So Tell Me Why It Is We’re Suppose To Listen To Anything That Scott Boras Has To Say ? Is It Pertinent ?

So Tell Me Why It Is We’re Suppose To Listen To Anything That Scott Boras Has To Say ? Is It Pertinent ?

It amuses me when I read how ‘uber-agent’ Scott Boras now deems it appropriate for MLB to set into motion where he thinks that the hierarchy ought to have a salary structure in place for rookies entering the draft. Am I missing something here ? This is the same Scott Boras who originally wanted a signing bonus of $25 million signing bonus for his then client Stephen Strasburg who would then sign with the Washington Nationals . But I digress , what we have here is bloviate who finally realizes that economy of the game is now stifling his earning potential and power.

Scott Boras, chided for bonus demands for amateur clients, says the Major League Baseball draft needs restructuring. "In this system, everybody thinks this is about money. No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes," he says.

Scott Boras, chided for bonus demands for amateur clients, says the Major League Baseball draft needs restructuring. “In this system, everybody thinks this is about money. No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes,” he says. photo appears courtesy of USA Today Jason M. Millstein ……….

More caustically , need I remind you that of the eight highest paid players in the game, 6 of those players’ contracts were negotiated by Boras, himself. Now far be it for me to suggest that Boras is solely to blame for the financial mess within the game. But in large part the idiocy of this all ‘falls squarely on the shoulders of the general managers’ and ‘owners’ who acquiesce and allow Scott Boras to dictate the price being paid. A statement that can be directly attributed to Boras was that “…….the market can bear whatever it can bear ” !. And this all is borne out by the fact that Boras feels that teams such as the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels , New York Mets , Philadelphia Phililies and St Louis Cardinals are able to afford the ‘multi million dollar contracts’. So needless to say , Alex Rodriguez’s ten year $275 million contract negotiated by the player on the advice of Boras , with the Yankees’ intermediary and GM Brian Cashman , was something that the agent felt proud of. Wouldn’t ‘you’ , if your commission is in the range of anywhere between 3-6 % of the contract’s worth ? Never mind what the player will be able to earn via the prospective commercial endorsement contracts that may well come their way.

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Courtesy of USA Today Thursday’s edition 03/11/2010

Panel Part IV: A less-costly process for draft

By Bob Nightengale , USA Today

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Agent Scott Boras is the man baseball loves to hate.

It’s not enough that he’s blamed for baseball’s escalating salary structure, but he’s considered in some quarters almost personally responsible for ruining Major League Baseball’s amateur draft with outrageous bonus demands for amateur clients.

The draft was designed to provide baseball’s greatest amateur talent to its worst teams, but often the best player is bypassed by cellar dwellers for financial reasons.

The Washington Nationals might have reveled in No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg’s dazzling debut Tuesday, but seven months ago there was the daunting prospect they couldn’t afford him.

“If we had the same rules as the NBA and NFL,” Detroit Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen says, “the Washington Nationals could have either taken Strasburg or traded down. They could have gotten a couple of players who already are in the big leagues or prospects.

“But the way it’s set up now, they had no choice.”

Strasburg, represented by Boras, signed a four-year, $15.1 million contract, the richest in draft history, minutes before the Nationals lost the rights to negotiate with him.

And yet three months later Strasburg’s contract was dwarfed by a pitcher not subject to the draft. Cuban defector Ardolis Chapman signed a $30 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

“There’s no question,” Boras says, “the draft needs to be completely redone. It’s not working.”

Major League Baseball can’t agree more. But the $7 billion industry question is, how can it be changed? There has been talk of a hard slotting system similar to the NBA’s or an international draft.

TORII HUNTER: Candid comments cause stir

Key ideas

USA TODAY’s eight-person committee emerged from a four-hour roundtable discussion with imaginative solutions.

•The elite players in the draft, a consensus top 40 chosen by scouting directors, would be granted free agency, just like the international players. There would be no worldwide draft, but the disparity between American and foreign players would be greatly narrowed.

•The rest of the players would go into two eight-round drafts — one for collegiate players, one for high school players. The worst team would get the No. 1 collegian and the No. 1 high schooler. Players drafted would not receive a signing bonus but a three-year contract for $30,000 a season. If clubs want to retain the player after three years, they would pay $150,000 for the following season and $250,000 apiece for the next two years.

•The players who aren’t drafted can either go to college or enter a developmental league for 60 days, giving every team another chance to sign them. If not selected, the players would get the message that pro baseball might not be in their immediate future.

