Take it for what it is …

Take it for what it is

Well, we’re now one quarter of the way through the MLB season and it would appear the furor over what was an exceptional start by the New York Mets has all but come to a grinding halt . Terry Collins’ team has not only hit the skids, but thoughts of the NL franchise being seen as a legitimate contender for the NL Pennant now seems to have been derailed by the exploits and stellar play of Bryce Harper and the ascent of the Washington Nationals , as they have taken hold of the NL East . Speaking of which, the never-ending descent of the Philadelphia Phillies continues at a rapid pace.

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From my own perspective, I believe the Phillies to be a team no longer competitive enough to be of relevance within the National League much less the rest of baseball ! Ryne Sandberg will be hard pressed to get this Phillies’ team playing with the resolve needed to even be in with a chance of winning their division, much less gain a wild-card berth.

The New York Mets for their part might well be good enough to gain a postseason berth this season, but a great deal of that will be predicated on the play of several players on the roster , most notably All Star player David Wright , teammates , Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda , Curtis Granderson and it now appears the ageless Bartolo Colon , who at the age of forty-two seems to be turning back the hands of time . While the Mets are only 5-5 in their last ten games and with a one-game win streak , these results are hardly likely to put the fear into an opponent, given the recent and asinine prognostications concerning the team. Coming off a 9-1 road loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates simply epitomizes how overrated the New York Mets just happen to be , while the excuses will now build up to a crescendo as to what currently ails the team are such an embarrassing defeat.

Next up for Mets will a will be another road game against the Pirates where Bartolo Colon will seek to . improve his record this season and certainly prove himself to be the team’s best starting pitcher on their rotation .

Bryce Harper is certainly looking to prove his doubters wrong. He is a player of prodigious talent , but the continued knock against him remains his lack of maturity , temperament and not being able to show leadership skills when called upon to do so. If the Washington Nationals are to succeed this season, then Matt Williams and his managerial staff will have to curb the over-exuberance of the player and get him to fully apply himself to the task at hand . With the money vested in Harper , now would be the time for him to show the qualities desired, rather than his under-achieving. Forty plus games into the season doesn’t make a career , and that is something fans should not begin to get themselves completely wrapped up in. With his arbitration season due in 2017 , all signs point to the fact the . front office will seek to sign the player to a long-term contract comparable to the deal signed by Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. I do not believe Harper possesses the talent to be deemed as good as his Angeles’ counterpart , who to my mind has been the best player in Major League Baseball over the past three seasons .

A 2-1 victory over the hapless Philadelphia Phillies , has firmly placed the Washington Nationals in the driver’s seat in what is turning out to be a moderate NL East division this season . Nonetheless, the teams there will vie it out over the course of the season, as they seek divisional supremacy.

The ”will to win” , might well be what separates the contenders from the pretenders within the NL this season. Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers along with their bloated $200 million plus payroll are riding high within the NL West this season with the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants in close pursuit . In a division that could become the most interesting of them all , if the San Diego Padres with their revamped roster can finally find some semblance of consistency. With the money spent assembling this lineup where the offensive talent is undeniable , it seems ridiculous Matt Kemp , Justin Upton , James Shields , Wil Myers , Will Middlebrooks , Josh Johnson and Craig Kimbrel are playing sub.500 (21-25) baseball under manager Bud Black .

A 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim , California was another blow to this Padres’ team as they continue to struggle. The Padres need to put together a win streak , fast, one that simply boosts team confidence as well as having the faith of their fans, rather than a situation, where simply cannot be sure what is going to happen from one moment to the next. Bud Back’s players will be back in the saddle once again, when they take on the Los Angles Angels on Tuesday evening , with Odrisamer Despaigne on the mound for the visitors against the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker . This contest should make for an interesting contrast of styles for the opposing teams and managerial staffs.

OK , so you’re going to try and convince me the Houston Astros are among the best teams in baseball , simply because of their position atop of the AL West ? Last I looked , in three of their last five seasons this organization has managed to notch up one hundred game-loss seasons , much to the dismay of their fans. If anyone believes 2015 will bring about another Cinderella Story with the Astros continuing where the Kansas City Royals failed , then they are sadly mistaken. The Royals for their part in spite of their solid start , are still not out of the woods as of yet , because having sneaked up on teams last season , this season many of their opponents are now aware of what they are capable of doing and have sought ways to negate Kansas’ strengths.

Houston are 6-4 in their last ten games and continue to maintain a healthy lead over their divisional rivals , but now comes the hard part for this team and that is to maintain the consistency they seem to have found. A J Hinch might be the early season candidate for AL Manager of The Year , but one ought to remember these awards are not handed out for what has been achieved over a month or two months but for the entire one hundred and sixty-two game regular season schedule.

Houston will be looking to further embarrass what has been an under-achieving season for the Baltimore Orioles, when the Orioles play host to the Astros at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland, where the opposing pitchers will be Scott Feldman taking on Chris Tillman. The Kansas City Royals will continue their series against the New York Yankees, with Jason Vargas of the Royals on the mound against Adam Warren of the Yankees.

Derek Jeter has retired after a twenty-year career with the New York Yankees and this season the team is not only looking for an on-field leader, but also for a ‘ soul’ . Manager Joe Girardi has never been that talented a coach , and has simply been put in a position. where Yankees’ resources have been placed at his disposal , with GM Brian Cashman signing the dotted line in terms of the paychecks for the team roster. Alex Rodriguez has returned from his league mandated suspension , with his intent being to earn the $21 million due to him this season. Granted the added incentives of surpassing several league and team records will not be finding their way into Rodriguez’s pockets, but I am sure the player will not feel hard done by , considering he still remains a pariah to the vast majority of fans within the game.

Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are two of the primary reasons the Yankees are still in play within a very weak AL East division . For the moment the Tampa Bay Rays and Kevin Cash are making hay while the sun shines , but I doubt the Rays’ being perched atop of the division, will be self-sustaining. The Rays are good but they are not great, as reflected in their record at this point of the season .

With two years left on his remaining contract with the New York Yankees, I doubt that Alex Rodriguez will be able to make a serious assault on surpassing the all-time career home runs’ record ! Granted , the most beloved statistic in all of baseball has remained tainted ever since Barry Bonds laid claim to the mark having passed what many fans still believes remains the legitimate record of Hank Aaron ___ seven hundred and fifty-five home runs.

Rodriguez’s career home run mark at present stands at six hundred and sixty-four, with the closest active player being Albert Pujols with five hundred and twenty-eight career home runs and he is likely to be the only player to pass the six hundred career home runs’ plateau within the next four years let alone another player surpassing the benchmark figure of 500 career home runs . Two-time AL MVP , Triple Crown King and Detroit Tigers’ slugger Miguel Cabrera having hit four hundred career home runs would rather win a World Series’ title with the Tigers than chase after singular career achievements.

As I alluded to earlier, with the Kansas City Royals’ ascent , Detroit will now have to get themselves on track with Brad Ausmus and his coaching staff having to deal with the upstart Royals and their seeking divisional supremacy within the AL Central. Ausmus has seen his team play rather erratically , with his not yet getting the best out of mainline starting pitchers David Price and Justin Verlander . While Verlander remains on the team’s DL , with no timetable set for his return , it is now left to Price and the rest of the rotation to within close reach of the Kansas City Royals. Complacency led to the Tigers being blanked 4-0 by the Oakland A’s at the O.Coliseum on Monday afternoon. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday afternoon with Detroit looking to even the score.

