tigers. As to how the home team fans will show their approval of the beleaguered Rodriguez remains to be seen , but if it is anything like the cat-calls and boos received , in the somewhat hostile environment of US Cellular Field in Chicago against the Chicago White Sox , when the Yankees last played . Then, Alex Rodriguez could very well be in for a torrid time in-front of his hometown fans.

As simplistic as this might sound, with all of the criticism justifiably leveled at Bud Selig. My question remains , if the commissioner is due any criticism , then has none been aimed towards the team owners , players not participants in the steroid cheating , who have remained silent, but most of all the members of the mainstream press who now seek to make themselves out as saviors of the game ? MLB broadcast partner ESPN is perhaps, one of the most guilty members of the media, who have sought to remain all too silent , never once being critical of the league and the way that they have governed the game of baseball . Now as this story becomes part of the news` cycle of featured sports` stories . Here we have all of the major networks and cable sports` outlets relentlessly giving us their synopsis`s and diagnosis as to how this all may very well end.

Baseball`s history as been littered with controversy, infamy , and perhaps now, one of the most unsavory episodes in its entire existence . Alex Rodriguez proclaims his love of the game, which he has been a part of for almost two decades , while seeking also to become a role model for young kids. Yet, his continued lies and seeking to apportion blame elsewhere for problems of his own making, paints a picture of a self-absorbed narcissistic and amoral individual . The player remains a poor excuse for someone , who at one time was viewed as one of the best players of the late nineties and of the last decade. An all too sad an indictment of a wasted talent and a player , who has now become a pariah.

With the release of the movie `42` , starring Chad Bozeman and Harrison Ford. This film was meant to give us a realistic and true portrayal of the life of Jackie Robinson and his integration and introduction into the Major Leagues. Beautifully made, the acting and ensemble cast gave the audience something that could very much believe by way of Hollywood finally getting something right by way of a very realistic portrayal of one of the major and unsavory times within baseball , and one in which baseball historians tend to gloss over with alarming regularity . Each year, baseball rolls out its Jackie Robinson Day to commemorate that historic event of the Hall of Fame player`s first game in the Big Leagues .

In what can only be described as a depraved act of stupidity and racial animus , perpetrators daubed, defecated upon and vandalized statues of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside the stadium of the Brooklyn Cyclones , in Brooklyn, New York state . The outrage now seems to be widespread amongst the New York community, but particularly amongst the Brooklyn residents and those old enough , who fondly remember both Robinson and Reese ,as close teammates. Why this happened, is of no great surprise, given the depravity and how heinous the act just happened to be. What is of surprise, is the very fact that no one from within the MLB`s headquarters, has voiced their outrage or issued a public statement on the incident. Well, that should not really come as any great surprise, given the fact that baseball`s own failings in recent years, concerning their recent initiatives to bring back baseball within the inner cities and specifically amongst minorities.

Courtesy of the New York Daily News

Jackie Robinson statue defaced with racist slurs, swastikas outside Cyclones park, News offers reward

The Daily News is offering $10,000 for information leading to the coward that scrawled hate speech on the Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park in Coney Island.

By Thomas Tracy, Nicholas Wells and Richard Schapiro , New York Daily News

A despicable act of vandalism sparked a chorus of outrage Wednesday after swastikas and racist slurs were found scrawled on the iconic Jackie Robinson statue outside the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium.

A manager at MCU Park in Coney Island stumbled upon the defaced statue about 8:30 a.m., just hours before thousands of kids showed up at the ballpark for Camp Day.

Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument of Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: “Hile (sic) Hitler,” “Die N—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson and all N——s.”

In a bid to help cops catch the hate-filled coward, the Daily News is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Investigators were poring over surveillance video Wednesday night.

The desecration drew fiery denunciations from a slew of politicians and former baseball stars — including one of Robinson’s last living teammates, Ralph Branca.

“I have no idea why anyone would do that,” Branca, 87, told the Daily News. “The statue signified a great moment in American history.”

RELATED: LUPICA: HATEFUL DEFACING OF JACKIE ROBINSON STATUE A CRIME AGAINST ALL

Sen. Chuck Schumer, in a surprise visit to the site, lashed out at the perpetrator.

“I hope you’re punished for what you did because what [you] did put a dagger in the heart of what America is all about,” Schumer said.

“That there are still people who don’t understand what Jackie Robinson stood for in his grace, and his strength and the beautiful person he was and to try and deface him, defame him by defacing this statue is just an act of . . . it’s beyond words to me,” he added.

Photos of the defaced statue obtained by The News show an image of a swastika above a Hitler reference and the word “N—–s” scrawled twice on the base, just above the inscription detailing the monument’s significance.

=================================================
Click on link to read in full.
=================================================

Bud Selig`s tenure can be best described as self-created pratfalls,with the man himself , looking to take credit for anything that remotely might show he and the game in a positive light. Over the past two decades , there has been very little that the commissioner can really point to, as a real positive. Now, in light of the Biogenesis scandal and the incident that took place in Brooklyn. It is extremely difficult to imagine,how anyone would now try to suggest that this season can in any way, be seen as a positive .

Racially motivated or a simple act of vandalism , this incident and how baseball, and law enforcement , now seek to address the matter, will go a long way , in how the public will view the game in the aftermath of the most recent events to have taken place. As to the perpetrators of this crime,it is hoped, that they will have the decency to at least show some contrition for their actions. Yet, that might now be too much to expect, given the fact , that there are idiots, who will also seek take advantage of this act, to further a rather insidious cause .

==================================================


===================================================

Picture gallery .

Baseball is filled with a great deal of hypocrisy, with much of it coming from the players themselves and their own selfishness . Furthermore , a great deal of tat is actually countenanced by the lack of expediency shown by Michael Weiner as the executive director of the MLBPA , who himself, has been less tan forthright, as to the actions of his members, specifically those embroiled in this latest chapter of cheating. And there still remains the fans who are passionate about the game, but who are gullible enough to actually believe that the players actually give a damn, about whether or not their teammates or others are cheating. Case in point , Derek Jeter might just be the most respected player in the game along with teammate, Mariano Rivera . Yet, for all of the controversy that has beset the game and that still casts a giant over baseball.When have you ever heard either player, come out and be openly critical of the players known to have cheated or even voiced their concerns and how now dangerous a path that the game seems to be taking , in terms of the adverse image and bad publicity ? Answers please , if you can ?

😉

Picture and slideshow details below .
===============================================================

(1) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez leaves the dugout to take batting practice before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 in Chicago. AP Photo/David Banks …

(2) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez signs autographs before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, in Chicago. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast …

(3) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter arrives at Petco Park for the Yankees inter-league baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …

(4) In a scene from the hit movie `42` Branch Rickey portrayed by Harrison Ford pleads with Jackie Robinson (Chad Bozeman) to have patience and simply display his skills and vent his due anger into the game and not against those who are taunting him with derogatory racial epithets. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved

(5) A worker covers the base of the Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, where vile slurs written in marker could not be removed from the stone Wednesday. AP Photo / Neil Miller

(6) A portrait of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ infielder Jackie Robinson in uniform from about 1945. Hulton Archives / Getty Images …

(7) The Daily News is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the hateful graffiti scrawled on the Jackie Robinson statue (shown here before the despicable act). Associated Press …

(8) Racial slurs have scarred the Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park. So racially offensive were many of the remarks daubed on the effigy , that it took workers several hours to clean and restore the statue to its former being . Associated Press ….

(9) The Brooklyn Dodgers’ Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson chatting in dugout at Yankee Stadium in 1947. The two players and teammates ,became firm friends , and both are enshrined in baseball`s Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown , New York . New York Daily News / Ed Jackson ….

……

===============================================================

🙂

tophatal …….

Related MLB articles within this site .

Dimmer and dumber

The sound you hear, is but the brief glimpse of baseball showing and still sowing the seeds of doubt

Sell me on it , or whatever the hell else, is actually possible

Make a believer out of me

========================================

MLB news

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history

Dimmer and dumber …….

Dimmer and dumber

Now we have it folks, the growing apathy of the North American sports` fan. Where , they are more concerned about player misconduct , cheating in various sports, than they are about the fact, that young military servicemen and women , being sent off to war , are returning home psychologically damaged , and being barely given any assistance at the state or federal level (VA – Veterans` Administration) upon their return. I forgot to point out, those not traumatically damaged, do end up coming home, in body bags. Now, is that not a shame ? When situations such as that come into play , it is either through apathy on the part of the fans or the fact that they just simply do not care . Patriotism, one minute , due apathy, the next . From my own standpoint, I believe it to be a great deal of both ! If you can suggest otherwise , then please feel free to do so succinctly .

==========================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


==========================================================================

Sideshow .

Major League Baseball(MLB) now finds itself at a crossroads for this season , as either Bud Selig now stands firm or he can choose to cave to the power of the players and their union (MLBPA) . I have never found baseball`s commissioner to be a highly intelligent individual to begin with! So any thought that he might now be on threshold of doing something simply amazing or unheard of, is simply nonsense . The fact of the matter is , Bud Selig marches to the beat of a drum that only he can hear . The fact that fans are now under the impression that he is finally getting something right. My question for them would be , point to at least three instances, where an edict by Bud Selig has actually been to the overall benefit of the game ?

The Biogenesis scandal actually broke , not because of an in-depth investigation by national daily paper , but from the sheer intense work done by a small municipal newspaper (Miami Times) based in South Florida. The fact that the national dailies and television media did not jump onto the story sooner , simply points to the fact that those particular interests are not always driven by the news itself , but simply , by profits alone . The more salacious and outrageous a story , the more likely it is, to become a part of the news` cycle and actually create the interest sought . I mean who really cares, that as many sixty-five baseball players (Bosch`s own figures) are in fact cheating, by using illicit substance to enhance their performances. Have we not heard this all before , and what was the final action taken by baseball`s hierarchy?

New York Yankees` third baseman Alex Rodriguez and his lawyers will now seek to fight and protect his already tarnished name , because the player feels that any prolonged suspension rendered by the league hierarchy will be unjust . Rodriguez maintains his innocence, in the allegations that he was supplied with illicit substances traced back to the company of Anthony Bosch , Biogenesis , which essentially has become the epicenter of the latest scandal that has now bedeviled and rocked the game of baseball .

Courtesy of USA Today

Nightengale: A-Rod’s early, ugly verdict in court of opinion

By Bob Nightengale, USA Today

CHICAGO – New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, speaking deliberately, and even emotionally at times, Monday called the past seven months a nightmare.

Judging by the reaction of the crowd that swarmed U.S. Cellular Field to see his first game of the season, Rodriguez’s nightmare is just beginning.

SUSPENDED: A-Rod and the dirty dozen

Rodriguez was vociferously booed by the fans when merely walking to home plate in his first plate appearance, and the boos remained incessant, growing even louder when he singled, with fans screaming and taunting him. It only worsened as the game continued.

“It was a hard day today, that’s for sure, a long day,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been crazy. …It was good for me to get the first one behind me.

“For me, personally, I just want to get back to playing baseball. I just hope there’s a happy ending somewhere in there.”

Such is life now for Rodriguez after being suspended earlier Monday for 211 games and then immediately appealing the largest penalty ever levied against a player for performance-enhancing drug use.

In all there were 13 players suspended in a day of sweeping and dramatic punishment meted out by Major League Baseball, eclipsing the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal for throwing the World Series as the most players suspended at once for off-field activities. Teams with World Series aspirations lost players for virtually the remainder of the season, including Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers who agreed to 50-game bans.