“This system allows us to make less mistakes,” Boras says. “It allows players the opportunity to get a qualified amount of money to play baseball and allows the elite players to be separated and treated the same as the international player.”

“It’s a whole different level of thinking,” Milwaukee Brewers pitcher LaTroy Hawkins says. “I love it.”

The idea is to ensure that only the truly elite players are drafted. There would be college scholarships awaiting those who don’t make it. And fewer kids would be deceived about their chances of being a big-leaguer.

“In this system, everybody thinks this is about money,” Boras says. “No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes. It’s about not seeing kids get hurt.

“They’re drafting kids and taking them out of college. They’re saying, ‘You have a chance to play pro baseball,’ when truthfully they don’t. Right now, 98% of the kids that are signed are later released. Let’s stop sending false messages that players drafted in rounds nine through 50 are going to be in the major leagues.

“We’re spending 45% of our money on players drafted after the fifth round. Owners say our draft budget went from $5 million to $9 million because of you. I tell them, ‘No, the $5 million you spent (on one player) was right. The other $4 million you just wasted.’ ”

Improving scouts’ efficiency

The committee also says this system would increase the efficiency of the top amateur scouts.

“Given the system now,” Chicago Cubs special assistant Gary Hughes says, “I didn’t see all of our guys. Or even close. Maybe 10%. So you better have good scouts. There are guys that won’t draft a player unless they’ve seen them. And shame on them.”

Says Boras: “The problem with the draft is that the man who best knows the commodity is completely removed. When a guy with the experience of someone like Gary only sees 10% of the guys they sign, something is wrong. With this, you’ll have more eyes on fewer guys.”

Every player drafted will also be provided money for college costs. This provides a safety net for players who fail to reach the big leagues and benefits baseball in its efforts to persuade athletes to avoid other sports.

“I know if I hadn’t made it to the majors,” Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter says, “I’d be 28, 29, with no work experience. I’d be fortunate to make $30,000 a year because that’s the only thing I know.

“That’s why I really want my kids to go to college.”

The concept, the committee acknowledges, will need fine-tuning. But it wonders if the proposal will be taken seriously by owners, particularly considering it is largely Boras’ brainchild.

“You know what you need,” Hughes told Boras. “You need to sell that to (well-regarded baseball executive) Roland Hemond and have him believe in it too. Let him sell it, because you’ve got no chance.”

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This is part of a five part series of articles written over the course of this week delving into the game of baseball. Different journalists from the paper have contributed to each of the articles in question along with an empaneled group who discussed the game.

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It now makes me wonder, what it is that Boras is now aiming for ? Because before this , we’d never have heard the agent make this sort of announcement at all. The owners themselves, while on the outside looking in, may well feel happy. But at the same time I’ve got to wonder what Bud Selig and the league’s hierarchy must think of this all ? When it came to dealing with the financial aspect of the game MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been as about insightful as the government is now seen to be , when dealing with the fallout of the US economy. He’ll give us a great many platitudes as to the overall health of the game. But needless to say the commissioner fails to let you know that in 2008 he was compensated rather handsomely . Handsomely, to the tune of $17.5 million as a matter of fact. Well, from Selig’s point of view , baseball has been very , very good to him. And no doubt in 2009 he had to have been paid immeasurably more. In 2010, who knows what the figure will be ? As to the likes of such teams, as the Kansas City Royals , Tampa Bay Rays , Minnesota Twins , Oakland Athletics , Pittsburgh Pirates , San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are left to eke out whatever they can by way of the monies they receive concerning the tax revenue sharing scheme officiated by the league.

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig and actress Sarah-Jessica Parker take part in an on field presentation during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig and actress Sarah-Jessica Parker take part in an on field presentation during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaac ...............

Now comes the hard part, how amenable is baseball to changing the the salary structure for rookies ? And down the line are they willing to instigate a ‘hard and fast salary cap’ in the game ? This may well be the only way to stave of financial disaster for some clubs within the game. As amenable as Bud Selig continues to be , at the heart of it all he still remains a used car salesman. Even as the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers , the club was essentially being ran as if it were a used car sales’ lot. And even now is it any different under new ownership ? And much of Selig’s alleged business acumen is derived from his car dealerships within the Milwaukee city area. What’s the saying …….’if you’ve seen one used car salesman then you’ve seen them all’ ? Well not much has changed with Selig in that respect, as he’s now got much larger car lot to preside over. And it just happens to be the game of baseball and the consumers coming unto the lot happen to be the fans of the game who attend the ballparks up and down the country to derive whatever pleasure there is to be had. As to whether or not the fans are now getting value for money, that remains to be seen.