Sooner rather than later you knew the actions of Ryan Braun would have a way of catching up with him and specifically the Milwaukee Brewers. The 2012 recipient of the NL MVP Award , his denials concerning use of a banned substance and being able to lie about it , while being handsomely rewarded by the Brewers and major corporate sponsors only further emphasizes how weak the league’s steroid policy remains without delving into the constant idiocy of fans longing to see Pete Rose inducted into the Hall of Fame. As far as I am concerned the institution is simply a relic of a bygone age and where an induction has now become meaningless. The list of eligible nominees for the next five years will have several players whose names are closely tied to the ‘ BALCO Scandal’ or where they have been implicated with steroid use, because of their own actions. Yet , here we are, one quarter of the way through the 2015 season and once again players are being given the mandatory suspension required , having contravened the league’s substance abuse policy. Things would not be so bad if the arbitrators presiding over the appeals’ process showed that they have an ounce of common sense.

Rob Manfred as baseball’s highest ranking league executive shows all of the intellect of an invertebrate , which is only marginally more than that of his predecessor Bud Selig. Manfred simply stood pat and did nothing , after Josh Hamilton freely admitted he took cocaine and drank alcohol during his most recent rehab stint. It took the courage of Angels’ owner Arte Moreno to send Hamilton packing , even after the player sought to blame those within the Angels’ hierarchy not giving him any support. Last I looked , Josh Hamilton was being given as much support as was needed having been paid a salary, while putting up mediocre figures for Los Angeles Angels without ever showing any signs of fu#king leadership and for that, he was expecting support from the organization ? It wouldn’t be so bad, were it not for the fact we had fans suggesting Hamilton’s issues were an addiction, rather than the player simply not wanting to be held accountable for his own actions. Come full circle and Josh Hamilton finds himself back with the Texas Rangers , not yet able to play while still being able to pull down a handsome salary.

Ryan Braun is continues to play for the Milwaukee Brewers, the team with the worst record in all of Major League Baseball . How appropriate is it , that these two former MVP’s should find themselves in such a fitting predicament ?

If the Brewers’ woes this season are imperiled then Oakland A’s are not faring much better. It is hard to explain how franchise over the past three season has been the doyenne of the AL West can be so bad at this stage of the season . If things continue to get much worse, I believe Bob Melvin could very well become the second managerial casualty after the Miami Marlins’ firing of Mike Redmond earlier this month. GM Billy Beane has long proven he is one of the best front office executives in all of baseball , but he can only do so much with the resources made available to him by team owner Lew Wolff . That asides, the Oakland A’s remain one of the least supported franchises in all of baseball with game day attendance for the home games at the O.Coliseum being among the lowest in the league. The A’s will need to get back in the saddle by getting a much-needed victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday evening .

Best pitcher in baseball at present ? If I were to tell you based on performances this season the player in question would be Michael Wacha of the St Louis Cardinals . Then it would no doubt come as a pleasant surprise to many , but not to the fans of the Cardinals who have seen Wacha at his best this season. Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny having lost starting ace Adam Wainwright for the season no one within the front office let alone the coaching staff , could have expected they would have a ready-made replacement with Michael Wacha , but fortunes seem to have smiled on this pitching staff and organization, as the pitcher has exceeded everyone’s expectations. If Wacha is able to maintain his current form then there would be no reason to see him as a viable candidate for the NL Cy Young Award . The player will make his next appearance on the mound for the Cardinals when they face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri , on the 30th May , 2015.

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At this same point last season , there was little to suggest how the year would pan out in MLB, other than the fact no one knew the Kansas City Royals would mount an improbable run to the AL Pennant before falling short at the final obstacle when they fell the San Francisco Giants in the World Series . At this juncture I do not believe there is a clear favorite for the ‘ Fall Classic’ . So for now , we can only gauge the play of the teams , but in all certainty we will see the real contenders come into form during the final month of the regular season . What thoughts if any do you have concerning the play of the teams and players as the schedule has progressed ?

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Things you don’t do when trying to be taken seriously ….

Things you don’t do when trying to be taken seriously

In the past few days a great deal has happened in the world sports and in the NFL , the biggest story might be Pat Bowlem’s decision to relinquish control of the Denver Broncos , as he battles Alzheimer’s disease. The tragedy here , is the fact Bowlem might not see his team battle through the season , as they seek to put last year’s debacle behind them. On the wrong side of one of the worst defeats in Superbowl history, the Denver Broncos as led by the coaching staff of Jon Fox and play-making leadership of Peyton Manning . The team will this upcoming season be playing for a great deal more than pride as they seek to avenge a dismal postseason and a Superbowl loss.

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After being dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks so clinically in last season’s Superbowl, I am not so sure the Broncos still remain the best team in the AFC , in spite of last season’s record. They are likely to be seen as a prohibitive favorite to return to the postseason along with the always competitive New England Patriots as led by Tom Brady . For both Manning and Brady, the opportunities for them to add to their legacy, in terms of the postseason are quickly diminishing. The two quarterbacks over the last decade have been the face of the NFL, and as their careers approach the twilight years , it is hard to question their respective legacies and where they stand in the annals of NFL history .

With Joe Ellis now taking over the role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Broncos with John Elway remaining the Head of Football Operations, it remains to be seen how focused this organization will remain , while the drama unfolds over the course of the season. The first four games of the Denver Broncos of their regular season schedule should tell us a great deal about the mindset of the team and the franchise in general. Week one will see the Broncos play host to the Indianapolis Colts in all AFC clash , where Peyton Manning will take another shot at his former team. Once again the Colts’ Andrew Luck will get to renew an old rivalry against his idol. Luck will also be looking to show that the faith placed in him by the front office of the Indianapolis Colts was more than justified when he was made the number one pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft .

Now don’t get me wrong, I am for athletes getting their due rewards when they are productive and have led by example but far too often we see hear and see at the professional level a player wanting to “opt out of a contract” or fail to turn up for a mandatory team activity. This is being done to force a point with management that they believe they deserve a raise. In the real world, this sort of behavior would not be tolerated by an employer let alone a branch of military service but yet sports’ analysts and fans alike continue to come up with this idiocy of, if they deserve it then they should be paid what the market can bear. What can the market really bear as according the NFL much less baseball, especially in the case of the latter where MLB’s finances and pay scales are so out of whack as it relates to the teams ? I have read several pieces by individuals who claim to have knowledge of finance, but if they were asked to explain succinctly a pro-forma invoice or balance sheet they would fall flat on their ass, in giving you exact details how either of the principles work concerning either of the financial documents in question.

The San Francisco 49ers’ tight end Vernon Davis has decided to sit out the Niners’ organized team activities (OTA’s) in the lead-up to the preseason , regular season and thereby costing himself in excess of $750,000 in fines and salary.. A small price to pay for the player who believes he is worth a great deal more than the Niners are willing to pay him now and where Davis believes he should be at or near the top of the pay scale for someone who plays the position .

Davis has been one of the more productive players for the San Francisco 49ers’ offense over the past two seasons and a primary reason why Colin Kaepernick has also been a success for the franchise since his ascent to the quarterback position for this team. As potent as the Niners’ offense is said to be, there remains, a question concerning the team’s secondary. While I believe Vernon Davis to be a very solid tight end it would be hard to suggest the player deserves to be rewarded as the highest paid player at the position within the NFL.GM Trent Baalke fully understands what has to take place concerning this matter, while Davis has seen his teammate Colin Kapernick being well rewarded for his productivity as a member of the franchise. Not really a perplexing dilemma, but certainly one worth observing over the upcoming months as we enter the preseason.