Yet, Rodriguez, the biggest star, with the biggest paycheck, who plays on the biggest stage, easily dwarfed the others.

Rodriguez, defiant to the end, is the only player who appealed his suspension. The decision is not expected to be rendered by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz until at least November, players union chief Michael Weiner says.

“I’m fighting for my life,” Rodriguez said. “I have to defend myself. If I don’t defend myself no one else will.”

The images of each of the suspended players will forever be tarnished, but no one will suffer more than Rodriguez, who like Lance Armstrong, Ryan Braun and many more before him appears set to deny accusations until all avenues are exhausted.

“I know what people are going to say,” Rodriguez told USA TODAY Sports in July. “They’re going to say, ‘This is a bad guy. This is an evil guy. He’s a prima donna. Look what he’s done.’

“Sometimes, you just want to say, ‘Uncle, already.'”

The boos and taunts were vicious at times during the game, with 3,200 tickets sold Monday to voice their opinion of Rodriguez, but he refused to listen, choosing instead to hear the cheers from the visiting Yankees’ fans.

==============================================================
Click on link to read in full.
============================================================

Arbitration in front of an impartial adjudicator is likely to bring about some of form of justice. Something, I believe may not be completely to everyone`s satisfaction . Rodriguez is unwilling to answer any questions concerning his possibly transgressing the league`s substance policy , as was clearly the case last night, when several questions were repeatedly posed by convened members of the press. Alex Rodriguez`s deflected responses , were , that this was not the time or place to be answering the questions concerning his use of an illicit substance . Once again , begging the question , if the player is still proclaiming his innocence , then why is he not willing to set the record straight by answering the questions posed ? Having already been caught in a lie, in his now infamous interview with former news` anchor Katie Couric on the CBS news` magazine program `Sixty Minutes`. I seriously doubt that Alex Rodriguez would once again subject himself to public ridicule by trying to plead his case by giving another bile inducing interview that simply served as to his continued dishonesty, lack of integrity , while seeking public empathy . Rodriguez says he has a great deal of respect for the game but is actions simply show that to be the complete opposite .

Personally , I believe that this Biogenesis` matter has been haphazardly handled by the league hierarchy and any belief that the US Justice Department headed by Barack Obama`s pet poodle , Eric Holder, that his agency would also being going after these players , having broken the law , now seems to be completely out of the question. Very much in the similar vein that Obama , himself , had promised that the agency would be going after many of the individuals who acted gregariously within the financial sector that caused an almost cataclysmic catastrophe within the financial sector , specifically the mortgage industry. To date, not one senior executive within that sector has been arraigned, indicted, or prosecuted on any major felony charge, coming out an investigation jointly by the Justice Department and FBI . In addition, here again , I do not expect the Justice Department to follow suit in going after an MLB player. Incompetency within Major League Baseball seems to be no different that we have now become accustomed to seeing within the Federal Government and most certainly by various agencies within the current administration of this sitting US President .

Rodriguez and his attorneys will seek place the emphasis on baseball going outside its parameters , while also seeking to state that they are not acting in accordance with the current collective bargaining agreement reached between the union (MLBPA) and MLB. A weak premise I believe , but certainly if used to their advantage, it could very well make Bud Selig and the hierarchy , come off looking like a bunch of buffoons . I certainly do believe that Alex Rodriguez would have been willing to accept a suspension similar in length to the one that sent Ryan Braun away for sixty-five games . Yet , herein lies the caveat and premise behind the league`s wish . They (MLB) failed to act back in 2010 , when the player first admitted his use of a banned substance . Furthermore, less than six months after his well-publicized admission, Alex Rodriguez`s name would then again be associated with steroids and the now jailed Orlando medical professional, Dr Anthony Galea . At that time, Rodriguez along with Tiger Woods and several other athletes, prominent within the NFL , NBA and baseball were mentioned in documents , in the possession of the US Justice Department, as having been treated by the aforementioned doctor . Woods willingly cooperated with law enforcement at the time , answering their questions without any fear of prosecution .

For Rodriguez , his stance remained that his name and association with Galea , was strictly professional and was nothing more than as a patient of the doctor. I rather at this juncture believe pigs are able to fly and that Paris Hilton does indeed have the intelligence to become a member of MENSA , than having to believe anything uttered out of the mouth of Alex Rodriguez, as it relates to his career and now dubious achievements !

Baseball`s season has been devalued any belief that the actions now being taken, will now bring back some sense of normalcy to the game , has to be viewed as being completely asinine.

On the field of play the New York Yankees have been woefully inept for much of the season . Injuries may well have played a part , but no more so than for other teams around the league . In the case of the Yankees however , their fans as always, believe that the team should be given pass , because of who they are and the very fact that as usual , the use of their vast resources , means that they are always in contention . Alex Rodriguez may well be back and now playing in the Minors , but if Alfonso Soriano can find a way to at least be productive . I certainly do believe that Joe Girardi at the insistence of GM Brian Cashman will have the team`s highest paid player remained benched, quite possibly for rest of the Yankees` regular season schedule . The testy relationship between the front office executive and the All Star player has been nowhere near as cordial as one believe Alex Rodriguez is trying to suggest . Yet , were it not for the stupidity shown by Cashman and the Steinbrenner family . At the insistence of Lonn A Trost , Chief Legal Counsel to the Yankees` franchise . This matter concerning Alex Rodriguez`s career with this ball-club could have been resolved long ago . When it first came to light of the player`s association with Biogenesis , Trost stated, that the organization, had it seen it to do so , they were in a position to void Rodriguez`s contract . The opposing view was taken by Brian Cashman and senior managing partner Hal Steinbrenner , with the player remaining a part of the playing staff , for now .

Having the best record in baseball does not necessarily mean that you are indeed the best team in the game . Alas , there are those who would suggest , because the Pittsburgh Pirates do appear to have that honor . Then they are to be lauded for that very fact and their play during that period and the resilience shown. Granted , the team has been fairly consistent for much of the season , seated atop or near the top of the NL Central , while facing a stiff challenge from the St Louis Cardinals . Yet to my mind, as of late , the best team has to be the Atlanta Braves , Boston Red Sox , closely followed by the always surprising Tampa Bay Rays .

The Pirates for their part will be looking to keep that momentum going and they are scheduled to face the Miami Marlins at PNC Park , in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , on Tuesday afternoon . A beleaguered Marlins` team that simply has nothing left to play for , but their pride and self-respect .

Atlanta as of late , has been on an extremely hot streak , having won their last ten consecutive games , the hottest current streak in either the AL or NL . The team`s play has been proven to be good enough to open up a 12 1/2 game lead in the NL East , the largest such divisional lead in the Majors at present . One can place that on being, the division has been extremely weak and the very fact that neither , the Philadelphia Phillies or Washington Nationals have really sought to challenge the Atlanta Braves over the course of this season .

The Braves will be the guests of the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark , in Washington , DC, on Monday afternoon . On the mound for Braves will be Mike Minor against the Nationals` ace Stephen Strasburg . This pitching match-up should prove to be one of the better games on the day`s schedule , between two of the National League`s best young pitchers .

I do not believe we will be able to see a concerted and sustainable effort from Clint Hurdle`s Pirates over the remainder of the season . If history tells us anything about this ball-club over the past decade and a half , it is that they easily disappoint , having always teased their fans into believing that they are able to make a concerted effort to make the post-season . Something that has not been achieved by the Pittsburgh Pirates in almost two decades and counting. Should the Pirates make it to their first post-season berth since 1992, it would eradicate one of the longest such streaks in baseball . Certainly, a wish that all of the ball-club`s fans would no doubt like to see come to fruition. The onus will now be placed squarely on the shoulders of Andrew McCutchen , Pedro Alvarez, Gerritt Cole , Russell Martin , Starling Marte , Francisco Liriano and Jason Grilli to pull this team through.

There is little to choose between the three worst teams in baseball, other than to say ` better luck next year ` . The Houston Astros (36-74) , Chicago White Sox (40-69) and the Miami Marlins (43-67) a , were all teams playing at a substandard level , which is clearly reflected in their records as of the 5th of August . For team owners , Jerry Reinsdorf , Jeffrey Loria and Jim Crane , this now becomes a matter of making decisions that could sweeping changes amongst team personnel and the managerial staffs , should tings now remain as they are at season`s end. For Bo Porter, Robin Ventura and Mike Redmond , this might a season that all three managers would simply rather forget . All three owners are self-made millionaires, each wealthy in their own right . Yet, along the way, they have made some major mistakes. I believe the biggest mistake of all , was actually made by Crane , himself, in bowing to the wishes of Bud Selig, by agreeing to change divisions for the Houston Astros ,

In moving from the NL Central to the AL West , simply placed the franchise a in far worst position than I believed anyone within the organization could have envisioned . However , the deal brokered by Selig in allowing Crane to purchase the franchise at a whopping $775 million price tag , when the league hierarchy , then added in a further $165 million to the franchise , to cover the cost of the relocation and to aid the ball-club for the next four years. These are the sort of deals that simply shows how out of touch with reality the game just happens to be , as it relates to its own financial prosperity . Frugality within some circles of the game, still remains taboo , while for some teams , the mere chance of being a recipient of almost $200 million would be like a gift from the Gods . Not that the luxury tax recipients do not see their good tidings as such, because without it, at least fifty percent of the teams would face a harsh and stark financial reality . The big market teams continue to prosper from a financial standpoint , while their much smaller counterparts are left to almost fight amongst themselves for the scraps left at the table .

==========================================================================


=========================================================================

Picture gallery .

😉

Picture and sideshow gallery details below .
—————————————————————————–
(1) An inured US soldier is given medical assistance by emergency personnel after an IED explodes causing the combatant to lose his lower leg . Hundreds of US military personnel have lost limbs or have been paralyzed or lost their lives to these improvised explosive devices during the length of both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq . Survivors having returned are usually treated at US governmental facilities , but far too often they become forgotten and tend to slip through the cracks of what has now , become an all too archaic and bureaucratic system > known > as the Veterans Administration (VA) . Yet that is in spite of a multi-billion dollar budget and what now appears to be an incompetent and uncaring governmental agency. Unfortunately , legislators within Congress far too often only pay these men and women lip service during an election cycle . AP/REUTERS/ Christian Patterson …

(2)
Corpsman carry a wounded Marine to a Chinook 46, April 7, 2004, as the number of U.S. Marines killed in a five-hour house firefight in Ramadi on Tuesday . Such conflicts between coalition forces and the enemy does bring a a high toll on both sides of a battle and during war . David Swanson/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT

(3) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, right, talks during a news conference before the Yankees play the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game at US Cellular Field in Chicago on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013. Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz , Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case, the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago. AP Photo/Charles Cherney …

(4) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez gets a hit in his first at bat against the Chicago White Sox in the first inning in a baseball game at US Cellular Field in Chicago on Monday, Aug., 5, 2013. AP Photo/Charles Cherney …

(5) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, bottom center, signs autographs at U.S. Cellular Field before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Chicago. Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case, the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago. AP Photo/Paul Beaty …

(6) From left to right are New Yankees’ team President Randy Levine , GM Brian Cashman , team manager Joe Girardi and Chief Legal Counsel Lonn A Trost. The four were gathered at the team’s stadium after the formal signing of reliever Rafael Soriano . Trost earlier in the season advised his fellow executives that the ball-club would be within their right to rescind the contract of Alex Rodriguez . However, Brian Cashman in conjunction with Hank and Hal Steinbrenner took an opposing view , with the player being retained by the franchise . AP Photo / Mike Gardner …

(7) Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) waves to fans after getting a 5-1 complete game win over the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game in Pittsburgh Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(8) Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton (8) rounds the bases for a solo home run as Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard, second from right, walks around the mound during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Washington. The Braves won 3-2. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …

(9) Houston Astros` owner Jim Crane , left is seen here with the team`s general manager Jeff Luhnow . The Astros are on pace to finish with the worst record in baseball for the second consecutive season , but could avoid that fate if they are able to surpass both the Chicago White and Miami Marlins . Getty Images North America / Johnathan Prescott …
=================================================================================

😉

tophatal …..