Scott Boras as an agent , has simply been a facilitator of the utter madness that has overtaken the game with regard to the inflated salaries and the game’s finances. And he above all people should realize that he’s played a part in what has almost caused the ruination of the sport. Instead he’s been acting as if he’s now a savior with an idea that could make the game better for us all. Somehow Boras comes across to me , more as a con-man more than anything else. But as I’ve alluded to earlier it has been the owners and general manager more than anything else that that have made the ridicule that it has now become. I mean Selig derives pleasure in what he states has been the healthy state of the sport and its stringent drug testing policy. But if he were broached on the subject of the finances of the game he’d be at a complete loss to really tell you how many clubs within the game are actually profitable at present. And this is a sport that has revenues in excess of $ 6.5 billion a year. If the vast majority of the 30 teams can’t even eke out a profit , then what hope is there for the game ? Never mind the fact that the GM’s act like an out of control corporate executives who believe they’re in control of AIG or GM . Thankfully, there’ll be no government bailout here, should things start to go ‘south’. But then again , who’s to say that Selig won’t have the temerity to come cap in hand seeking assistance from the Federal government ? Stranger things are known to have happen and will continue to happen within the game.

Funny thing is, Scott Boras has me wondering whether or not I should now be listening to anything that he has to say. It’s not as if he’s ever had the game’s best interests at heart. But then again which entity within the game , ever has ? The hierarchy of the game ? The ‘owners’ ? The players and their union ,the MLBPA ? You tell me ?


NB:
In order to read each of the articles covering the five day series just click on the link provided here. A Day To Day Look At The Game of Baseball . Click on the aforementioned link and then from there take your pick as to which of the series in question is of interest to you. Or you may choose to read all five in question.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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‘Money Makes The World Go Around’ …….from the movie ‘Cabaret’ as sung by Joel Grey & Liza Minnelli . I wonder if this is what ‘both’ Boras and Selig have in mind as it concerns the game of baseball ? Given the fact that by their way of thinking there’s still a great deal of it within the game for all thirty major league teams. If only all of that were true ? What do you think ?


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English glamor model Danielle Loyd . Need I say anymore on the matter ? In order to view Danielle’s gallery in full just click on each picture individually. Oh my, Danielle what fine assets you have ? All the more for us all to view and play with.
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A Year In Review , Hits And Misses In Sports Thus Far …………….

Well as 2009 comes to a close , I can’t say that I haven’t been surprised by a number of story and plot lines that’s taken place throughout the year. Put your hands up , if you’d envisaged Tiger Woods being part of some ‘sordid sexual’ intrigue ? Not with just one woman but a ‘baker’s dozen, as in thirteen ? Screw that, Tiger was ‘hittin’ more tail’ off the PGA Tour than he’d been hitting divots on the golf course, throughout much of the Tour’s regular season. Noted, he has been voted AP Athlete of The Decade. No pun intended there ! But he laid more cable than the usual installers for my local cable operated affiliate here in Polk County, Florida.

Chicago , Ill, December 28th, 2009. Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings is sacked by Mark Anderson (#97) of the Chicago Bears as Phil Loadholt (#71) holds Anderson to the ground at Soldier Field on December 28, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 36-30 in overtime. picture appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/ Johnathan Daniel ....
Chicago , Ill, December 28th, 2009. Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings is sacked by Mark Anderson (#97) of the Chicago Bears as Phil Loadholt (#71) holds Anderson to the ground at Soldier Field on December 28, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 36-30 in overtime. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Johnathan Daniel ....

So are you still buying into the fact that Brett Favre can lead the Minnesota Vikings to the promised land of a Superbowl win ? Watching this team succumb to the lowly Chicago Bears last night, was enough to suggest to me that this has been more about hype than anything substantive to begin with. And less we forget, it has been those merry band of idiots within CBS Sports, ESPN and Foxsports that have been leading the charge about Favre. And no doubt those devoted Brett Favre fans have been buying into all of this, as they’ve succumbed to Brett’s wily charms ? Much like Rasputin, Favre is as evil , as he can sometimes look. And perhaps even more so, when he’s not getting his own way like some whining prissy little kid. He talks about being a teammate but I’ve yet to hear one of his former or present teammates actually come out and support the guy wholeheartedly. Am I wrong here , or not ?