It will be interesting to see how the San Francisco 49ers maneuver through this season especially in terms of their divisional contests with the Seattle Seahawks over the course of the year. The rivalry between these two NFC West franchises might just be the best thing the NFL now has to offer their fans. For opposing quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, we will also get to see the furthering of the maturation process of both of these young players, as each takes the next step in the furthering of their young careers. Weeks’ thirteen and fifteen will signify what we could very well expect during this season as the contests between the two teams take place.

As LeBron James once again seeks to reinvent himself, I cannot help but wonder what the thought process might be inside the front office of the Miami Heat and James’ now former teammates. Team President Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison had to be been banking on retaining the services of the team’s best player during 2013. As to this idiocy that James was admirably aided by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can be best summed up by looking at the individual game stats for the two players in question and their performances during the postseason. The decision by the four-time League MVP to make a return to Cleveland and rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers was a blow to the fans of the Miami Heat and a boost for the fans of the Cavaliers, while there will be a boost in season ticket and memorabilia sales. Either way, James will profit, as will the Cavaliers as a franchise, while Miami can only imagine what is likely to be next. From my own perspective , I believe both teams will contest within the conference, but neither I believe , will be the conference representative for the NBA Finals during the 2014-15 season.

Pat Riley, in seeking to undo the damage done, with James’ departure, sought to revamp the roster by bringing in seasoned veterans Danny Granger and Luol Deng without addressing their obtaining Shabazz Napier during the NBA Draft. Clearly, Riley and the coaching staff misjudged LeBron James’ feelings and the very fact he was dissatisfied with his teammates and the lack of real ambition by the front office in general. In reality, this was the monster created by the executive, which James , Bosh and Wade gladly sold to the fans and public alike without looking at the future . LeBron James’ little ditty, in wanting to win multiple championships fell short of the five or six, he sought and two does something of a meager return after four straight appearances in the NBA Finals. Last season’s lopsided and totally embarrassing loss to the San Antonio Spurs spelled out not only the complacency of the Heat but also the franchise .

For the second time in five years, LeBron James has thrust his now tired shtick into the spotlight , while the NBA becomes enraptured with the player, most notably, the analyst provocateurs with nothing better to do, than pile their slop on now what has become a tiresome chapter in James’ legacy. History may well go on to suggest that he was the best of his generation, but about where he might lie among the all-time greats remains to be seen. I believe him to be an incredible talent , but as with so many of today’s athletes , he has been packaged and sold like any consumer product that after time becomes of no use to anyone whatsoever.

As baseball meanders through the second half of its season we can already see which teams are unlikely to make a divisional run or obtain a wildcard berth for the two spots available within each league. One contributor within the blogging world in trying to shed light on the travails of the New York Mets opined on the issue of the baseball franchise building for the future and the likelihood of being credible contenders next season. Over the past six seasons the New Yorks Mets have simply an aberration barely worth talking about. The front office of the franchise is simply bereft of creativity and the team is managed by someone who is completely out of his depth . Yet, we are meant to think the Mets can amount to something with Terry Collins and his staff leading this baseball club when they are clearly struggling in just about every aspect of their game . The results and their record have borne this out over the course of this season, but shortsightedness comes along with the idiotic ranting of an alleged baseball fan, who clearly has no idea about what the hell he has watched concerning the New York Mets.

As of the 23rd July the New York Mets’ record of 48-53 (.475) had the team playing sub 500 baseball, which simply tells what the club has been about for much of this season. In 2013, it was pitcher Matt Harvey, who the fans seem to a think would bring the Mets out of their continued rut, but things were not to be as they fell by the wayside once again. Sitting in third place , within the NL East behind the Washington National and Atlanta Braves the Mets are out of the running for the divisional crown and granted their fans are likely to be looking to next season for the team to make credible challenge because of the talent gathered within their farm system over the past few seasons . It is my belief, if the team is still struggling now as they have been over the past four seasons , when there was said to be treasure trove of players being developed among their AA and AAA affiliates , without their being any major contributions having been promoted up to the Major League Level. Why would anyone now believe the New York Mets are ready to make a serious challenge within the NL?

Winners of six of their last ten games, where the New York Mets now go from here is solely dependent upon the leadership shown by the more experienced players on the roster. David Wright , while being an All Star , is merely the poor man’s version of Derek Jeter within the NL and with teammates such as Bartolo Colon , Curtis Granderson , Chris Young , Lucas Duda , Daniel Murphy and Bobby Abreu , it is hard to imagine how the team in its present guise could be seen as a credible challenger within their division, much less at some point in the future.

Front office executives Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi have yet to pull a rabbit from beyond their sleeves much less out of a hat , yet there was this continued thought, both executives would have a strategy in place to turn things around effectively for this franchise. The fans continue to wait , much like the rest of baseball as the New York Mets simply continue to swoon.

The Mets’ last postseason appearance came in 2006 , where they made it to the NLCS , only to fall to the St Louis Cardinals in seven games . Since then the years have not at all been kind to the poorer of the two New York based baseball franchises. Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon are still looked upon as pariahs and parasites around Major League Baseball and with very good reason , except in the eyes of a clown such as Bud Selig .

Amed Rosario, Noah Syndergaard , Brandon Nimmo , Kevin Plawecki and Cesar Puello may well make their mark within the game of baseball, but I seriously doubt that it will be for the New York Mets, not while this current management structure is in place. And where repeatedly, over the past six seasons the transactions of the organization have become something of a joke all-round. , along with a number of dubious draft choices during the time-frame in question.

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Of the points raised within this article , specifically, what do you believe might be the most pertinent? Of the unfolding stories now happening in the world of sports , which tidbit has your undivided attention ? Chime with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !

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(1) Joe Ellis of the Denver Broncos, who will now become the CEO for the NFL franchise with the departure of Pat Bowlem due to health issues . AP Photo / Garrett Holmes ….

(2) From left to right, Pat Bowlem , Peyton Manning and John Elway are seen here at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , home to the AFC West based Denver Broncos. Getty Images North America / Harry Howe …

(3) Andrew Luck (12) if the Indianapolis Colts is proving to just as good as first thought, by many of the NFL analysts and prognosticators who analyzed the 2012 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ James Mackie ….

(4) San Francisco 49ers’ tight end , Vernon Davis who has chosen to miss a number of the team’s mandatory OTA’s as he seeks to negotiate a new contract that would make him among the highest paid players at the position within the NFL . Davis has already incurred several thousand dollars in fines , because of his stance and it remains to be seen what other actions might be taken by the franchise against their versatile player. AP Photo /Barry Hines …

(5) Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert call now afford to smile having negotiated the return of LeBron James to once again play for the Eastern Conference based franchise. Cavaliers’ fans are hoping James can regain the form seen at the start of his career with the team. AP Photo/ Gayle Cunningham …

(6) Curtis Granderson left is seen here with teammate David Wright of the New York Mets . AP Photo / Chris Jones ……..

(7) New York Mets’ minor league pitcher Noah Syndergaard , who was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays . AP Photo / Marc Harper …..

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Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

Stability , spelled , S T A B I #### , Oh hell no !

By Tophatal ….