================================================

MLB news & press releases

MLB schedule

MLB probable starting pitchers

MLB results 4th August , 2013

MLB transactions

MLB standings 5th August 2013 and wild-card standings

Atlanta Braves news

New York Yankees news

Philadelphia Phillies news

😉

MLB history : This month in MLB history

This day in baseball history

The sound you hear, is but the brief glimpse of baseball showing and still sowing the seeds of doubt ….

The sound you hear, is but the brief glimpse of baseball showing and still sowing the seeds of doubt

With the recent suspension of the Milwaukee Brewers` …. Ryan Braun . A great many fans within the blogging world, seem to be rejoicing and are of the opinion that baseball seems to be finally coming to its senses, with Commissioner Bud Selig supposedly leading the way. If only that were true at this juncture, because in essence, this agreement, wherein, Braun serves a sixty-five game suspension., means absolutely nothing ,as there was no admittance of guilt for any wrongdoing on his part by way his admitting to the use of a banned substance . Though, we are lead to believe by the MLB hierarchy , that this was in fact the primary reason behind the suspension.

====================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=====================================================================

Slideshow .

Ryan Braun`s agent and legal representative, Nev Balelo , worked in close conjunction with the league`s investigators and legal counsel to draw up this agreement as to his client`s suspension. As to any impending suspensions of the other players, known to be associated company founder, Anthony Bosch of Biogenesis . For now, it appears that baseball is now playing with its cards being kept firmly pressed against its chest.

From the very beginning, this situation was poorly handled by baseball`s hierarchy, and we were being given the impression that everything was closely being monitored by Bud Selig`s office and a number general managers and MLB team owners could not be trusted to carry out any kind of working options, that would prove to the public and fans alike, that baseball was in fact getting its act together. Truth be told, baseball takes its lead, by repeatedly tripping over its own feet , as it continues to look for ways to repair over a decade`s worth of damage done to its image and integrity .

This season I believe , will go down as one of the most infamous in recent history , tainted , without any real merit , and that is in spite of the stellar play we have all witnessed from many of the game`s emerging young stars . If last season could be described as the year, that Mike Trout broke unto the scene. Then this year, well at last the second quarter of the first half has been about the exploits of the Los Angeles Dodgers` young rookie sensation Yasiel Puig . Not to be outdone in the American League, there is the Baltimore Orioles` young phenom Manny Machado , a player who seems to be instinctive , with a natural flair for the game . Machado and Puig are likely to be this season`s Rookies of the Year from the respective leagues .

At a time, when baseball is trying to hang unto what remaining nobility, it has, it does not seem strange, that the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) remains as pompous and as sanctimonious as ever. An institution bereft of intelligence and integrity . Yet, somehow from within the bastion of what is an outmoded and archaic organization. The fans and public alike are meant to believe that they are the arbiters of sound judgment when it comes to adjudicating the most celebrated regular season awards . This being the very same institution that during the height of steroid era, simply, either turned a blind eye to wanton cheating , that was taking place within the game. Or their reporting of the events were clouded by their undoubted biases and downright stupidity. It may well be an annual rite of passage for the players to be named the AL and NL MVP . But in light of Ryan Braun winning the award in 2011, when it was known by the league hierarchy that the player was alleged to have failed a drug test and subject of an ongoing investigation . MLB`s leaders felt it prudent not to let the BBWAA know of its findings, and therefore the Brewers` slugger was denoted as the NL MVP recipient for that year .

A full two years after of Braun being awarded the trophy. Second place finisher, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers has voiced his concerns and believes that the Brewers player`s name should be stricken from the records as the 2011 NL MVP. I am inclined to ask at this juncture , does Kemp now feel that he should now be named the recipient of the award ? If Kemp, can now voice his disapproval of Ryan Braun at this moment in time, then why no contempt or criticism of former teammate, and fellow slugger Manny Ramirez ? A two-time violator of the league`s steroid policy, Ramirez never served the mandatory one hundred game suspension mandated by MLB. In fact, upon being notified of the league`s findings at the time , the player immediately announced his retirement from the game . Only to return, first playing in the Far East , then recently signing a Minor League deal with an affiliate of the Texas Rangers . GM Jon Daniels of the Rangers believes the player to be a good fit for the organization and that he will be of benefit to the organization and their postseason ambitions.

For Ramirez, his sojourn in the Minors for the Rangers has been somewhat understated , as he no doubt seeks a call up by the coaching staff at some point in the Rangers` future schedule . When there is said to be this much hypocrisy within the game from some its most high-profiled players , how can anyone take them seriously , much less the game itself ? Never mind that we also have the continued apathy amongst many of the on air radio and television personalities who cover the game of baseball. Not to be left out of this, are the ever endearing anal retentive fans, who one minute call for changes to be made, but somehow cannot be succinct enough to explain the type of changes that they would like to see made within baseball as a whole .

Courtesy of ESPN & Associated Press

Kemp: Ryan Braun should lose MVP

TORONTO — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who finished runner-up to Ryan Braun in voting for the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player award, thinks the suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger should be stripped of the honor.

Braun finished with 388 points and 20 first-place votes, to 332 and 10 for Kemp. Major League Baseball attempted to suspend Braun following a positive test that October for elevated testosterone, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator who ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.

Braun agreed Monday to a 65-game suspension for unspecified violations of baseball’s drug rules and labor contract.

Asked Tuesday whether the award should be taken away from Braun, Kemp responded: “I mean, yeah, I do,” pausing and adding, “I feel like it should be, but that’s not for me to decide, you know?”

Kemp said people feel “betrayed” by Braun.

“I’m disappointed,” Kemp said. “I talked to Braun before any of this happened, we had conversations and I considered him a friend. I don’t think anybody likes to be lied to and I feel like a lot of people have felt betrayed. That’s not just me, that’s the whole Brewers organization, a lot of his teammates. I think a lot of people feel that way.”

Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, said the award vote was final.

=========================================

Click on link to read in full .

========================================

Bud Selig for his part , has tip-toed around the issue of this latest fiasco and the apparent stupidity of his office in paying for documentation from the offices of Biogenesis , suggests to me, that he is taking advice of any kind from a litany of like-minded buffoons . It begs the question, can he in all good conscience, believe that a number of the cases he will present against suspected players , can proceed ahead with any real veracity , if in fact a player seeks to challenge the league`s authority and how they went about collecting a great deal of the information now said to be in their possession ?

From my own perspective, Matt Kemp may well believe that he is saying all of the right things , and that if anything , he feels it is something the fans and in general, as well as the public, are likely to agree with his sentiments. As I alluded to earlier, if his criticism of Ryan Bran can be so concise, then why no criticism of Manny Ramirez ? Baseball`s code of silence amongst its players, is no different from that of the Thin Blue Line line of law enforcement and their police officers . You do not `rat ` on your buddies , and you do not level acute criticism of them either . What comes next, after this saga and the apparent friendship between these two prolific players, remains to be seen .

If things cannot get any worse for the New York Yankees (54-48) , then what is now said to be taking place off the field of play for the AL East , fourth placed team , has all the makings of a bad dramatic episode now going hideously wrong . Derek Jeter remains sidelined and the team`s highest paid player , Alex Rodriguez , remains the scourge of the game as well their being a heated , and now some might deem it to be an irreparably damaged relationship between the player and team GM Brian Cashman .

Rodriguez , hoping to finally to come off the team DL , was placed back on that list after it was revealed that he had a slight quadriceps tear . Not so , says the third baseman , revealing that he was ready to play and to contribute in any way that he can to aid the team . Somehow , this might not be the what Rodriguez had envisaged for himself tis season . Yet in light of the fact that his name is the most recognized of those players associated with the Biogenesis scandal. Either Brian Cashman and his fellow executives are looking for either a graceful way to push the player out of the door , or they may well seek a legal recourse to actually send him packing, if Bud Selig is unable to summarily do so, with a long-term suspension . Over the past eighteen months Alex Rodriguez has proven to be more of a thorn in the side of the Yankees` organization than he has been of an asset to the ball-club .

With the Yankees having now acquired their former outfielder Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash for right-handed pitcher Corey Black . This could prove to be a harbinger of things to come as it relates to Alex Rodriguez`s immediate and long-term future. Soriano, keen to reassert himself as one of the game`s most prolific and hitters and productive players , had several enjoyable seasons with the Yankees` organization before being traded to the Texas Rangers in February , 2004 , in a trade that would send Alex Rodriguez New York bound . Now having come full circle, the two players will now reunite as teammates , but for how long ?

Earlier in the season Lonn A Trost , CEO & Chief Legal Counsel to the New York Yankees spoke with Brian Cashman as well as with senior members of the Steinbrenner family about the possibility of voiding the four remaining years left on Alex Rodriguez`s contract. The player is owed $104 million , and it was recently noted that he had in fact taken out an insurance policy to indemnify against himself against future loss, in terms of earnings. As to whether or not this constitutes and covers the possibility of his being suspended and how such a claim would be met , without any details being made public . It is hard to envisage how a claim would be honored by an underwriting insurance company. The decision was made to proceed ahead, with Rodriguez still under contract and a member of the Yankees` roster .

On the field of play, the Yankees have been struggling, losers of six of their last ten games and they are now 6 ½ games out of a seeding, for an AL wildcard berth. Too soon to count them out ? Well dependent upon who you might well be listening to . There are those , who believe that the AL East is still up for grabs . While the naysayers, are of the opinion that an aging roster , injuries and inconsistent pitching have been the main reasons for the New York Yankees` woes this season . I believe it is all of the above , along with this constant idiotic belief that they can simply spend their way out of trouble . I guess a burgeoning $235 million plus payroll can at times paint a rosy picture , no matter how dire a situation might be .

A three-game home series against the divisional rivals the red hot Tampa Bay Rays(60-42) , starting on Friday , will pit CC Sabathia against the Rays` Jeremy Hellickson , and could go a long way in telling us whether or not New York has the grit to tough it out and make a fight of the remainder of this season . Anything sort of a series` win against the Rays , and it could very well spell the beginning of the end for the ball-club for the season .

=====================================================

====================================================

Picture gallery .