In the NBA can we all finally agree , that it’s Kobe’s world and until LeBron James actually wins something of note , other than another endorsement contract. He will continue to play ‘second fiddle’ to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Now with Shaquille O’Neal at his side as a new-found teammate. We’ll see if once again LeBron can get to those lofty heights and actually win an NBA title. Who can forget his infantile and somewhat petulant behavior after the Cavaliers were swept out of the Eastern Conference semi-finals of last season , by the Orlando Magic. Now he equates it with being a momentary lapse and the fact that the team lost. Suck it up you wuss and act like an honorable sportsman but above all, like a man ! You say you want to be a role model to kids but this is how you act ? Is it me but why is that when an athlete falls foul of his own actions , they look to allay that act elsewhere by looking to apportion blame upon someone else ? If you can think of an answer why ,then all by all means leave a comment concerning that very matter.

The Los Angeles Lakers showcase their style in beating the Orlando Magic 99-86 in Game 5 of the NBA Final in 2009.

With the Lakers handily beating the Magic in the best of seven game series 4-1,thereby allowing the Los Angeles Lakers to lift their fifteenth NBA title and Phil Jackson his tenth, as a coach. We can all agree that last season was simply all about the Los Angeles Lakers . Every other NBA story had to be punctuated with a comma. It wasn’t that there weren’t other noteworthy stories throughout the season. But once it became clear that the Lakers would make the NBA Finals. It essentially became about whether or not Kobe would finally win a title without Shaq in tow. Now we know that he can and did, he’s out to prove to us that the team can defend its title successfully. And you’d be hard pressed at this juncture to think that they’re not capable of achieving that feat. Given the fact that they’re now playing as good as any time over the past eighteen months. And Bryant along with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum are as hungry as ever. The rest of the NBA is on notice, that until you take down the champion , it’s his courtyard that you’re playing in. So whoever is good enough to step up to the plate and do battle , step forward.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has showed us once again that even though the economy is being ravaged. It still lives in its own small little world of make belief. Commissioner Bud Selig tells us that the sky is blue when it in fact there is a thunderous rainstorm, then we’re meant to believe him. I mean he’s the ‘commish’ and what he says, goes. Selig and his former counterpart , Donald Fehr of the MLBPA (Players’ Union)have seen the game slip into the depths of an abyss and without there now being any integrity to the game. It still carries with it that tarnished image and the very fact that two of the game’s most high profiled stars were embroiled in a steroid abuse scandal , only goes to show that there’s still a tremendously long way before there’s some semblance of respectability is brought back to the game. Both Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez now joins the likes of Roger Clemens , Rafeal Palmeiro , Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as being looked upon as ‘cheaters’- never mind a ‘steroid abuser’. But the biggest domino yet to fall , is that of Barry Bonds, whose own saga is being played out within the justice system at the taxpayers’ expense.

But it’d be remiss to think that the ‘steroid issue’ is the only inherent problem that the game now faces. There is the financial stability of the game itself. And the ever widening gap between the haves and have nots of the game. And far be it for me to suggest to Bud Selig that he ought to take his thumb out of his ass and deal those two issues. But it has reached a point where not only is the game’s hierarchy content with this mess but so too, are the players and the owners. And we all know that in the end, it’ll be the fans who’ll end up having to pay for the mess to begin with. If they’re (MLB) not raising the prices of general admission and season tickets. You can bet that the price of the concessions ,parking and memorabilia will rise faster than the rate of inflation.

New York Yankees C.C. Sabathia, left, Alex Rodriguez, second from left, Curtis Granderson, second from right, and manager Joe Girardi attend a press conference at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, where Granderson was introduced as the newest Yankees player.
New York Yankees C.C. Sabathia, left, Alex Rodriguez, second from left, Curtis Granderson, second from right, and manager Joe Girardi attend a press conference at Yankee Stadium in New York, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, where Granderson was introduced as the newest Yankees player. picture appears courtewsy od ap/photo/ Seth Wenig ...............