It’s really been interesting to see the fallout politically, in the aftermath of the Presidential and Congressional elections . With over $2.5 billion spent on television ads , to serve up the usual diatribe , not a goddamn thing changed in terms of the makeup of the Congressional chambers or within with the White House . Yet , we now have the two main political parties haranguing one another, for their lack of inaction , in getting about , and conducting the nation’s business within both chambers . I will look at this way , Rep. John Boehner , as House Leader and his Democratic counterpart in the Senate , Harry Reid , are two self-indulgent and conceited bastards ! . With their bumbling and fudging on so many issues , one has to question why the fuck they’re now acting so concerned over the “fiscal cliff malaise” . The Democrats and Republicans , collectively , have never shown the slightest concern over this issue , until the stakes were raised concerning the expiration of the Bush tax cuts “ . Now that was a man , who knew how to fuck things up , and not be prepared to take responsibility for his actions ! His successor, Barack Obama, having inherited a mess , well, his idea was to surround himself with a bunch of plutocrats and intellectuals whose idea of the real world , has been, to wet their finger , stick it up in the air and use it as a kind of weather vane to test the political climate . Why, they simply didn’t insert their fingers into each others’ ass as a true measure , might well have proven to be more productive for all of the use that it would’ve done . Smells like it shit , but it can’t be shit, because taste is so appealing to these congressmen and women . Guess what ? Shit to a congressman might just be the ” elixir of life “, and their reason to exist and live !

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Adding insult to injury , was a recent interview granted jointly, by Boehner and Reid , to Scott Pelley , the CBS news’ anchor and also one the co-hosts and presenters on the broadcast outlet’s popular prime-time news’ magazine program “60 Minutes” . The two congressional law-makers , suggested that there was a great deal of bilateral unity and that the US Congress has been productive . WTF ! Perhaps , I might have missed the day that they passed the bill , that allowed a statute ,an allotted $2 billion in pork barrel spending for projects such as the beautification of privately owned land in states such as Pennsylvania , Michigan , Wisconsin , California and Montana on a wide variety of unproductive and meaningless studies and alleged workforce related projects . Getting ten guys to dig an even bigger hole than the one they have already dug , only then to fill it in at a later date , is actually counter-productive , unless that hole will be used to dump human waste matter , Well , if that’s the case , then why not corral all 535 Congressional members and simply dump their ass in that hole along , with rest of the human waste ? .

Speaking of things that have not changed , how asinine is the situation now surrounding the New York Mets ? Having signed David Wright , their All Star , third baseman to an exorbitant and extravagant six-year $147 million deal , the cash-strapped financial organization , which last season lost in excess of $40 million , and who were pleading with wealthy New Yorker’s to do their civic and well-meaning duty by purchasing a stake in the cash-starved ball-club, as a way of providing it with some liquidity . This bright idea was initiated by none other than Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon , who along with his father , Fred Wilpon and the team’s senior managing partner, Saul Katz , have presided over this financial morass . Funny, the damn clueless Mets’ fan, overlook the ball-club’s financial woes , but would rather point to the fact that by retaining Wright , and signing him to such a contract , provides the organization with stability. Yes , this is the sort bold-faced idiocy, one should now expect from the fans of the New York Mets . Citi-Field is > now an elephant’s graveyard and will remain that way , as long as the Wilpon family and Saul Katz are allowed to preside and reign of that franchise . Anyone who believes to the contrary , clearly knows nothing , concerning the ongoing mess that has encompassed the ball-club. Ignorance is bliss, and amongst the Mets’ fans, it has also become a way of life ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

And while Wright now has that “guaranteed contract” to live up to , the Mets’ Cy Young Award winner , R A Dickey, is left to haggle with the organization over a contract extension . Stability , I ask once again ? Sandy Alderson , Paul Di Podesta and J P Ricciardi do not understand the meaning of the word “ stability”, and of they happened to trip over a sign mentioning that very same word . I would dare say, that their intent would be to ignore it ! All three were brought in to revamp the organization, with regard to its personnel, gauge their prospects and the organization’s farm system . Well, let’s just say eighteen months into their soiree , and the results have added insult to injury

. Uncompetitive , lackluster and genuinely devoid of leadership on and off the field of play , and it is understandable to see why this team has struggled in the way that it has during 2012 .

Next season may not bring much joy or success for the New York Mets , as they will undoubtedly seek room for improvement , as too will their divisional rivals , the Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals . The chasm between the Mets , and the divisional winners , Davey Johnson’s Nationals , should prove to be enough an indicator , of how high a mountain , Terry Collins and his managerial staff will have to climb.

I’ll say this, for Magic Johnson and the syndicated partners who purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $2.156 billion , leaving no one in any doubt that the purchase price paid , was merely a sign of things to come . The changeover from the old brigade of Frank McCourt , and CFO Peter Wilhelm , was long overdue . But there have been some holdovers , with Tommy LaSorda and GM Ned Colletti remaining with the organization. LaSorda’s position , is a roving goodwill ambassador special consultant . In other words Tommy still gets to keep that corner office overlooking the parking lot , in order for him to take his mid-afternoon naps and stay the hell out-of-the-way of Don Mattingly and his managerial staff. Colletti, for his part, will have to show his acumen, as it relates to the personnel decisions that will have to be made. Stan Kasten , specifically brought in by Johnson and senior managing partner, Mark L Walters , will be directly over Ned Colletti , in the hierarchy structure of the newly revamped Dodgers organization. As to things begin to take shape , will be predicated upon the inevitable changes that will undoubtedly be ,made and the overall decision-making of the senior executives .

We were able to see for ourselves how gregarious Magic Johnson was said to be , when he initiated the initial overtures to the Boston Red Sox to acquire Nick Punto , Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez , while adding $176 million in future salary commitments for the team. In all four former Red Sox players were acquired in what was a ten-player two team trade . The addition of the aforementioned players was not enough to secure the Dodgers a playoff berth , as the franchise saw the San Francisco Giants not only take the NL West divisional crown , but also the NL pennant , and to top it all , the World Series, itself. The triumph of the San Francisco Giants
will have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Dodgers’ fans
, as well as the organization as a whole .

The Dodgers have been quick to pull the trigger this off-season quickly releasing players that they felt were superfluous to their needs . Once a mainstay on the Dodgers’ roster , James Loney . recently found himself a new home , signing one year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. That addition will undoubtedly help the Rays and their lackluster offense . As to the Dodgers’ own needs , well it has been one of pitching , and that was plain for all to see by way of the team’s statistics . With that mind , Don Mattingly made an outlandish offer to the 2009 NL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke as the starting pitcher was given a six-year $147 million deal , making Greinke the highest paid pitcher on the team’s staff . With money now being of no option to the Dodgers , with the backing of venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC , the primary owners of the baseball franchise through their sports’ holding unit Guggenheim Sports & Investments LLC . Guggenheim with assets of $180 billion , the company is headed by Mark L Walters and Todd S Boehly , with the venture capital firm having offices around the globe , most notably in some the major international financial capital markets . .

I’ve no doubt that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be competitive for the foreseeable future but the biggest obstacle to that will be the San Francisco Giants . Their meetings over the past five years have proven to be thrilling . It will be interesting to see how Greinke fits in with the existing rotation of the Dodgers, headed by Clayton Kershaw , Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang , Chad Billingsley, Ronnie Belisario and the relief pitching staff .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers look to “become “ the New York Yankees of the NL , the actual AL franchise is now troubled by injuries to key players and with an aging roster , questions are being asked , as to what players are being developed through their farm system , that might be ready for promotion up the ranks . Alex Rodriguez will be sidelined through to the month of June , as he undergoes hip surgery and the recuperation process. The loss of the third-baseman might not be as pressing as some might perceive, given the player’s lack of productivity during the regular and postseason for the team . The Yankees’ foray in the playoffs was short-lived , due to the lack of productivity by the players under Joe Girardi’s command. Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Nick Swisher , Brett Gardner and Rodriguez failed miserably as the team fell to the Detroit Tigers .