From your own perspective, are you disappointed in the way tat the baseball hierarchy has dealt with this latest scandal (Biogenesis) ? And what are your opinions concerning Matt Kemp`s disapproval of Ryan Braun being allowed to keep is 2011 NL MVP Award ? Do bear in mind, that the Los Angeles` Dodgers` player did not voice is concerns with regard to Manny Ramirez . Finally, your thoughts on the latest drama concerning the always controversial Alex Rodriguez ? Chime in with your comments , as you see fit .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
—————————————————————————————————————

(1) Matt Kemp , left , of the Los Angeles Dodgers is seen here with Ryan Braun prior to a Spring Training during game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, March 30, 2012 at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in Phoenix, Arizona .Kemp has been critical of Ryan Braun and the fact that the 2011 NL MVP award winner remains recognized as the recipient of the award for which the Baseball Writers Association of America have stated that the result will stand . © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012 …

(2) Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers is seen here signing autographs for the Dodgers` fans . The player has simply been sensational this season for the team , which has seen the ball club rise to second place within the NL West . Much of the credit goes to Puig and his offense as well as times, some sensational defensive plays . Getty Images /Mark Strong …

(3) Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles , has been one of the primary reasons that the third placed Orioles have been in contention within the AL East for much of the season ,albeit that teammate Chris Davis has received the bulk of the team`s headlines for much of the season . Machado is amongst the top offensive players in the AL leading , the league in doubles . AP Photo / Phil Kelly …………..

(4) New York Yankees` GM Brian Cashman , left, is seen here with Alex Rodriguez , as the player answers questions posed by the convened press at the Yankees` headquarters, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida . Rodriguez was answering questions concerning his then use of anabolic steroids dating back to his playing days between 2001- 04 _______ then playing for the Texas Rangers . A strained relationship between Cashman and the Yankees` third baseman has now cast a great deal of uncertainty over Rodriguez`s future with the New York Yankees` organization. NOAH K. MONROE / THE STAR-LEDGER @ copyrighted material all rights reserved .

(5) Former New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers` manager Joe Torre , now a SVP of MLB Operations, is widely considered to be one of the leading candidates alongside , Rob Manfred to succeed Bud Selig as the next MLB Commissioner . Selig is due to step down as commissioner , as early as February of 2014, when his current contract is due to expire . After a two-decade long career as baseball`s highest ranking executive , Selig`s sometimes confrontational and unconventional style of leadership , has as become the antithesis of what is now needed within the game , in its upper echelons of leadership and management . NY Times/ Jorge Vargas ……

(6) A sense of foreboding as words uttered concerning Ryan Braun by Bud Selig, came back to haunt him . Getty Images North America /Rick Carlson ….

(7) Bud Selig foreground, stands at the dais as he formally makes the announcement that the 2013 MLB All Star Game will be held at Citi-Field , home to the New York Mets , in Flushing, New York . Also pictured are second from the left New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mets` senior managing partner and co-owner Fred Wilpon . AP Photo / Rajiv Singh …..

=================================================================

===========

tophatal …………… 07/27/2013

🙂

——————

MLB news and archived news

MLB Minor League news

MLB transactions

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB results 25th July 2013

MLB schedule

MLB probable pitchers

This month in baseball history

This day in baseball history

—————–

New York Yankees news and press releases

—————————————

SI model Selita Ebanks

Sell me on it , or whatever the hell else, is actually possible

Sell me on it , or whatever the hell else, is actually possible

In the end, it comes down to being an art form , how the game is played and the rules it is played by . At present it would appear that baseball and football is being played to a different set of rules without either hierarchy noticeably caring about the overall ramifications . MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a passionate plea stated the case that he would not be rushed into a situation where he makes a decision into the possible suspension of many as twenty to forty Major League Baseball players . Thereby, quite possibly affecting the seasons of the teams were the players currently play. By contrast, team owners and general managers have yet to voice their concerns over the dilemma that is likely to be created . When as many as twenty players are likely to face a lengthy mandate suspension and without the team owners voicing their concerns , it simply shows the mindset within the game present , after more than two decades of calculated cheating taking place, wherein these owners shared lavishly in the spoils, by way of the tens of millions of dollars & that were reaped during that time span . If that were not enough , we also had the downright stupidity of fans , who came out with the rather ridiculous notion that the game of baseball should in essence, suborn cheating and the use of steroids within the game . Personally, I wonder if this would happen to be the very same idiots , who would condone the selling of hard narcotics (heroin & crack cocaine) to children by drug dealers outside school grounds ? The simple stupidity and complete lack of intelligence of the sports` fan nowadays is just beyond belief !

=================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=================================================

Slideshow for your perusal .

In the aftermath of the MLB All Star Game , teams will now resume the second half of their seasons , now under not so much pressure , with Bud Selig revealing in part that , he has not yet come to a decision where suspensions will be imposed upon the players associated in the Biogenesis scandal . There now seems to a clear disconnect between reality and what is morally and ethically right, and how Selig now oversees Major League Baseball. In what appears to be the game`s highest ranking executive , caving into the whims of the owners and Players` Union (MLBPA) . Bud Selig is now seems to be showing that he does in fact have a yellow streak running down is spine . A man, who does not possess the courage, to carry out his own convictions, while appearing to create the perception, that he does have things under control. If anything, he believes that is legacy and tenure, is one that has kept the game intact , as he seeks to step down from his current role in 2014 . To my mind, his departure cannot come around soon enough ! If nothing else, tis decision further demeans the season and it also allows these players to further profit financially from their misdeeds . And it looks if baseball is once again out kick itself in the ass and still come out smiling as if noting has actually happened .

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

Bud Selig’s Dopey Pursuit of Baseball Juicers

By Johnathan Mahler , Bloomberg News

Major League Baseball has put off its plans to suspend players linked to the Biogenesis doping scandal. Instead of announcing the punishments right after the All-Star Game, as anticipated, suspensions are now expected to come sometime next month. By the time all of the appeals and arbitration hearings have taken place, we could be eating turkey and watching football.

Biogenesis is the South Florida anti-aging clinic run by the now infamous sketch-ball Tony Bosch. The news earlier this year that it allegedly provided human growth hormone and other banned substances to a number of major leaguers has brought Commissioner Bud Selig to the brink of handing down baseball’s largest collection of suspensions since the 1919 Black Sox scandal .

I suppose it’s a good thing that Selig has decided a little more due diligence is in order before he makes history on the back of a cooperating witness who makes Brian McNamee look like a stand-up guy. The problem is that baseball has already declared the players in question guilty. The investigation is not a quest for justice; it’s part of a protracted negotiation with the players union that’s almost certain to end with players being suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs without any positive test results or credible evidence of their guilt.

How could this happen? Because Selig desperately wants revenge on Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez; it’s as though their continuing freedom from punishment is personally mocking him. More generally, he wants desperately to avoid being remembered as the commissioner who not only allowed baseball’s steroid scandal to take place but also failed to bring it to heel. All of this desperate desire hasn’t just clouded Selig’s judgment; it has completely overtaken it.

The dubious manner in which baseball has handled its “investigation” — buying documents and filing suit against the aforementioned cooperator in order to enlist him into service — is bad. But the ramifications of actually following through with this farce may be worse.

I’ve never seen any opinion polls on this, but at this point I’d bet that most baseball fans are a lot less bothered by the possibility that particular players are using PEDs than they are by the commissioner’s obsession with ridding the game of them. The existence of performance-enhancing drugs in the game of baseball remains such a big deal partly because the game of baseball continues to insist on making them such a big deal. To the extent that baseball fans do care about players using PEDs, the Biogenesis case is, at bottom, an acknowledgement that the game’s drug-testing regime doesn’t work. Suspending players in the absence of positive tests doesn’t prove anything so much as the fact that baseball has failed to bring this whole steroid thing to heel.

===============================================
Click on link to read in full.

===============================================

Insomuch, as the All Star Game was meant to have some meaning. In light of the fact that we had participants associated with the ongoing scandal. To my mind , the event was demeaned by their being allowed to play . Besides, the whole voting process just happens to be one big joke to begin, with it being noting more than a popularity contest .

Friday , sets the ball rolling, as to the resumption of the season, with a number of divisional races seemingly up for grabs . One of the early questions that could very well be answered will be whether or not the Pittsburgh Pirates can stay in close contact with the St Louis Cardinals and somehow deprive them from winning the NL Central . Clint Hurdle and his staff must now wrestle with the demons of the past, that has repeatedly seen the Pirates fall by the wayside , leaving their fans with a great deal of angst. With Pittsburgh resuming its schedule with an away game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio, It will be interesting to see how prepared Hurdle`s players will be , as they take on a divisional rival .

For Mike Matheny and the St Louis Cardinals , they now seem to be the best team in the National League , which is reflected in their record (57-36) and their 7-3 run in their last ten games . Since assuming the role as manager from Tony La Russa . The young manager seems to have found his footing amongst his peers and he does seem to be getting a great deal of respect from some of the more experienced managers around the league. . I would certainly like to think that Matheny is in the running for NL Manager of The Year Award , but much of that I believe will be predicated upon the team finishes the season and quite possibly , whether or not they do end up winning their division . And one of the primary reasons behind the Cardinals` success this season , has been the all-round effort of the team in terms their pitching and offense , of which they rank amongst the top in National League as well as MLB overall. Leading the way for the team from an offensive standpoint are , Carlos Beltran , Allen Craig , Yadier Molina , Matt Holliday , Matt Carpenter and David Freese . As usual a dependable pitching staff also has a role to play. With seasoned veteran Adam Wainwright , Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook , Jaime Garcia and Tyler Lyons leading what might just be one of the best starting lineups at present in the Big Leagues . It would be remiss also not to include the efforts of the team`s closer Edward Mujica and the terrific season that he is said to be having , with 26 saves .

Next up for the St Louis Cardinals will be a home game against the lowly San Diego Padres to be played at Busch Park , in St Louis , Missouri. On the mound for the Cardinals will be Jake Westbrook , who will be facing the Padres` Jason Marquis . . The Padres will be looking to put the first half of their season in their rear view mirror , as they still remain deeply rooted at the bottom of the NL West with a 42-54 record . In a division, where four of the five occupants are no better than a .500 record . The Arizona Diamondbacks leads those occupants with a mid-season mark of 50-45 (.526) . All of this, is all the more bewildering because fans seem to be excited over the recent resurgence of the Los Angeles Dodgers(47-47) , who are still playing .500 ball in spite of the heroics of their rookie sensation Yasiel Puig . Am I actually missing something here concerning a ball-club with an almost $220 million payroll who were expected to contend for divisional supremacy and a great deal more ? As things now stand, if the Dodgers do fail to win the division or gain one of the two possible wildcard berths . Then in all probability, the entire managerial staff is likely to be shown the door by team President Stan Kasten , with GM Ned Colletti joining beleaguered manager , Don Mattingly .

For the Los Angeles Dodgers the second half of the season must begin anew , with several of their players who have been on the disabled list due to return to the lineup. The influx of that experience , along with the exuberance provided by Yasiel Puig, could go a long way in determining whether or not this team ultimately has what it takes to succeed . They will begin with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC , starting this Friday . Taking the mound for the Dodgers will be Ricky Nolasco against the Nationals` starting ace Stephen Strasburg , in what is sure to be a highly entertaining game .

Strasburg is now in the final year of a four-year $15.1 million deal and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season . The Nationals and in particular GM Mike Rizzo , and team owner , Ted Lerner , know that the organization can ill-afford to lose a player of Stephen Strasburg`s status , who along with Bryce Harper , are viewed to be the cornerstone of the Nationals` long and short-term future. Strasburg`s agent , Scott Boras is likely to drive a hard bargain , as he seeks to get the maximum deal possible for his young client , who is deemed one of the league`s brightest young pitching prospects .