And less we forget, the ever power hungry agents out there will be looking to do their part to make sure that the escalating salaries within the game continues. None more so than the man deemed to be the main culprit behind so much of the escalation in the salaries and that’s none other than Scott Boras. His mendacity and the maneuvers he’s been able to pull off with the complete gullibility of the owners and general managers, gives you the indication that they believe that they’re playing with ‘Monopoly money’ , rather than cold hard cash. And why not , like I said, it’ll be the fans who in the end will pay for those increases. It’s not as if the revenues attained within the game is being equally spread amongst the teams within major league baseball, to begin with. But for all of the image set forth I’ve yet to hear anyone really question the financial plight of the game. Not even such esteemed baseball writers such as Buster Olney or Peter Gammons. Another reason why you can’t take those individuals at their word when it comes to providing any real analysis concerning the health of the game. As they’d rather deal in platitudes and fairy tales.

The season itself was one of excellence wherein we saw once again that the best player the game doesn’t happen to wear the pinstripes of the New York Yankees and whose name happens to be Alex Rodriguez. The person in question, who for all sense and purpose has the fans of the game in awe, is none other than St Louis Cardinals ,first baseman, Albert Pujols. And for the third time in five seasons he was named the NL MVP (2005,2008,2009) . And deservedly so, considering that the dominance that he’s shown within the game. In the AL the recipient there was the Minnesota Twins’ catcher , Joe Mauer. Another model of consistency over the last five years.

The World Series itself, would pit the best in the AL, the New York Yankees against last season’s winners, the Philadelphia Phillies. Two contrasting teams that are only separated by their mindsets as it comes to the game. The Yankees known for their lavish spending in acquiring the best talent that money can buy. Often reviled by the fans solely on this one issue. The Phillies for their part are viewed as the dominant team in the National League. And they’ve been that model of consistency over the last four years. However, this was a series wherein the Yankees were seeking redemption and the chance place themselves back at the top of the baseball world. And for the likes of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. This was the chance to win their fifth World Series together as teammates. The triumvirate being the sole remnants left from that dominant dynasty of the mid to late nineties.

The series itself , would see the Yankees dominance rise to the occasion, with them winning the World Series in six games (4-2) over the Philadelphia Phillies. The heroics however, would be that of Yankees’ slugger and DH , Hideki Matsui, who was named series MVP. And for the New York Yankees’ fans this was a reason to rejoice , as they raised their twenty seventh World Series title. No doubt the fans in the ‘Red Sox Nation’ can’t wait to take a bite out of the ‘Evil Empire’ . And so too no doubt will the rest of major league baseball.

Vitali (left) and Wladimir  Klitschko   of the  Ukraine.   At  present   the  two  brothers   hold  three  of   the  four  major  recognized  heavyweight  title  belts  between  them.     picture appears  courtesy  of  theindependent.uk.co/ Ian  McGregor  ................
Vitali (left) and Wladimir Klitschko of the Ukraine. At present the two brothers hold three of the four major recognized heavyweight title belts between them. picture appears courtesy of theindependent.uk.co/ Ian McGregor ................

What haven’t I said about the state of professional boxing , that I’ve continued to state repeatedly ? It has become ‘a complete farce’ at the heavyweight level ! Wherein, the two best fighters in the category refuse to fight each other , because of a promise given to their mother. Well, that’s what we’ve been told by the respective holders of the recognized belts in , Wladimir Klitschko (IBF,IBO,WBO)and his brother , Vitali Klitschko (WBC). Granted, a promise given to one’s mother is better than no promise at all. But these two brothers were they to fight and create an undisputed champion within the division. Then it would bring back some credence to the sport as well as the division. Not only that but it’d actually create a certain degree of interest within the heavyweight division. Nowadays, watching two boxers within the division fight one another is akin to watching the Animal Planet and seeing a male and female rhinoceros contemplating the mating ritual. It begins to get somewhat hazardous and downright scary for you to watch. They’re looking somewhat cumbersome and at the same time you may well find the act itself, somewhat gross ? Not unlike the vast majority of the heavyweight boxers now with the aspirations of winning the heavyweight championship. And that would also include the various holders of the belts in question. There isn’t that much talent in the division to begin with. But yet the idiots such as Larry Merchant , Joe Tessitore, Teddy Atlas and Jim Lampley claim that there is. Who knew that idiots such as this were paid to offer such asinine comments ? Even Stevie Wonder can tell the difference between a tomato can and ‘a bum’. Whereas, these assholes couldn’t tell you the difference between sh_t and shinola ! Yeah, I said and I damn well mean it , ’cause it’s true.

A male and female rhinoceros mating. It somewhat resembles the farce of witnessing the heavyweight boxing scene at present, wouldn’t you say ?