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined , the Yankees’ opened up their pocket-book and offered a one-year $12 million contract , to former Boston Red Sox , first baseman , Kevin Youkilis , acquiring the player as a free agent . Youkilis , if you remember , ran afoul of former Red Sox manager, Bobby Valentine , who engineered the player’s trade to the Chicago White Sox , during the season . If anything, that was a sign of things to come for franchise, as their season fell apart , with it, ultimately leading to Valentine’s dismissal , but not before , other major upheavals amongst the playing staff led to discord amongst the fans and the local media personalities , with their heated criticism of the then , beleaguered, Bobby Valentine, as well as the front office , with much of their heated venom directed at team President , Larry Lucchino and team owner, John Henry . With the firing of Bobby Valentine , GM Ben Cherington has hired , the candidate he originally sought for the managerial position , John Farrell . The newly installed manager , a former pitching coach with the ball-club , is certainly well-liked by a number of players on the roster , especially amongst the current pitching staff. Cherington, hopes that Farrell can engineer an immediate turnaround, that will see the team become a major challenger to the ever-present Yankees , Tampa Bay Rays , as well the reinvigorated Baltimore Orioles, and the middle of the road contender , the Toronto Blue Jays. Baseball’s need for the AL East to be competitive and exciting , year in , and year out , is paramount , if it is to attract the attention of the fans throughout the season.

I’m sorry, but being sent to “ baseball purgatory “ , is nothing to be proud of ! When the Tampa Bay Rays , made the announcement that they would be sending pitchers , Wade Davis and James Shields to the Kansas City Royals . Not only was I surprised , but I kept asking myself , did either of the two players do something to piss off management , much less the ownership group ? That might well be one explanation , but the fact that both now , Davis and Shields , are now said to be excited about playing for the Royals . Well, it leads me to believe , that they may well have been duped ! In return for the trade , Joe Maddon , gets budding prospect , Wil Myers and four other prospects from the Kansas City Royals. Long-term, this trade may well benefit the Rays , but with regard to the team’s needs and its immediacy , this was nothing more than a penny-pinching exercise by GM Andrew Friedman .

Joe Maddon and Friedman , will have a hard time trying to convince the most vocal of Rays’ supporters , of which they are not that many, that the loss of Shields in particular will not be felt . Beyond Shields and David Price , they were few pitchers in the Rays’ starting lineup , that could give the manager some “quality innings ” and starts during 2012 . And with the credible presence of Jeremy Hellickson , I firmly believe that the Rays will regress in terms of their overall pitching this upcoming season ! And predicated upon what we already know to be true, Friedman will not overpay for talent , because of the ball-club’s wish to be financially prudent .

Bearing in mind, that this month the Rays’ sought to make Evan Longoria the highest-paid player in the franchise’s history , by offering him a contract , worth $100 million over six years , effective, in 2016. Granted, Longoria is seen as the “ face of the franchise “, and perhaps , one the most popular players in Rays’ history.One man . on his own , cannot carry the load, that is being asked of Longoria by the organization, and it is incumbent upon Andrew Friedman to place the best roster around a player of Evan Longoria’s skill-set , in order for the Rays to succeed. As of now , I don’t believe the evidence is there to suggest the success sought will come about in a short matter of time. This ball-club has toiled for its success over the past fourteen seasons , but it has only been in the last six years , where the Rays’ peers and their fans have really stood , and taken note of the franchise’s success . True in part , one appearance in the World Series and a series’ defeat , has to be seen as minimal , but for the Rays’ fans who have had to endure those losing seasons , they would rather take that lone appearance , and the recent successes, over the years in the wilderness when this ball-club was being ridiculed every step of the way.

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Picture gallery

What opinions if any, do you have that might be on appearance deemed capricious spending by the teams as they sign contracted players to long-term deals or in the case of Zack Greinke , a rather ludicrous and exorbitant contract , that simply makes no sense, given his lack of tangible success since 2009 ? And do you believe that either the New York Mets or Tampa Bay Rays can be truly competitive this upcoming season ? Chime in with your thoughts and anything else you believe warrants interest as it relates to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details .
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(1) President Barack Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House. The two met in hope of forming a bilateral approach , in tackling many of the nation’s underlying issues . The former Massachusetts’ governor has promised to aid the President in any way that he can. AP Photo / Mark Hanson …

(2) U.S. President Barack Obama (2R) shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Ann Romney look on after the debate at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. Getty Images North America/ Joe Raedle …

(3) Speaker of the House , John Boehner , left , is seen here alongside President Barack Obama , center, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid . The three have routinely met in recent months , trying avert a “fiscal crisis ” , but in recent months in the lead-up to the automatic “kick in” of tax increases on January 1st , 2013, there have been more frequent meetings and telephone conversations tasking between the President and the Speaker, Boehner as they seek to avert this looming financial crisis . With Congress due to vacate Capitol Hill for their winter break by 20th December , there seems little doubt as to the urgency and delicateness of the matter , but because of the incessant bickering between the “two sides” no common ground has been found . AFP/REUTERS/ Anatoly Litvikov ….

(4) FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing _ they would prefer to have closure before opening day. The Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after the 2013 season and says he won’t negotiate once it starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to an extension or trade him to get the best return. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(5) New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke adjusts his cap during a baseball news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also closed a deal when signing South Korean pitcher, Ryu Hun-Jin , to a six-year $36 million contract . AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti , left, and co-owner, Magic Johnson, right, present pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin , center, of South Korea, during a baseball news conference announcing his $36 million, six-year contract, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, in Los Angeles. Ryu becomes the first player to go directly from the Korea Baseball Organization to the United States big leagues. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7)Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields, center, held up his new jersey, flanked by Royals general manager Dayton Moore, left, and Royals head coach Ned Yost , during a press conference at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Shields and Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City to undergo physicals and check out the stadium from the home clubhouse for the first time. Shields and Davis became members of the Royals on Sunday in a blockbuster trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers and three other minor leaguers to Tampa Bay. AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt …

(8) Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria , smiles as he answers questions during a news conference after signing a six-year, $100 million, contract extension Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Longoria is signed with the Rays through the 2022 season. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..)

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MLB pieces within this site

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US Jamaican native Vanessa Veasley .

Deep pockets , but barely comfortable with their lifestyle

Deep pockets , but barely comfortable with their lifestyle

Tophatal

Well we’re a little over four months away from Spring Training , but already, the baseball world is a abuzz with the trade moves and talks of other potential moves , and the news that the active home run king , Alex Rodriguez will have to undergo hip surgery and will likely miss the entire Yankees’ Spring Training schedule with the New York Yankees as well as the first two months of the regular season.

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Slideshow .

Given the fact that Rodriguez had a horrendous season in 2012 , of which his postseason might amongst the most historically low of his postseason career . As we know the Yankees bowed out of the postseason unceremoniously , without ever really showing any determination on the part of their players. Team owners , Hank and Hal Steinbrenner , have made the predetermination that the team’s salary will have to be pared down by 2014. Furthermore , with the team making the decision also to sell a minority stake (25 %) in their cable broadcast outlet YES Network to Fox Sports for a reputed $175 million . I would hate to think that this famed franchise has suddenly hit upon hard times financially . However, this unlikely to happen , as the ball-club has become one sports most profitable financial concerns . GM Brian Cashman , has seen fit to renegotiate the contracts of Andy Pettite signing the left-hander to a one year deal for $11 million , along with all-time saves’ leader , Mariano Rivera , to bolster an ailing and aging pitching roster that was headed by CC Sabathia.