In the AL , for much of the first-half of the season , the topic of discussion has been the play of the Baltimore Orioles` ….. Chris Davis and the fact that he leads the Majors in home runs (37) . Doubters , believe that a player , who for the first time in 2012 hit more than thirty home runs, is now projected to hit sixty-three for this season . My own belief, is that Davis will fall short of that target , while being in the running for the AL MVP . These doubters may have the inclination that Davis` own feats are mirroring that of former Orioles` player Brady Anderson, who in 1996 hit a career-high fifty home runs for the season. Prior to and subsequent to that year, Anderson had never reached that career peak in home runs. The common belief was that he may well have one of the common beneficiaries of steroid use . Albeit, that he never tested positive, once baseball`s steroid testing policy was introduced and then initiated. As to the testing protocols themselves, I still believe them to be archaic and still susceptible to cheating ! Chris Davis continues to profess his innocence, but the player as never once been critical of is players known to have cheated , or spoken publicly on the recent Biogenesis scandal and the spate of players now embroiled the game`s latest controversy .

Baltimore`s own ambitions this season, appear to be making the AL East division less of a two-horse race and more of a three-way suspenseful thriller, as they, the Tampa Bay and Boston Red Sox vie for divisional supremacy . The New York Yankees (51-44) , with the game`s biggest payroll , currently sits in fourth place within the division, just ahead of the last placed Toronto Blue Jays (45-49) . The Yankees` troubles notwithstanding , their constant belief that throwing money at a problem will be the best solution to an issue , seems to have cast doubts now on the prospective chances of the team actually gaining a post-season berth. They are already 6 ½ games out of first place, behind their heated rivals the Boston Red Sox . New York Yankees` manager Joe Girardi is under immense pressure to succeed , whereas , the team`s fans , ever more loyal , seemingly oblivious it would appear , as to the ball-club`s ongoing issues on an off the field of play .

Derek Jeter`s long-awaited return for his first start of the season was short-lived, as the player re-injured himself in his first game back . And beleaguered third baseman Alex Rodriguez , having come off in season surgery , is now toiling in the Minors , waiting for the call-up and thereby seeking to justify the $32 million salary he is due this season . Over the past three seasons there is nothing to remotely suggest Rodriguez`s contributions to the Yankees merits his outlandish contract or salary . Yet, this continues to be the all too asinine philosophy that baseball continues to live under with the owners and general managers believing that this type of business mantra serves it best .

New York will be the guests of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts over the next three days, starting on Friday. The two opposing pitchers will be Andy Pettite of the New York Yankees against Felix Doubront of the Red Sox. . And these series have always been highly entertaining, no matter what the environment might be for these two historic franchises .

Baseball continues to use creative accounting to hide many of its financial woes, which in essence, came about with escalating salaries and this constant need for general managers try to outdo one another in escalated bidding wars, for players who in recent years have failed to live up to the consistency expected . A clear case in point, can be made with the likes of, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran , Johan Santana , Josh Hamilton, Vernon Wells , Alfonso Soriano , and Barry Zito . Yet, through his own short-sightedness Bud Selig continues to maintain , that in large part, baseball remains a viable concern for the majority of the league`s teams. If only that were true, and baseball`s financial records were opened up for close public scrutiny. Unfortunately, that will never be the case, as long as the owners have their way and they are afforded antitrust exempt status by the US Congress .

==================================================================

==================================================================

Picture gallery

In light of what you have witnessed during the first half of the season, what if anything are you most looking forward to ? Which teams or players do you believe will have the biggest impact during the second half of the MLB schedule ? Finally, are of you of the opinion that Bud Selig simply made the decision to postpone any suspensions until after the upcoming season , because pressure was brought to bear upon the hierarchy by the owners and players` union ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

🙂

Picture and slideshow details below .

=======================================================

(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , whose indecision over suspending players involved in the Biogenesis scandal does seem to have demeaned the season and its remaining schedule . The MLB hierarchy , it is being reported has purchased documentation from parties of the now defunct South Florida supplements` company Biogenesis . In doing so , this does compromise the league`s ongoing investigation and its integrity. It must now be said that this sort incompetency should have been expected from baseball`s governing body and the lack of actual common sense and intelligence coming from anyone within baseball`s upper echelons . AFP/Thomson News Agency / Christian Asher ……

(2) National League’s Yadier Molina , right, of the St. Louis Cardinals, helps American League’s Robinson Cano , of the New York Yankees, off the field after he was hit on the knee by pitch from National League’s Matt Harvey, of the New York Mets, during the first inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game , on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(3) American League’s Mariano Rivera , of the New York Yankees, poses for photographers after the MLB All-Star baseball game, on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. Rivera was named the game’s MVP. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(4) American League’s Joe Nathan , right, of the Texas Rangers, is congratulated by American League’s Salvador Perez , of the Kansas City Royals, after the final out in the ninth inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game, on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. The American League defeated the National League 3-0 . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(5) Mike Matheny is seen here having just been formally introduced as the manager of te St Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium , in St Louis Missouri,. Matheny succeeded Tony La Russa and has guided the team to the top of the NL Central with the ball-club having the best record in the National League . The Cardinals` manager is seen in some circles as a potential NL Manager of The Year . Getty Images / Paul Pearson …

(6) Bryce Harper , left , is seen here alongside teammate Stephen Strasburg . Both players in their first four seasons with the Washington Nationals have become All Star selections , as well-being fan favorites around te league as well with the Nationals` organization . It remains to be seen whether or not te duo will be around together long enough to guide the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title . Harper and Strasburg are both clients of mega-agent Scott Boras , a man known to drive a hard bargain with executives around Major League Baseball . AP Photo /Clark Marshall ….

(7) New York Mets` pitcher Johan Santana is seen here with manager Terry Collins after the player threw a no-hitter against the St Louis Cardinals in the Mets` 8-0 victory over the NL Central team on the 1st June 2012 . In recent years, Sanatana`s career with Mets has proven to be something of a major disappointment with the player having spent more time on the DL (disabled list) than he has been on the playing field for the New York Mets` franchise . The pitcher is currently the highest paid player on the Mets` roster , further underscoring the current mentally of the front office and of former GM Omar Minaya who signed the player to what can best described as an utterly stupid and undeserved deal (six-year $137,500,000) . AP Photo/ Paul Davis ….

========================================================

😉

If at all interested , do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .

🙂

tophatal ……… 07/18/2013

==========================================

MLB news

MLB press releases

MLB divisional standings and wildcard standings

MLB schedule 19th July and probable starting pitchers (07/19/2013)

This month in MLB history

This day in baseball history and on the nineteenth .

MLB team salaries 2013

Struggling for the truth or what we perceive to be the truth. Are you not amused?

Struggling for the truth or what we perceive to be the truth .Are you not amused?

In spite of the latest outrage in baseball it is plain to see that the average baseball fan as simply been blasé` as it relates to the use of PEDs within sports . They take umbrage at that , show their disdain, but yet when twenty- four lives are tragically taken in an act of violence perpetrated by a cold-blooded monster . Instead of outrage , we have the idiocy of politicians stating that the government is seeking tread on the rights of the individual , as well as their Second Amendment Rights. What I would like to know is , since when where the rights of twenty-four children all aged under ten less pertinent than that of anyone , much less the damn idiot who seemingly gunned them down in a school classroom and in the hallway of an educational establishment in New-town, Connecticut ? Yet, this is the sort of apathy, that the nation is confronted with , as it repeatedly goes from one damn crisis to the next . And repeatedly those incidents are either self-inflicted or one where no due diligence has been used .

=========================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

========================================

Slideshow .

MLB`s hierarchy is now off on another idiotic attempt to go after a group of twenty or more players , after evidence purportedly shows that these players knowingly bought banned substances for their own personal use . My bone of contention as always, during Bud Selig`s farcical reign as commissioner , has been his wanton ignorance and stupidity . Placed in a position of power, simply as a lap dog for these idiotic MLB team owners , Selig has been richly rewarded to the tune of $25 million in annual compensation in 2012 , without having left a real indelible mark on the game, in terms of progress . And for the lame brained fans out there, who seek to use the introduction of the wildcard as a plausible instance , take note that its introduction was simply done as a way of adding an extra revenue pie slice , to what is now an already diminishing brand, by way of its falling viewership on television . With that in mind, all of the criticism now being leveled at Anthony Bosch and his company Biogenesis , while warranted . Let us not forget , those leveling much of that criticism, were the same damn idiots trying to paint Victor Conte and BALCO , as simply being a company meeting situation of supply and demand . How quickly, one seems to forget the BALCO Affair and the names associated and embroiled in that drama , as it unfolded.

Among the players now named in this latest edition of the “Spanish Inquisition“ , Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are the most prominent names mentioned , along with Melky Cabrera and New York Yankees` catcher Francisco Cervelli . The fact that the US Justice Department along with MLB are part of this ongoing investigation cannot be stressed enough, and wherein the league itself in spite of the insistence that it now has the toughest guidelines. as to its testing protocols. It has now become abundantly clear that Bud Selig and Major League Baseball are no closer to catching the cheaters and punishing them with impunity, than a child would be in grasping a rainbow . Consider the fact that in the last thirty months, in excess of 185 players within the game have tested positive at all levels within the game for a banned substance , with the majority of the players being caught , are playing at the Minor League Level . If it is now widespread at the lower levels within baseball, then one can now see that the malignancy of cheating within the game , is now more widespread than even baseball , the public and the odious members of the press would care to acknowledge .

Personally , I find the idiocy of Bud Selig and is own demeanor in all of this , as being one of the primary reasons baseball is now playing catch-up in this whole asinine spectacle ! And it has become abundantly clear that with no disapproving voice from any major team owner , much less a prominent player within the game , current or former . It begs the question why this outrage , after all of te damn apathy , when the fans were simply exalting the feats of Barry Bonds , Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire ? Are they that naive and that damn asinine ? Furthermore , asking for accountability from anyone within te game , most of from Bud Selig , is akin to asking Sarah Palin er preference on whom she would like to see as the current occupant , residing in the White House . Palin, herself , is simply devoid of intelligence as are the most prominent members of baseball`s hierarchy along with the vast majority of team owners !

The sport of baseball either cannot police itself or it simply chooses not to, unless there happens to be some sort of public outrage , which at best, is simply laughable, if not minimal . And let us not forget, that there has been the complete apathy of the fans and their ongoing damn stupidity. This country as it is has a fucking pandemic in terms of an ongoing drug problem, without idiots , professing the fact that they simply don`t care what the players are using or taking , just as long as they are entertained by their feats of allegedly gargantuan and Herculean efforts on a baseball diamond. Well if that is the case, then why stop dope dealers from pedaling their narcotics outside schools , because if the claims are to be believed . Wouldn’t those kids also profit from the use of meth-amphetamines as well crack cocaine or anabolic steroids? This once again shows the damn stupidity and naiveté of the public at large and their simple ongoing apathy.

Bud Selig and the members of the league hierarchy will now be left with number of far-reaching decisions by way of the length of any suspension to be rendered , the possible fallout from this all , and the very fact that the MLBPA (Players` Union) have already stressed that they will seek to protect the rights of their members and defer any penalties that they believe to be draconian , by taking legal recourse . So let`s get this straight , the players union, who fought tooth and nail against any type of testing , only to acquiesce to MLB , in order obtain financial concessions from the league hierarchy in their last collective bargaining agreement , will once again seek to returning to its ways of old ? So from a dick-head in their former leader , Donald Fehr , they have now turned over the reins of leadership to an even bigger fu#king dick- head in Michael Weiner ? Same old baseball, where things may look as if they have changed , when in fact , they have not ! Leading the charge as always, are the players , owners and Bud Selig, who if anything, are simply too fu#king stupid for their own good.