And unfortunately at the lower levels within boxing , things are decidedly taking a nasty turn for the worse. The so called ‘superfight’ match-up envisaged between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao for the welterweight title, is now looking more like a distant dream, instead of becoming a reality. The acrimony between the Mayweather camp and Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, has become an all-out battle of words, insults and barbs being traded between the two sides. What this actually does for boxing and its image, is about as welcoming as seeing Rosie O’Donnell dressed in nothing but a thong and getting ready to engage in a sexual act. You don’t want to watch but at the same time you’re still enlightened as to what you’ll anticipate that you’re going to see happen ? Pardon me here guys, but Rosie engaging in a sexual act ain’t my cup of tea , nor should it be yours !

Floyd Mayweather Jr. smiles in the ring during his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena September 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather won by unanimous decision.   Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP (Photo credit should read Ethan Miller/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather Jr. smiles in the ring during his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena September 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather won by unanimous decision. picture appears courtesy of AFP/Getty Images/ Ethan Miller ..........

The other divisions within the sport have their aspirants but none whereby the public would immediately recognize them as being a household name. When one considers that the three dominant promoters within the sport here in the United States are all claiming to bring back respectability to the sport. You have to wonder what steps were being taken by Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc., Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc, and Don King of Don King Promotions Inc.. Last I checked, not one of these guys could be viewed as pillars of the boxing community and bastions for upholding the integrity of the sport. But this indeed the price that one has to pay when the organizations that govern the sport internationally have become an alphabet soup group of bodies, who’ve no one’s best interests but their own when it comes to the custodianship of the sport. Never mind the fact, that they’re induced to carry on with this type of behavior by the very promoters who say that they want the sport to remain competitive and of interest to its most ardent of fans. Those words are beginning to ring ever so hollow at present !

And I’d have something to say about NASCAR and the NHL but the words that come to mind aren’t used to characterize the niceties of both sports. Suffice to say , that while there are fans of both sports out there. I am most definitely not one of them ! There isn’t anything at all that I find either alluring or engrossing about both of these sports. I’ll may well give them a passing glance but when it’s all said and done. It just doesn’t float my boat !

NB: All pictures appears courtesy of either AFP, AP/Photo and Getty Images, respectively

Winter Wonderland And The Lunatic Fringe Of Major League Baseball …………………

Well, the winter meetings are underway and therein the MLB executives such as the general managers will gather together to discuss ‘their state of affairs’.And no doubt try to arrange several major deals amongst the desirable free agents that are liable to be on the market this winter.

Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, left, looks on as newly signed Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro displays a Red Sox uniform during a news conference at Fenway Park, in Boston, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. After cycling through seven shortstops since the middle of the 2004 season, the Red Sox announced on Friday that they have given Scutaro a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Steve Senne .......
Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, left, looks on as newly signed Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro displays a Red Sox uniform during a news conference at Fenway Park, in Boston, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. After cycling through seven shortstops since the middle of the 2004 season, the Red Sox announced on Friday that they have given Scutaro a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Steve Senne .......

At a time when all four major high profiled sports are facing a major economic crisis. Only the buffoons within MLB would try and tell you the exact opposite to what’s happening out there. Simply put, Bud Selig and Bob DuPuy are about as cognizant as to what’s happening in the game of baseball, as Stevie Wonder would be, in a darkened room filled with several poisonous snakes. Suffice to say, that if they were bitten, they still wouldn’t get it and that’s how idiotic both of these individuals happen to be ! And along with them following suit ,are the owners in tow, along with the bumbling entity that calls itself the Major League Baseball Players’ Union, otherwise known as the MLBPA.

Baseball commissioner , Bud Selig , seated  left  and  MLB Chief  Executive  Officer  Bob  DuPuy.   Selig is  due to step   down   from  his  role  as baseball  commissioner   in 2012.  A  position  which  he has  held  first on  an interim  basis and  then  permanently  from 1993 to  the present day.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Roger  Scott  ................
Baseball commissioner , Bud Selig , seated left and MLB Chief Executive Officer Bob DuPuy. Selig is due to step down from his role as baseball commissioner in 2012. A position which he has held first on an interim basis and then permanently from 1993 to the present day. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Roger Scott ................

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Yankees finish organizational meetings

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is ready to start making offseason moves.

The 2009 World Series champions set their 2010 budget parameters during the third day of organizational meetings on Friday.

“Now we’ll go out trying to execute some game plans,” Cashman said. “We have our priorities and we’ll starting working through the winter.”