Rumors are now rife that the New York Yankees are not prepared to stand pat, with regard to their roster lineup , with Brian Cashman still seeking to move a number of players he feels are superfluous to the team’s needs. And amongst the players who are now liable to be on the way out are Nick Swisher . Salary commitments for the team in 2013 will be approximately $168.3 million , with a quite possibly that figure moving lower , as the front office seeks to pare down the payroll , while promoting and bringing up players from within their farm(minor) league system , something I believe, that they will do , but not to the extent expected by a number of analysts and fans alike.

With Alex Rodriguez missing from the lineup , it will be incumbent upon the likes of Mark Teixiera , Curtis Granderson , Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter to be the mainstays of the Yankees’ offense for the upcoming season , as they were for a number of games during 2012. We have always known the New York to be an aggressive and active free agent player in recent years , but it remains to be seen the type of steps that will be taken by Hank and Hal Steinbrenner in conjunction with Brian Cashman. It has been a considerable time since the franchise has chosen to build their roster from within their farm system , as more often than not , in order to solve a problem they often sought to throw money at any issue that seems to have arisen.

Across town , the New York Yankees , have seen the New York Mets’ fall from grace and their season of sheer ineptitude in 2012. Granted , the team has seen the rise in the profile of their knuckle ball pitcher RA Dickey, their 2012 Cy Young award winner within the NL . Dickey’s astonishing season was capped with that win, and being the team’s best pitcher , as well as leading the NL in a number of pitching statistics . That if anything, had to be viewed as one of the few bright spots to the Mets’ 2012 foray.

Sandy Alderson , Paul DiPodesta and J P Ricciardi were brought in , in 2012 , to bring back some semblance of respectability to the New York Mets . And while one, has to accept the difficult predicament the franchise had been placed in , due to the complete mismanagement presided over by COO , Jeff Wilpon , team CEO Fred Wilpon , and SVP Saul Katz, it should be noted that no excuse should be sought as to the willful neglect , and heinous mismanagement that almost brought the baseball club to the brink of insolvency , and almost having to seek bankruptcy reorganization.

Having lost , $41 million last season and with the New York Mets projected to lose a great deal more in 2013 , it would appear that the front office of the organization has not learned from their mistakes of before . Within the past forty-eight hours the team has reached an agreement to offer a eight-year $138 million contract to third baseman , David Wright . Perhaps , I am mistaken , but what does this suggest from a baseball franchise that still has liquidity problems and who in April of 2012 were said to be seeking investors to buy a minority stake in the baseball team ? One such investor was billionaire venture capitalist David Einhorn , who initially wanted to purchase a 25% stake in the ball club for a reputed $250 million , with a view to increasing his stake at a later date , and also with a view , to seeking two seats on the board of directors of the franchise. Both Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon were said to have baulked at the idea, of having Einhorn , as a board member , because in essence all the Mets were said to be seeking at the time was a silent partner to provide the team with a cash-flow and clear their liquidity problems . Needless to say, Einhorn , none too pleased, having been rejected in part , bought a smaller stake in the franchise only to relinquish that stake several months later , when he could make no leeway in , increasing his investment. And I am to now believe that because Sandy Alderson and Paul DiPodesta have been brought in to provide the New York Mets with some stability , things are likely to get better ?

As I alluded to earlier , the team is an utter mess , and from a managerial standpoint , Terry Collins and managerial staff were, and are , still out of their depth . One patron , presumably a Mets’ fan suggested the way to lure fan interest would be to lower ticket , and concession prices for specific games, as well as for the vast majority of the games played at the now cavernous Citi-Field , in Flushing , New York, and the palatial home to the Mets. Built at a cost of $765 million , with the use of public funds , this massive edifice, which was referred to, as one of best baseball’s best venues, by New York City mayor , Michael Bloomberg. Now a year later after the franchise’s inaugural game , the New York Mets remain a hapless organization lacking financial and managerial leadership. Bloomberg, being the bumbling oaf he just happens to be , rarely visits the venue , even in the midst of the still questionable business dealings of Fred , and Jeff Wilpon , and business partner Saul Katz. In the midst of this all , Commissioner , Bud Selig , has remained extremely quiet about the apparent misdeeds of the Mets’ ownership group. Well , what else should we now expect , after Selig’s asinine handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ sale , and the rumors that suggested that the multi-billion bid lodged by the Magic Johnson syndicate group , was the only one favored , of the seven original offers , said to have been placed with US Federal Bankruptcy Courts, in the state of Delaware ? Connivance on the part of the MLB hierarchy , or simply the commissioner doing what was at the time said to be in the best interests of the game of baseball ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !

From my own standpoint , I certainly do not believe that David Wright is worth anywhere near the $140 million commitment that will be made by the New York Mets ! And while it could be said, that in the first half of 2012 , he was said to having a solid season , during the second half of the year , the player in essence was nowhere to be seen from a productivity standpoint .

To my mind the New York Mets seek to make David Wright, their answer to the New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter . But herein lies the real issue as it relates to David Wright , he has never shown himself to be a leader , of the Mets as a vocal leader , much less , actually lead by example , much as in the same way , Jeter , is actually known be. The franchise is simply settling for a rather poor man’s version of the Yankees’ short-stop , in the hope of catching lightning in a bottle. The issues of the Mets also goes way beyond their financial vulnerability , and from what I have read by the patrons within this forum who have tried to parlay their knowledge of the team, in reality , few if any have chosen to look beyond the player personnel issues to really try to succinctly explain the team’s present predicament . At the center of this mess , is the fact that the core of his roster, is aging , and with an ailing and overpaid , Johan Santana, it easy to understand the idiocy of the situation surround this franchise . The left-handed starter, beyond his no-hitter , in 2012 , offered the Mets , little if anything , by way of productivity , and the fact that they are burdened by his exorbitant contract shows that not much thought was placed in terms of financial expediency by then general manager , Omar Minaya. And even in the aftermath of the former executive’s stupidity financial expediency still has not raised its head within the Mets’ organization. Much like the asinine stupidity now being shown by the Obama administration and the US Congress’ handling of the nation’s debt crisis , there is no fucking common sense to be found whatsoever !

I certainly don’t see the New York Mets competing with any real urgency this upcoming season , within the NL East , as I view the franchise not so much in transition , but still, in a state of turmoil. They are e at least two to three years away , from where they need to be , and Terry Collins has yet to show that he has the managerial acumen to lead that team deep into the postseason , much less to a World Series’ title .

As one door closes , another one opens , and therein now lies the opportunity for the Tampa Bay Rays to make good , after the departure of BJ Upton to the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. Once again the merry-go-round begins , concerning the franchise , as they seek to “ penny pinch “ , simply in order to field a competitive team for the 2013 season. At this juncture it is hard to say what the makeup of the Rays’ roster will be for the upcoming season. GM Andrew Friedman , principal managing partner , Stuart Sternberg and the team’s manager , Joe Maddon, will have to make several decisions as it relates to a number of players on the current roster and whether or they are superfluous to the franchise’s needs.

One maneuver that the management of the Rays have sought to do , has been to secure the long-term future of Evan Longoria , by signing the player to a 6 year $ 100 million deal that becomes effective in 2016. If one takes into account the Longoria’s current contract , he will net an astonishing $136 million in salary , which does not include endorsements , of which the player now makes a sizable sum, as negotiated by his agent and legal representative , Paul Cohen . Given this situation, it was easy to understand, why there was very little chance , that B J Upton would have been resigned by the ball club, as there was little room for anymore financial maneuvers ,in allowing the franchise to retain both players .