If the Justice Department is now being called upon to prosecute with impunity of this latest idiocy within baseball. Then I for one, would like to see how they will seek to go about, in presenting the public`s case against the defendants . Well, it is not as if Eric Holders` office has really shown a propensity to truly go after a criminal or criminals in the true sense of the word . Plea agreements , in order to insure the incarceration of a defendant in what the majority of the time tends to be something of farce, as the prosecution to pad their statistics with that long sought victory. The US Attorney General is now trying to fend off calls for is removal from office , as the nation`s highest-ranking law enforcement officer . Questions have arisen not only about Eric Holder`s conduct in office , but also the fact that he has lied to Congress repeatedly, while being questioned by a congressional committee . All of this, while he is being protected, by his bumbling and selfless Commander-In-Chief, Barack Obama . Truly , a delight and sight , in watching these two buffoons run rings around Congress , while trampling upon on the rights of the electorate as well trying redefine what the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is said to represent .

It has truly been a delight this season to watch the respective seasons of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets continue to spiral out of control. For managers Don Mattingly and Terry Collins , this may well be the very last chance they will be given to prove themselves in their current positions. . Collins` Mets are simply bereft of talent and real leadership from anyone on the team`s roster and that includes the much heralded David Wright , who to my mind is simply overrated , and an individual who is playing on a goddamn awful team . I was once told by a patron of this site that this team is just a few meaningful pieces from being a legitimate contender within the NL (National League) . Based upon what I have seen from the players this season , they are as far off from being a contender as it would be desirable to witness Rosie O`Donnell participating in a sex scene for a pornographic movie . I would preface this by saying , it is not very often that you see a Mets` fan trying to show a modicum of intelligence , if any at all ! Suffice to say , finding a New York Mets` fan with an IQ above 100 , is akin to suggesting that you have never heard a member of Congress utter something stupid on air a sound bite , during an interview .

Mattingly`s position with Los Angeles, remains just as dire , and in having a star-studded team , even if it , has been felled by a litany of injuries . No excuses can be made for the Dodgers` poor showing throughout much of the season . . It is hard to offer an explanation how the Los Angeles Dodgers might extricate themselves from such a mess . Especially in a case, w here GM Ned Colletti , under the auspices of team President Stan Kasten have gone about spending money on this current roster , very much in a way that a drunken sailor on furlough might go about spending money on hookers in the Red Light districts of Amsterdam , or Phuket , Thailand .

The New York Mets currently , sit seven games ahead of the equally abysmal , and last placed Miami Marlins (18-44) , whose front office must now be pondering if the mediocrity shown last season , is about to be revisited once again in 2013. The NL East is likely to become a two –horse race between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals , with both the Marlins and Mets remaining on the outside looking in . And now for Terry Collins` players , now is truly the time for them to prove their worth after hapless start to the season , with the manager not having much faith in any of his front-line players . Coming off an 8-4 home game loss to the Marlins , New York now faces tough three game series against a very good St Louis Cardinals team . And I get the impression , as just like in their previous meetings , this series is likely to be another lopsided affair ! On the mound for Tuesday`s series opener will be Michael Wacha of the Cardinals against the Mets` Jeremy Hefner .

When your team`s payroll is said to be well into six-figures and simply adding to it another $19 million with a high-point of $26 million as part of a six-year deal to a temperamental pitcher , is seen by the ball-club`s owners as a necessity . Then you simply know that , there does not seem to be any rhyme or reasoning behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at present . Lead managing partner , Mark Walter , along with Todd S Boehly and Magic Johnson , have categorically stated, that their intent is to win at whatever the cost . From a financial standpoint , that will never be an obstruction to the owners` ambitions. But am I beginning to wonder in light of team`s on an off the field issues this season , is any of their apparent logic , all that sound ? For Zack Greinke , he must surely have believed that Christmas has come early in 2013 .

At 27-35 , firmly rooted at the bottom of the NL West standings , it would be fair to suggest that the Dodgers are present are far from being a team that could be looked upon as a cohesive unit . Their pitching has become atrocious and the offense could be, best described as being anemic . Mattingly and hitting coach , Mark McGwire have been unable to stem the tide of ineptitude shown by the Dodgers` bats , one through nine . All pleasantries asides , if the Dodgers are not able to mount any type of an assault on this season before the All Star Break , then they might as well curtail any thoughts they might have towards a playoff berth as an NL representative this postseason .

An upcoming three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks , starting today , should give us enough of an indicator as to whether or not this Dodgers` team has enough of what it takes to derail the ambitions of a divisional rival who has been one of the surprise teams among the National League this season .

======================================

=====================================

Picture gallery .

Of the salient points within this piece , what if anything do you agree with or disagree with ? State your reasons, and whatever else you believe is pertinent to the subject matter in question . Thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

=======================================

(1) New York Mets` manager , Terry Collins and his staff are having a disastrous sojourn during the 2013 season with no respite in sight . GM Sandy Alderson may well be forced to relieve Collins of is managerial duties by season`s end. AP Photo / Mark Gilchrist …

(2) Storm clouds ahead for bot Dodgers` manager Don Mattingly , left, and hitting instructor Mark McGwire , as the Dodgers find themselves in last place within the NL West and far off the pace in terms of an NL wildcard berth . Getty Images North America/ Paul Randall ……

(3) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is seen here with baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson at an MLB game played at Yankees Stadium . The commissioner seems to be nonplussed by the fact tat another steroid scandal has once again caught the MLB hierarchy asleep at the wheel . NY Daily News /AP Photo/ Mark Puig ….

(4) Attorney General Eric Holder is questioned about the Justice Department secretly obtaining two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press, during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. In what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” the Justice Department monitored outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. There have been calls made by Democrats as well as Republicans for older to be removed from his position as the nation`s highest ranking law enforcement official . The Justice Department will also ave to come to a decision as whether or not to prosecute Antony Bosch , founder of the Miami based supplements` company Biogenesis . Bosch has been arraigned and indicted but as part of a plea agreement , he has supplied the Justice Department and the MLB hierarchy with a list of names of players he supplied with anabolic steroids as well as other banned substances . And though we are led to believe that only twenty four players are said to be involved in this latest scandal , Bosch insists that this all runs deeper and that there are at least dozens of other MLB stars embroiled in this scandal , many whose names have not been made public . AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite …..

(5) Pedro Gomez , left of ESPN is seen here conducting an interview with Anthony Bosch , founder of the Miami based supplements` company Biogenesis , center of the latest scandal that as embroiled the game of baseball and which has shown the league hierarchy to be completely incompetent and devoid of intelligence . Courtesy of ESPN all rights reserved copyrighted material …

==============================================

😉

tophatal ……… 06/10/2013

—————————————————————–

If at all interested do participate in the above mentioned poll .

======================

MLB news and news from around the league

MLB team injuries

MLB transactions

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB results 9th June 2013

MLB schedule 10th June

MLB probable starting pitchers (Monday 10th June)

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history

😉

Los Angeles Dodgers` news

New York Mets news

=================

Elisha Cuthbert and Mila Kunis (right)

All good things must come to an end, and they will, at some point !

All good things must come to an end, and they will, at some point !

This baseball season will have an inevitability about it , but perhaps none more so than when Mariano Rivera takes the mound for the final time of his illustrious career . Granted , there remains the common belief that the team in its current guise can make it to the World Series , while seeking to win that title for an unprecedented twenty-eighth time in the New York Yankees’ history . Team owners , Hank , Hal Steinbrenner and their younger female sibling , Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindahl have sworn to carry on their late father’s legacy , which was one of steady and unprecedented success , while seeing the economic growth of the ball club seemingly increase exponentially at an impressive rate .

============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==============================================

Slideshow.

Brian Cashman as the general manager of the Yankees , remains under a great deal of pressure to succeed , as the heightened expectations have always been there , ever since he ascended to his current position within the franchise’s hierarchy . The late George Steinbrenner III , whose death saddened baseball’s fraternity , remains a constant reminder of his striving for success.

Joe Girardi and the team’s coaching staff have seen this team struggle while still remaining somewhat competitive within the AL East this season . With a mark of 15-10 , good enough for second place within the division , the ball-club sits three games behind the Boston Red Sox (18-7) . With their being a growing concern over the team’s pitching , it will be left to Mariano Rivera , CC Sabathia , Andy Pettite and Hideki Kuroda to spearhead the pitching staff , which remains one of the weakest within the AL and the league altogether . With that in mind , it should be noted with a litany of injuries , Joe Girardi knows that he can no longer afford to have any more shortfalls with regard to the health of his roster .

The New York Yankees are now severely challenged in terms of run productivity , albeit, that Robinson Cano remains the lone constant and the team’s best player . A more telling issue might well be the fact that the Yankees’ most recent game , which ended in a 9-1 loss to the Houston Astros played at Yankees Stadium , in New York City ,New York on Monday afternoon . If nothing else , it would suggest that this team remains far off from where it needs to be if it is to make a serious challenge in taking on the might of the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays , Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays .

The Yankees will host the Houston Astros and Bo Porter’s struggling team , two more times as part of a three-game series . It must be said , as the New York Yankees proceed over the course of their season , I do believe that they will continue struggle throughout their schedule . While Brian Cashman spares no expense in assembling a roster , it does seem ludicrous that in spite of the claims that Hal Steinbrenner sought to pare down the team’s payroll , instead it has increased back above $215 million for the 2013 season . And while this is nothing new for a franchise whose estimated value is estimated is in excess of $1.8 billion , with their being added resources available , via the team’s wholly owned cable sports’ programming outlet the YES Network Inc . It does beg the question, at what point will the ball club cease to be merely reliant upon the premise of being built upon , solely existing , because of their financial excesses , rather than building organically from within , in terms their competitive presence . It certainly has been a long time , during which one could point to the fact that the franchise could point to having produced a prominent and perennial All Star over the past decade.

If Mariano Rivera, is said to be, in the twilight of his career , it should be noted that Derek Jeter , the Yankees’ third baseman , who is still recuperating, while on the DL. Jeter yearns to be part of the present roster , but with the team’s orthopedic specialist noting that the player still has a cracked bone in his right foot , that still has yet to heal . There is no foreseeable situation, that indicates that Jeter’s return will be imminent, with the player making a contribution to the team.

With Jeter sidelined , questions also, still remain as to the well-being also of Alex Rodriguez, and his name now being associated company founder, Anthony Bosch and his South Florida based medical supplements’ company Biogenesis Inc . Bosch and where his company is at present, under investigation by the US Justice Department , after the revelations that Biogenesis supplied several prominent Major League players with PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) A denial, categorically and wholeheartedly denied by the company’s founder , Anthony Bosch. In his first public interview, with ESPN’s …. Pedro Gomez , Bosch was noncommittal in several answers concerning the claims and allegations , and with regard to the documents now said to be in the Justice Department’s possession , documenting the sale and distribution of the illicit substances in question .

Rodriguez , along with 2011 NL MVP , Ryan Braun have denied their association with Bosch’s company , albeit that Braun’s agent , Nez Balelo has issued a public statement on his client’s behalf, stating that Ryan Braun was merely a paid consultant for the company , in his role as an endorser of one of the company’s various supplement products. However, Anthony Bosch, when questioned by Pedro Gomez directly on the claims made by Balelo , they were immediately unanswered , with the company founder stating that Braun was not a paid endorser for any of his company’s products . It now begs the question, will Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy simply still sit around with his fingers stuck in their rectum, while the game of baseball is further tainted by the misdeed and ill-gotten gains of the steroid cheaters within the game ? It is not as if Selig has front and center in his handling with the whole steroid debacle to begin with ! Never mind the simple-minded idiocy and complete denial shown in the legitimate circles of journalism that was said to be covering the sport . It should also be noted, that for many of the ass rendering purists within the game, who still live in a bygone era , who believe that the game still has a purity and character, when nothing could be further from the truth !