New York signed free agent pitchers CC Sabathia(notes) and A.J. Burnett(notes), and first baseman Mark Teixeira(notes) during the 2008 offseason. Cashman said there are not as many glaring needs this year, but added the Yankees are “not the perfect beast, either.”

“Thankfully we have a lot of answers already on our roster, but there’s still areas of need that we need to address,” Cashman said.

Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon(notes) and 2009 World Series MVP, designated hitter Hideki Matsui(notes), are both free agents. Left-hander Andy Pettitte(notes) hasn’t announced whether he will return for next season.

“I’ll talk with all the agents involved, as well as the other agents on the rest of the free agent market and at the end on the trade market,” Cashman said.

Outside free agents like outfielder Matt Holliday(notes) and pitcher John Lackey(notes) could get some consideration during baseball’s winter meetings next week.

“We’ll meet with agents, meet with clubs,” Cashman said. “You never know what will materialize.”

The Yankees are also expected to monitor the trade status of Toronto ace Roy Halladay(notes).

Senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, who oversees player development, spent an hour during the final day of meetings Friday with Cashman and other high-level team officials at the Yankees spring training complex.

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Now if there was a warning sign for the game of baseball to heed , then it had to have been when on the cusp of the beginning of last season. When the New York Yankees once again entered the fray and spent over $423 million to secure the services of Mark Teixeira, A. J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia on their way to securing their 27th World Series title, with a six game series’ win over the Philadelphia Phillies in their showcase event of ‘The Fall’. Hitherto, uber-agent,Scott Boras and several of his colleagues were extremely happy with the course of events that unfolded with regard to these signings. Now come full circle and players such as Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays ,Jason Bay of the Boston Red Sox and the St Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday are amongst the most desirable players that are liable to be on the market this winter. Of the triumvirate mentioned, only Halladay isn’t a free agent. Although it’ll take a great deal to pry away the player from the Blue Jays, as they’re no doubt seeking the most desirable value possible in terms of replacing their ace pitcher.

It’d appear that the premium prices will once again abound this off-season if the comments by Boras are anything to go by. It is his belief, that the game is as healthy as it’s ever been. As to how he comes by this notion is anyone’s guess. But bear in mind, what Scott Boras wants, is nothing more than getting the best possible deal for his client or clients as the case maybe. That way his commission remains above the norm, in terms of services rendered on behalf of his client. Selig , as commissioner of baseball and Bob DuPy as the game’s Chief Executive Officer, merely sit and aside and watch things unravel infront of their very eyes. Never mind the fact that many of the mid and small market clubs are now struggling to make ends meet. Granted, MLB at present has what it calls a ‘luxury tax’ that in essence is nothing more than a way to penalize clubs such as the Yankees and the other large market teams, who are able to avail themselves of the best talent available by plundering the rosters of other teams within MLB, as they see fit. Be it through free agency or via a trade. Selig and his minions would have you believe that this is best and only way to keep the game on an even keel and as a viable healthy option. In many respects it’s no different from the somewhat asinine format the federal government took in bailing out the financial and automotive industries without any real guarantees in return. Selig, informs us that the recipients of this particular revenue streams, has to use the monies to bolster their rosters. But more often than not .that money is being used to do precisely the opposite. It actually finds its way into the pockets of the owners , who then offer no explanation to the fans, who have to endure the abject futility of those teams and their on the field performances.

Taken  from last year the  Mets' front office hierarchy  from  left  to right  , Senior VP Player Development  ,  Tony Bernard ,  team owner  , Fred  Wilpon and   General Manager, Omar Minaya.   Having   spent  in  excess  of  $450 million  dollars   alone  in  signing  free agents  over  the  last  three  and  half  years  .  The  New  York Mets  have  had  little   show in  return   for  the  vast   financial  outlay  made  to  acquire  those players.  Albeit that they're   now  charging  premium  prices   for their  monstrous  new  venue  Citi Field   in  New  York   City.  The  cost of  which  was  in  excess  of   $ 675  million  and  was  totally   financed  with  public  money   via  bonds and  the  introduction  of several  tax increases and  new  service  charges  initiated  by  incumbent  Mayor ,  Michael Bloomberg.    picture   appears   courtesy  of  New York Daily News/ News/  Terry  Simmons   ........................
Taken from last year the Mets' front office hierarchy from left to right , Senior VP Player Development , Tony Bernard , team owner , Fred Wilpon and General Manager, Omar Minaya. Having spent in excess of $450 million dollars alone in signing free agents over the last three and half years . The New York Mets have had little show in return for the vast financial outlay made to acquire those players. Albeit that they're now charging premium prices for their monstrous new venue Citi Field in New York City. The cost of which was in excess of $ 675 million and was totally financed with public money via bonds and the introduction of several tax increases and new service charges initiated by incumbent Mayor , Michael Bloomberg. picture appears courtesy of New York Daily News/ News/ Terry Simmons ........................