Now while the Tampa Bay Rays , have made no real major moves , they have been available to avail themselves of one or two players in recent days . James Loney , a cast-off from the Los Angeles Dodgers was signed to a one-year deal by the organization, and he no doubt brings with him , it is hoped , some much-needed offensive fire power , to add the Rays’ somewhat inconsistent arsenal of noteworthy hitters. And though during 2012 , it was said to be the inconsistency of the hitting , that is said to have let the team down , it was the pitching of the Rays was in essence , the ball club’s real strength throughout the vast majority of the season. Leading the way in that endeavor , was the team’s very first Cy Young Award winner , David Price . The gutsy left-hander , along with James Shields , Jeremy Hellickson , Joel Peralta , Alex Cobb , and Matt Moore , who led the way for the team, in terms of its pitching.

In recent weeks there have been rumors suggesting that the Rays would be quite willing to part with their young pitcher Jeremy Hellickson . Having established himself in 2011 , as a middle reliever , it was not until 2012 that Hellickson became a full-time starter , and giving Joe Maddon on of the best starting lineups in all of baseball, and with it the statistics to match. Shields is also said to be a prime target for a number of teams said to be in the market for a bonafide starting pitcher.

Now, while I understand that the Rays would like to see their payroll drop significantly to where it will be an estimated commitment of $54.2 million for 2013. By comparison the payroll for 2012 , was a nominal $64,173,500 for last year . I believe that Andrew Friedman would be willing to listen to several hard offers , if it meant, he would be able to obtain some relatively good prospects for the aforementioned players mentioned ! The likelihood that both Hellickson and Shield could be now prime departures , while creating a great deal of disappointment amongst the fans, it should be noted that given the organization’s limited resources and the lack of a real marketing plan by the front office. This whole scenario for the Tampa Bay Rays while repetitive , it is becoming more acute with each passing season. I have always felt that Stuart Sternberg and Matt Silverman , simply have not shown enough ingenuity in seeking out an outside partner or rich benefactor, to either become a silent partner or a majority stakeholder of the organization , thereby insuring the Rays’ long-term future . And year in and year out , the same old question is also raised as where will the Rays play? Will it be in the city of St Petersburg , at the somewhat archaic venue of Tropicana Field , or at a new locale across the Gandy Bridge, in the downtown area of Tampa ? The bone of contention between the municipalities of St Petersburg and Tampa , as to who would serve the needs of the Tampa Bay Rays , though the battle has not been drawn out into an open conflict . It is now slowly brewing into something that could prove to be unsavory. Never mind the fact , that the county governments have also been drawn to this debate .

Personally , I am of the opinion that until the governmental agencies in question, have addressed their own fiscal dilemmas. I do not believe that public funds should be used to satisfy the egos of millionaire or billionaire sports’ franchise owners ! There’s this asinine belief that such instances serves the public’s best interest , of which there has yet to be any factual proof that such instances, a community does really profit from such an endeavor. Simply look at the naïveté shown by the city of Miami, after they were cajoled and coerced into building a new stadium to house the Miami Marlins.

In the aftermath of that franchise’s woefully inept 2012 foray , the ball club has begun a “fire sale” , jettisoning themselves some of their high-priced free agents that they had acquired prior to the start of this past season , and during the trade deadline . The city of Miami , is now under federal investigation by the US Justice Department , as to their actions in the vote that took place concerning the financing for the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark . Marlins’ executives have remained mute concerning any questions directed towards them concerning this issue , and Commissioner , Bud Selig , has directed all questions concerning this episode , to be dealt with by the league’s legal counsel (attorneys ). And does anyone believe that either the cities of St Petersburg or Tampa , have learned anything from that episode ? I will let you be the judge of that !

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Picture gallery .

This off-season, we will see a lot of positive moves being made by a number of teams . Meanwhile, there will be one or two transactions that will have been suborned by team owners and their front office executives alike , that will actually have the fans completely befuddled, as to, what the hell , were they think by way that particular trade ? They sale that baseball’s off-season , just happens to be their “ silly season” , with the teams making rather asinine trades , purely as a way of chasing after success without there ever being truly any thought being put into a great many of these moves . In some cases , large financial commitment might well be made , which could in effect handicap a franchise long-term . Whereas, in other cases , it may well be that “one small deal” that simply opens up an opportunity that presents itself for a player , to truly show his worth , while being able to lead a franchise to tangible success. Over the past five years which particular trades , do you believe has been of true benefit to a team or a number of teams ? Simply chime in with a comment on this or anything other topic you believe pertinent to this article . And as always , thanks for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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MLB related links : Nats in Haren to one year deal

Pagan, Napoli , kick off action in Nashville

Mets GM meets with “several” clubs about Dickey

A Rod, needs hip surgery , will be out until June

Angels’ list of targets doesn’t end with Greinke

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Picture and slide show gallery details below .
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(1) FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez throws out Detroit Tigers’ Andy Dirks in the second inning during Game 1 of the American League championship series in New York. The New York Yankees said Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the season and possibly the entire first half. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(2) New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman answers questions concerning third baseman Alex Rodriguez at the baseball winter meetings on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and will miss the start of the season and possibly the entire first half, the Yankees said Monday. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ….

(3) FILE – In this April 25, 2012 file photo, New York Mets’ David Wright is greeted by teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in New York. WFAN radio is reporting Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, that Wright and the New York Mets have agreed to a $138 million, eight-year contract that would be the richest in franchise history . AP Photo/Seth Wenig …

(4) National League Cy Young Award winner R. A. Dickey, of the New York Mets, answers questions before speaking at Lipscomb University on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. The 38-year-old Dickey is the first pitcher who relies predominantly on a knuckle-ball to win the Cy Young Award. The player, it is being reported , is now being “shopped around” by the Mets’ organization as they seek to lower their present payroll . AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …

(5) Outfielder, B.J. Upton (L) and infielder Evan Longoria (3) of the Tampa Bay Rays watch their team against the Texas Rangers during Game Four of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 4, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Getty Images/ Andrew Marsh …

(6) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Andrew Burton / Getty Images North America ….

(7) Matthew Silverman, left, Andrew Friedman and Stuart Sternberg are overhauling the Devil Rays. photo appears courtesy of New York Times/ Phillip Diedrich ………………

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MLB news & news by teams

MLB schedule important dates

MLB transactions (December 2012) & November transactions

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Top paid players in baseball

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Miami Marlins news

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This week in baseball history

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MLB standings divisional 2012

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2012 MLB postseason

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Hot chic pic of the day , singer , Rihanna Fenty .

Too Big To Fail Or Simply Too Stupid ….. ?

Too Big To Fail Or Simply Too Stupid ?

By tophatal ……….

I don’t know about you but the the political debates and the preamble of the GOP candidates seeking to the party’s nominee in the Presidential elections later on this year has become nauseating and tedious . Never mind the fact that the money being spent by the candidates would simply make you feel uneasy . But then again simply look at the perceived credentials of the aforementioned individuals ?

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Slide show for your perusal .

I know that Spring Training is still some time away but . with the latest moves now being made by the teams as they ready themselves for the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues and their nuanced schedules. . Well, while this all happens , it would appear that the New York Mets and their ongoing debacle sees no apparent end in sight . It is asinine to think that Bud Selig and his office while stating that they’re closely monitoring their situation they have made no formal statement as to the organization’s predicament . The ball-club’s owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon are still at the helm of this once respected Major League Baseball …. franchise .