If there is one thing that is a certainty with the season still in its infancy , it is that both the Miami Marlins and New York Mets remain a goddamn mess from a competitive and economic standpoint , and that is with due compliment to the genuine Mets’ fans out there , who are of the belief that because the ball club was a afforded financial backing from several prominent Wall Street financial institutions , that simply creates a “stay of execution” for a franchise that has been mismanaged thrown to the wolves by the team’s ownership group headed by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. Even with the alleged acumen of Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi , it is now becoming clear that the Mets remain a work in progress , and that is in the aftermath of the idiocy shown by Alderson in giving David Wright an exorbitant and outrageous contract that now places a stranglehold on the franchise’s growth. As productive as Wright is said to be , without their being any semblance of competitive spirit and play from anyone else on the roster beyond Lucas Duda , there is simply nothing at all that would suggest that the Mets have the wherewithal to compete with the likes of the Atlanta Braves or the Washington Nationals over the course of this season .

The Mets are currently playing .435 borne out with a 10-13 mark as of the 29th April , ranking the ball club in the lower half of the NL and MLB as a whole. Surely , something good can come out of this season for the franchise beyond the continued mediocrity we have witnessed over the past six seasons with this organization .

Mets’ manager Terry Collins and his coaching staff will have a great deal to prove, as I believe that Collins’ tenure could very well be short-lived if he is unable to guide this team to at least a winning season ! Anything short of that and the front office will have to act aggressively , by bringing in a manager with wholly different attitude and a background of proven success . I don’t believe that claim can be made with regard to Collins’ managerial experience and resume`.

If the New York Mets’ season in 2012 could be a described as unabated disaster , then the Miami Marlins’ year was simply a mess , with the front office , managerial staff led by Ozzie Guillen , simply clueless as to what was needed to create a winning formulae for success. Less we forget also , through a great deal of connivance by team owner Jeffrey Loria and with the intervention and collusion of Bud Selig , the city of Miami now finds itself the subject of federal investigation. And with that ongoing investigation being conducted by the Criminal Division of the US Justice Department , this could have some serious repercussions and ramifications for the city of Miami , and in particular for the game of baseball, and how the sport conducts its business and specifically the actions of the team owners .

The city of Miami remains under investigation by the federal government after the allegations were made that city commission members may well have been paid to change their vote , on the financing bill, that became the source the building of the 34,500 seated Miami Marlins Ballpark , built at the cost of an estimated $600 million , which is being completely funded with public financing . And with the Justice Department, having subpoenaed documents in the city’s possession, as evidence, that they believe will assist in the building of their case. From my own standpoint , I believe that far too often , city and state politicians would rather fall in line and side with sports’ hierarchies , rather than doing what is in the best interests of their constituents and residents . Bud Selig has been reluctant to speak openly on the matter of the Marlins’ Ballpark , and the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile , Jeffrey Loria , and senior executives from the Marlins’ hierarchy have been reluctant to speak publicly on the matter , citing the ongoing actions of the US Justice Department . It begs the question , what and when will Bud Selig show that there is transparency to be found as to how the league conducts its everyday business ? Repeatedly , I read fans continually complaining about their being overtaxed, but I have yet to read of any complaints wherein , the fans are actually calling for Selig and the team owners being taken to task and that of cities where the teams reside , and the fact that there remains a gross misuse of public funds . Personally, I don’t believe the fans intelligent enough to fully comprehend what is going on within their midst ! And nowhere is that more evident than with the continued idiocy being shown by the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays , calling for the building of a new stadium to house the two decade old franchise .

When subjected to the questions as to where the funding for such an endeavor should come from the fans and media within the local area , clearly cannot give a definitive answer as to how the financing should be realized . With the cities of St Petersburg and Tampa , as well as the state having their ongoing budgetary woes , it is clear that the fans are at a loss to give succinct and logical explanation , as to how the financing would be in place for the building of a new venue.

Rays’ owner Stuart Sternberg continually complains , giving numerous reasons as to why new stadium is needed for his ball club , but yet the owner has been completely noncommittal in stating , that he would in part fund such an endeavor from his own personal fortune . Yet the anal retentive fans of the Rays , and the local media show their complete stupidity and lack understanding of the underlying economic realities . That should really come as no surprise given the complete lack overall understanding of the fans , ingenuity and leadership at all levels within the state’s political hierarchy. The state of Florida remains locked in a fucking time warp , which is still embedded, in the era of the sixties and seventies . Doubt my word ? Then simply consider the actions of the state’s unpopular and much ridiculed governor , Republican Rick Scott , and it should be noted that the Democratic Party within the state , remains a complete oddity , and a mirror image that we continue to witness at the national level for both of the political parties in question. Both are aimlessly heading nowhere , without a sense of urgency or an understanding concerning the economic woes of the country . Likewise the same thing remains a constant within the game of baseball , which is mirrored by the financial woes of several teams around the league .

The AL Central once again , looks like a division that will be highly contested but I do believe that it remains the Detroit Tigers’ to lose ! Granted, we repeatedly here that the Kansas City Royals will be a team to be reckoned with , and will play their part in competitive season and divisional race. Yet consider the fact , that, this organization as been one of the most mismanaged and incompetent franchises in all of baseball over the last decade . One would have to be either increasingly optimistic in seeing this team currently ascend to the top of the AL , while remaining competitive enough to be seen as a legitimate contender for the World Series . Ned Yost and his staff have been given the reins to guide this team over the course of the season . And while Yost can relish in the fact that his pitching staff has been bolstered by the addition of James Shields and Wade Davis , it might not prove to be enough to get the franchise where they desire to be .The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a series against Tampa Bay Rays , with the two teams meeting tonight at Kauffman Stadium , in Kansas City , Missouri , for a night game .

=======================================

========================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

Your thoughts at present on the state of play within baseball ? Also what opinions do you have on the league’s current situation as it relates to the South Florida based medical supplements’ company Biogenesis ? Do you believe that the league hierarchy should carry out their own investigation or simply leave it once again in the hands of the federal government to deal with the matter ? By all means do take time to chime in with a comment as you see fit .

😉

Tophatal ….. 04/30/2012

Picture and slideshow details below .

=======================================================================

(1) Houston Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez (30) fields New York Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki’s fifth-inning infield single in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(2) New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera delivers in the ninth-inning of their 7-4 victory over the Houston Astros in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) ESPN’s Pedro Gomez , right, is seen here with Anthony Bosch , the founder of the South Florida based pharmaceutical and supplements’ company Biogenesis . The company at present is under investigation by the US Justice Department and FBI for what is believed to be a widespread case of Bosch’s company supplying several prominent Major League players with PED’s and other banned substances prohibited by baseball’s hierarchy. Bosch was very noncommittal with his answers when pressed on his association with several players mentioned in the confiscated documents now in the federal law enforcement’s possession . Courtesy of ESPN & AP Photo /Matt Cohen ….

———————————————————————

😉

===============================

MLB news and news from around the league

MLB transactions and transactions in the month of April

MLB standings 30th April 2013 and wildcard standings

MLB results 30th April and teams’ schedule 1st May 2013

MLB probable starting pitchers

MLB standings 1st May 2012

This week in MLB history

This day in baseball history 1st May

===========================================

Hot chic pic of the day Melanie Iglesias . One hot piece of Latina @ss ! Your thoughts on that ?

It’s not your grandfather or father’s game of baseball ……………….

It’s not your grandfather or father’s game of baseball

There now seems to be a quiet solemnity arising as baseball nears its Opening Day on Sunday, 31st March . And on Easter Sunday, representing one of the holiest days, within Christendom, it should be noted, that the game still has its difficulties , the most obvious being, that the league hierarchy has yet to find a way extricate itself from a mess of its own making, as it relates to the never-ending saga of illicit steroid use by its players . At the center of it all , will be whether not Bud Selig will use the full extent of the law and seek legal action against the South Florida medical establishment Biogenesis , in seeking obtain documentary evidence as to the list of players associated with Biogenesis’ clients, their manufacturing and sales of PED’s and anabolic steroids . Amongst the players named in these documents are Alex Rodriguez , Ryan Braun and Melky Cabrera .

===============================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=========================================

Slideshow .

In the midst of this all, one of the game’s most revered and beloved players , will be celebrated on film when Hollywood will release the biopic “42 “ , starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford , in a film based upon the life of Hall of Fame inductee , Jackie Robinson and his introduction into and the desegregation of baseball.

Official trailer for the movie “42 ” released by Warner Bros Pictures Inc

Alas, from Robinson’s introduction and his vilification by fans and contemporaries alike , it would appear that the game of baseball is still bereft of intelligence , a great deal of bigotry and complete accountability and leadership among the game’s hierarchy and players remains, a reminder as to why it has fallen from its once historic heights. And while many will counter with the fact that Branch Rickey’s brave social maneuver changed the face of sports and the social fabric of the country . One could counter that as the biggest misnomer and the very fact that the race remained socially , economically and racially divided . Doubt my word ? Consider the fact that the US military was not “fully integrated” and then desegregated until eight years after the end of World War II . Cause for concern don’t you think , considering the rather banal and idiotic claims , repeatedly being made by sociologists and historians down the years ?

Courtesy of New York Daily News

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other players linked to Biogenesis will have to speak with Major League Baseball investigators
Baseball officials have been investigating players’ ties to Florida anti-aging clinics since last summer, when the Daily News first reported that Giants star Melky Cabrera had tried to avoid a 50-game suspension by claiming a dietary supplement sparked a positive drug test

By Michael O’Keefe and Christian Reed , New York Daily News

Alex Rodriguez and other players linked to Biogenesis will still have to speak to Major League Baseball investigators in the near future, even if they could be called as witnesses in the lawsuit MLB filed last week against Anthony Bosch’s now-defunct anti-aging clinic.
Baseball’s investigators will interview players tied to Biogenesis shortly after the season begins next week, sources told the Daily News.
“I don’t think the lawsuit will prevent the interviews from going forward,” one source familiar with MLB’s Biogenesis investigation said.
MLB filed a civil suit in Florida state court on Friday that accuses Bosch and several business associates of “tortious interference” in contracts between baseball and its players by supplying players with performance-enhancing drugs.
Baseball officials have been investigating players’ ties to Florida anti-aging clinics since last summer, when the Daily News first reported that Giants star Melky Cabrera had tried to avoid a 50-game suspension by claiming a dietary supplement sparked a positive drug test.
An associate of Cabrera’s, Juan Carlos Nunez, was banned from MLB clubhouses after he admitted that he created a fake website for the product. Nunez worked for Cabrera’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, whose Brooklyn-based ACES is among baseball’s most prominent agencies.

=================================
Click on link to read in full.
==================================

From my own perspective , I have always felt that baseball’s hierarchy has been disingenuous , along with the players and its union (MLBPA) ! The so-called stars within the game have failed to speak publicly about their contemporaries’ misuse of steroids and the cheating scandal associated with the misuse of the illicit substances in question. To make matters worse , Bud Selig’s handling of this whole tragic episode has bordered on being completely comical and without scope or any common sense . It should be noted however, with Selig stepping down from his office in 2014 , it is hoped that his successor will bring about some much-needed changes within the games at various levels. Pardon me for saying this , but if the likes of Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols and Buster Posey will seek to remain silent while the union and league hierarchy simply continue with their charade , that they are cleaning up the image of the game of baseball, then they can kiss my ass ! Why continue to put up with their diatribe, when they cannot simply be honest with themselves ?