Funnily enough, an ardent Oakland Athletics’ fan has tried to suggest that his team is always and has always been competitive. Well, if one counts that having the management and ownership year in and year out, simply either trade away their best players or simply allow them to leave as being competitive. I’d hate to think what he’d define success as being ? Suffice to say that the A’s , much like the rest of the ‘bottom feeders’ within major league baseball are now part of what I’d like to call the haves and have nots. The A’s and other teams in the same tract aren’t liable to be able to compete with the financial behemoths of the game such as the Yankees, Red Sox , New York Mets ,Philadelphia Phillies, and the Los Angeles Angels. Who year in, year out, are part of the mix, when it comes to postseason aspirations. Albeit , that as of late the Mets and its ownership have been about worldly wise in terms of common sense . As was shown by Sarah Palin and her high profiled interviews with CBS news’ anchor person, Katie Couric. Let’s just say, the faux-pas made by both the Mets and Palin, has been of the highest comedic order, thought possible !

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated (SI)

Report: Selig tells owners he’ll step down as MLB commissioner in 2012

Chicago (SI.com) — Bud Selig plans to step down as commissioner of Major League Baseball when his current contract expires on Dec. 31, 2012, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The 75-year-old Selig, who has been commissioner since 1998, declined a request from a group of five MLB owners to stay on beyond that time, the newspaper reported Saturday, citing unnamed sources. He reportedly told the owners he would step aside then because he had other things he wanted to do, such as teaching and writing a book.

If he stays on till 2012, Selig will have been baseball’s top boss for 20 years, including six years as interim commissioner from 1992 to 1998.

His time in office has included such events as the players’ strike in 1994, the introduction of the wild-card system and inter-league play, and investigations into steroid use. He received a three-year contract extension last year.

And the fans and press alike await with baited breath as to what will surface from these meetings. I can’t help but wonder who in reality the game of baseball really thinks it is now fooling ! Selig and the entire cabal within the game seem to be oblivious as to what’s now happening around them. And it will end in their own self inflicted wounds and implosion , if they’re not prepared to face the acute problems that have already begun to encapsulate the sport. From the ‘steroid issue’ to the distrust between the game’s hierarchy and the MLPA. To that, of the mere fact, that they refuse to address the severe financial plight of the vast majority of the teams within baseball.

Uber-sports agent Scott Boras,  seen here  with perhaps  his  most famous  client ,  Yankees'  All  Star  slugger  and 3rd baseman,  Alex  Rodriguez.    Boras   represents   several  other   high  profiled  clients  in the  world  of  baseball ,  including  Daisuke  Matsuzaka,  Johnny  Damon,  Manny  Ramirez,  Mark  Teixeira,   C.C. Sabathia  ,  Barry  Zito  and   a slew of  other players.   General  Managers  around the  league   have   stated  that  Boras  is  a  hard   task master  when  it  comes  to  negotiating  on  his  clients' behalf.    But  time  and  time again  they   continue  to 'cave in'  and  acquiesce  to  his  demands.        picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/Keith  Willens   ...................

Uber-sports agent, Scott Boras , seen here alongside perhaps his most recognizable client , that of Yankees’ All Star slugger and 3rd baseman, Alex Rodriguez. Boras also represents several major league stars in the game ,such as , Barry Zito, Manny Ramirez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and Manny Ramirez , to name but a few. However, we repeatedly hear of general managers around the league complain that Boras and his negotiating tactics, have been underhanded and duplicitous in driving up the asking price of his clients during the negotiation process. But needless to say, repeatedly they’ll ‘cave’ in to his demands and finally acquiesce. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Keith Willens …….

Needless to say, it’s not only the lunatic fringe within the game but the erstwhile observers outside the game such as the baseball writers who march the goose step alongside Selig and his minions. And who in essence have refused to even report many of the problems that have been rife within the sport over the last decade, at least. The lunatic fringe and the lunatics are running the game of baseball. And no one within seems to be of the mindset to even care about its well being.