As the game continues to mire itself also with the façade that it remains financially solvent , we should remind ourselves of the fact that it still continues with their rather banal and “ asinine tax sharing “ revenue scheme which Bud Selig believes will level the competitive playing field. In actuality , nothing could be further from the truth , especially when it comes to the likes of the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates , who have not between a hair’s breadth of making the postseason in the past two decades . Yet somehow, their fans remain in hope, that thing will change in the foreseeable future . Well considering their play during last season and over the past two decades , the chances of either team being in with a chance of making the MLB postseason 2013 , seems even more remote than ever before .

Before the season comes into being , baseball has begun with an array of off-season moves , but more so the never-ending escalation in player salaries . The Detroit Tigers and their 2011 MVP and AL Cy Young winner , Justin Verlander , has been rewarded with a seven-year $189 million contract extension . Tigers GM , Dave Dombrowski and team owner, Michael Ilitch felt it beneficial and prudent extend the player’s contract , rather than losing him to free agency. Granted , with Ilitch’s vast financial resources , it should come as no surprise that the owner would seek to retain the team’s best and most valuable player. And if Verlander can reproduce the form shown over the past five seasons , then there is no reason why one shouldn’t assume that he and the Tigers can’t be a part of the postseason foray .

If there is a manager that will be under a great deal of problems , it most certainly will have to the Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly . A star laden roster, with many of those players being multiple time All Stars , undoubtedly well rewarded and amongst the best in the game financially. And that in of-itself might not be enough to satisfy long starved Dodgers’ fans , but moreover the executives of the ball-club who paid an astonishing $2.156 billion for the franchise, while it went through bankruptcy proceedings and reorganization . For lead managing partners , Magic Johnson , Todd S Boehly and Mark L Walter , Peter Guber , these are not wealthy entrepreneurs, who simply make a sizable investment merely for show , as they seek to make profit from their foray into professional sports’ franchise ownership . And with the continued rumors that the Dodgers’ ownership group through sports’ affiliated subsidiary may well seek to make an all-out $8.5 billion for AEG Worldwide Inc , the sports’ concession conglomerate owned by billionaire , Philip Anschutz , a member of Forbes ‘ 400 wealthiest Americans . If this unsolicited bid were to take place , it gives the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group, properties such as a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers , Los Angeles Galaxy , the branded properties of the O 2 Arenas , globally , Nokia Theater , Ticketmaster , Walden Media , Staples Center , part ownership in several teams now competing in MLS soccer . If anything , the Dodgers’ owners intent , will be on the team and their wish in on taking > on the San Francisco Giants , their dominance within the NL West and stymie their chance of repeating again as divisional champions , as well winning the World Series for a third time in five years. And it’s pretty safe to suggest that Giants’ owner Larry Baer , GM Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy will be looking to prove that the success of last season isn’t something of a fleeting episode that should and will be easily forgotten.

If there is said to be a player, who has to be viewed as the leader of this Dodgers’ lineup , then that might well be Matt Kemp . Although, many would deem it that Adrian Gonzalez is more fitting in that role . There is no doubt that the team’s offense is among the most productive in the NL , and it will be interesting to see whether or not this roster can replicate the form shown in 2012.

With a solid pitching rotation , the Dodgers could be looked at as one of the better positioned ball clubs within the NL this season that could very well make a spirited run with a view to the postseason. And among the pitching staff , perhaps the player with the most to prove will be Zack Greinke , whose career if anything has been understated , albeit , that he was an All Star and Cy Young award winner in 2007 with the Kansas City Royals . In reality, Greinke’s career, can be best described as being sporadic and spotty to say the very least . Whether or not he can be at the forefront of a staff that also includes Clayton Kershaw , Josh Beckett , and Hyu Jin Ryu .

The Dodgers will start their regular season sojourn, with a three game home series against the San Francisco Giants at Dodgers Ballpark in Los Angeles , California. Game one on Monday evening. And in what should be an entertaining series’ opener , this should have all the makings of an eventful year for both of these famed ball clubs.

In the AL and specifically the AL East , the consensus appears to be that the Toronto Blue Jays have to be seen as the presumptive favorites to at least win the division outright. I am not so sure that on the face of it , the team can be seen as legitimate contenders , merely because on appearance alone the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are said to have taken a step back , primarily because off-season moves and injuries . The Baltimore Orioles , I believe will remain a force to be reckoned with , within the division, but the Rays will have the best balanced roster , of any of the teams within the AL East. What does stand out, with Joe Maddon’s roster of talented players , just happens to be the fact the their starting pitching will remain amongst the best not just within the AL but within MLB in general . What is apparent , with the loss of James Shields and Wade Davis , Maddon is still lucky enough to know that there is a great deal of depth to his staff and the team pitching , in general. If the Rays can come out of the gate fast , with series of confidence building wins and build on that momentum , then there is no reason not to believe why they cannot be part be part of the postseason spectacle, in what fans believe , is amongst the best in team sports .

Granted, run production has always a been real issue with the Tampa Bay Rays ,but if James Loney , well as Evan Longoria , Yunel Escobar , Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist may need to show that they are capable of leading this ball club to the undoubted success sought by the ownership group led by Stuart Sternberg , Matthew Silverman with the personnel experience of Andrew Friedman , who , I believe has been the brains behind the success of the franchise along with Joe Maddon’s managerial acumen . The less I hear Sternberg and Silverman bitching and whining about the Rays’ lack financial wherewithal and the lack of support from the municipality and county governments in coming to their aid with regard to a new venue . It becomes clearer to me that this ownership group simply has no goddamn idea what it takes to run a successful professional sports’ franchise. Sternberg’s alleged business acumen as a financier and commodities’ broker has become a fairy tale and a myth . Stuart Sternberg and Matt Silverman have indicated to me, that they are mere children in a room filled with men . The city of Tampa and St Petersburg have become renowned for having owners of their professional sports’ franchises who have become disengaged and so fucking clueless, as to what is needed to make their teams a real success and have a loyal fan-base ( average attendance , Rays, Lightning , Buccaneers) . And that has now become a reality for the Rays , Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the continued idiocy shown by the respective ownership groups.

As the season progresses it will be interesting to see how the teams s acquit themselves over an arduous 162 game schedule . Given what we all witnessed in 2012 and the play of the teams over the course of the season. Whether or not we can have a revisit of many of the highlights we all witnessed , with games , where many of them were close victories. Undoubtedly many of us will also be looking forward whether or not the sensational rookies we witnessed such Mike Trout , Yoenis Cespedes , Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish . Of this year’s rookies , several are likely to make some solid contributions for their teams this season , and we are likely to see that come to fruition with several of these players , namely Wil Myers , Jurickson Profar , Gerritt Cole , Billy Hamilton , Carlos Correa and Shelby Miller .

================================================

================================================

Picture gallery.

Given the issues in 2012 during which we saw the best and the very worst within the game , in terms of what now appears that never-ending saga of steroids rearing its ugly head . It now looks as if all of the claims being made by Bud Selig that the hierarchy is doing the very best to clean up its image is now nothing but a comical joust by the commissioner . Mandatory off-season testing has yet to become a reality and the prolific and rampant use of steroids and PED’s now seem to be more widespread than ever , especially at the minor league level . Something that Selig simply glosses over repeatedly . As if we should have expected anything else to begin with ?

What if anything do you hope to see come out of this baseball season and which team or teams do you believe will be a major surprise during the regular and postseason ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit , and once again thanks as always for your continued support of this site .

😉

Picture and slideshow gallery details below.
==================================================

(1) The tainted face and continued shame of baseball arises once again , with the names of Ryan Braun , Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez . All three players’ are named in documents of the South Florida medical establishment Biogenesis as recipient of steroids sent to their homes as part of a paid consignment . In 2012 Cabrera sat out the mandatory 50 game suspension when he was in the hunt for the NL MVP race . Rodriguez is currently sidelined with an injury , having undergone off-season hip surgery . Ryan Braun through his agent , Nez Badelo has suggested , that his client is completely innocent of the charges currently being leveled against him , and that he was merely a paid up consultant and endorser of the supplements produced by the company . Miami Herald …….

(2) Right , actor , Chadwick “Chad ” Boseman in the role of Jackie Robinson is seen in conversation with Dodgers’ general manager Branch Rickey , the role played by veteran actor , Harrison Ford . The movie entitled “42” , a biopic of the Robinson story , is set for release on 12th April , nationally , in theaters across the country . AP Photo / Donald Hurley …

(3) San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits a single against the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game , Friday, March 29, 2013 in San Francisco. AP Photo/George Nikitin ……

(4) Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, right, looks at team president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski during a news conference after a spring baseball exhibition game on Friday, March 29, 2013, in Lakeland, Fla., where Verlander talked about his new seven-year, $180 million contract . AP Photo/Carlos Osorio …..

(5) Los Angeles Dodgers starter Zack Greinke delivers a pitch in the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Greinke starts the season as one of the highest salaried and paid players on the Dodgers’ roster . It should be noted that the Opening Day payroll for MLB's thirty teams will for the first time exceed $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) , with the Yankees now leading the pack after their recent acquisition of Vernon Wells , supplanting the Dodgers’ $213.5 payroll for 2013. AP Photo/Christine Cotter …

(6) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon addresses the media before an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Sarasota, Fla. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio ….

(7) Jurickson Profar (13) of the Texas Rangers signs autographs for fans before the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on February 22, 2013 in Surprise, Arizona. Getty Images North America /Christian Petersen …..
===================================================

😉

By Tophatal

Links to MLB articles within this site .

=======================================

MLB related sports’ stories :

MLB salaries: Yankees, A-Rod reign as cash changes hands

Teams paying for players no longer on roster

=================================

MLB news

MLB news by teams

MLB Opening Day schedule

MLB results 31st March , 2013

MLB schedule 1st April

MLB Standings

This week in MLB history & This week in MLB history Month of April

Baseball history chronological information (31st March) and 1st April

Detroit Tigers’ news

Los Angeles Dodgers’ news

Tampa Bay Rays news

MLB Minor League Level news

Top paid players in MLB

=====================================

It was the best of times and the worst of times ……

It was the best of times and the worst of times

With the final week of Spring Training now upon us, teams are looking to prepare themselves for Opening Day of the 2013 season. A number of ball-clubs teams will certainly be look to acquit themselves after something of a disappointing season. Cases could be made that two of the biggest disappointments from a competitive standpoint came by way of the Texas Rangers (93-69) and Philadelphia Phillies (81-81). And with both of these ball-clubs having among the highest payrolls of last season , it is easy to understand why both were considered a major disappointment to their fans and the analysts alike.

==================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

====================================

Slideshow.

For the Texas Rangers , major upheavals have taken place during the off-season , with the departure of outfielder and slugger, Josh Hamilton for the millions that Arte Moreno and the Los Angeles were offering the player , to add some potency for their offense . GM Jon Daniels and team President Nolan Ryan had a difference of opinion as to how best to deal with a number of player issues beyond meeting what was said to be Hamilton’s ludicrous contract demands. With that taken into account, Ryan was forced to step down by several of the team’s other syndicated partners. Daniels, is now solely responsible for all of the player personnel decisions in conjunction with Ron Washington and the coaching staff.

The fact th