It would appear that with all of the financial difficulties that are said to have befell New York Mets with declining attendance for their games at Citi-Field a ballpark that is less than five years old and built at the cost of $775 million of public financing underwritten in large part by the city of New York which was guaranteed to be a monumental success by the city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg . Somehow , Bloomberg has been conspicuous in his absence , on speaking about the problems now facing the much beleaguered organization . Far be it for me to suggest but the problems that the New York Mets now appear to be facing is simply just one big cluster fuck with no apparent end in sight !

Baseball’s governing body now seems powerless to stop what now appears to be a downward spiral for this team. Having brought in former front office executives Sandy Alderson and JP Riccardi to steer the front office and deal with all personnel issues and the hiring of Terry Collins as the team’s manager . With the departure of Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins via free agency it would appear that the fallout from that move has drawn the ire of Alderson and his immediate subordinate , J P Riccardi , with both executives berating the player for his lack of candor and honesty.

Jose Reyes for his part simply stated that the organization did not give him the impression that they wanted him as a lynch pin for a team that he simply led them in almost all of the major offensive categories that mattered most . Though it was felt that the player the player was shoo-in for the NL MVP in 2011 . Jose Reyes fell short in the voting, with the award being won by the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun . Now as we know the player is now the subject of what now appears to be a 50 game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy , albeit that the player has stated categorically that he did not knowingly take an illicit substance. At this juncture with all that Braun had going for him in terms of his image now is on the cusp of going down the drain. Can Braun recover from this and regain the form that made him one of the most productive players in the NL last season ? Well that remains to be seen but I’m of the opinion once you have fallen afoul of this league policy then all bets are off as it concerns your future ! And it is now becoming abundantly clear that Ryan Braun knows that apart from his image being tarnished he’s fighting an uphill battle trying to main that once pristine image never mind undermining his very own character .

Given the stark financial issues now facing the New York Mets and the very fact that Alderson and Riccardi will most certainly have to pare down the team’s …. payroll it does not come as a surprise to me at all that the front office might now be considering shopping their All Star team captain David Wright ! Rumors have been fomenting for the past couple of weeks , although there has been no formal statement coming from the player , his agent or from anyone within the Mets’ organization. If a fire sale is about to begin at this stage , one simply has to now wonder what the New York Mets’ fans might be making of this all. Wright along with his now departed former teammate were seen as the faces of this franchise with a view to the team looking to resurrect their fortunes this upcoming season after a rather horrendous 2011 sojourn. Out of the wildcard hunt and not even within a hair’s breath of even challenging within the NL East , Terry Collins and his assistant coaching staff simply had no answer in large part for the players’ mediocre season .

Courtesy of The New Jersey Star Ledger

Mets’ David Wright surrounded by trade rumors heading into 2012 season

By Andy McCullough , The Star-Ledger

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The crowd never parts for the man of the hour. Inside a ballroom bathed in red light, 20 minutes after going broke in his own charity poker tournament, Mets third baseman David Wright glad-handed a steady stream of well-wishers. One step to the left — a handshake and a smile. Two steps to the right — a hug, a camera click, a signature.

His status as a favorite son here, about 30 minutes from his hometown, remains assured. But his standing back in New York appears less certain as the 2012 season approaches. As part of their franchise overhaul, Wright’s employers are expected to shop him this summer. So either he plays out the final two seasons of his contract on a team with dwindling payroll and cratering expectations — Don Quixote in Flushing — or wears another team’s uniform for the first time.

“It is weird where it seems like yesterday we were winning the division by a crazy number of games and that I never heard myself in a trade rumor,” Wright said Friday before hosting his second-annual Vegas Night here to benefit the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. “And now, all of a sudden, it’s every day.”

Six weeks from beginning his ninth big-league season, Wright is steeling himself for the onslaught of trade innuendo. He does not welcome it. The bitter memories of 2011 allow for easy motivation as he embarks on a season in which he will be both a team leader and trade bait for general manager Sandy Alderson.

Earlier this week, Wright did a radio hit with his former teammate, Cliff Floyd. Wright remembers carrying Floyd’s bags as “his little personal assistant.” Now Floyd is retired, and Wright is in limbo.

“A lot of those guys that we had through those years — actually, all of those guys — are gone,” Wright said. “So now I have to be more of that guy that’s counted on day in and day out.”

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Should the New York Mets make the maneuver to shop Wright then there’s liable to be a number of teams interested in a Gold Glove winner known for his productivity and defense . Are there teams out there willing to take a chance and make the player a part of their future ambitions ? . Certainly the price asked by the Mets might not be a high price to pay but most definitely it would be one that would come at a premium with the organization seeking a number of promising young talent in exchange for David Wright , whom many well feel has yet to reach his peak . Amongst the third baseman in the league I am not. so sure that Wright is amongst the elite players at the position. But somehow the comparisons have been made with the likes of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez when in fact the Mets’ player has yet to accomplish anything as of yet in comparison with regard to the aforementioned players. .

How bad is the New York Mets’ situation ? Well given the fact that the organization was offering a willing participant a 5% stake in the baseball club for a staggering $15-$ 20 million which would allow that individual certain privileges afforded to major front office executives without having a saying in the day to day running of the baseball club. To put this politely , I’d rather take that $20 million and wipe my ass with it , rather than dump that sum into the cesspool now known as the New York Mets ! Furthermore , the fans of the Mets have to be anally retarded if they believe that this organization in its present state is anywhere close to be relevant as baseball team within the game, than have that sum invested in a team that hasn’t done anything as a competitive being in well over two decades ! .

If the woes of the Mets was magnified by anything it was from the mere fact that this team simply didn’t have a pitching staff that was capable of staying healthy. For much of last season Johan Santana was merely on the sidelines as this team pitched their way to mediocrity but even worse even in the aftermath of that Santana’s woes still couldn’t deflate what many are now coming to believe and that the former Cy Young winner is no longer worth that multi- million contract he signed with the New York Mets that he has simply failed to live up to . But then again which player on this current roster hasn’t been overpaid while simply under-achieving ? Your thoughts on the matter ?

While Sandy Alderson and J P Riccardi now feel that the team is up to the task of challenging within the NL East against the likes of the two time defending divisional champions the Philadelphia Phillies , alongside the Atlanta Braves , Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins . If anything in spite of the two executives’ beliefs that the team is capable of competing it is my belief that the Mets will have to rely on this current core of players but they will also be looking for contributions from some of the rising players within their minor league system who will no doubt be brought up by Terry Collins and his staff to be assessed on their productivity. over the course of the upcoming season .

If the New York Mets can be considered to be a ” monumental bust ” as they have proven to be in so many factors then it should come as no surprise that they will continued to be viewed as such , no matter whether or not the present ownership can extricate themselves from their financial morass . Much of that of is of their own making while baseball’s hierarchy has been also culpable in this mess by not strictly overseeing the running of this baseball team and allowing the egregious actions of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon to continue unabated , never mind the actions of COO Jeff Wilpon . These actions while not yet bordering on grand larceny and fraud , were this a public company I would dare say that the US Justice Department would be to subpoena a number of these executives as seeking their testimony as to their actions and gross dereliction of duty and fiduciary trust. But this is baseball and sound business acumen and practices is not something that is being remotely practiced by any organization at present . Name one baseball franchise who to your mind has been a monumental success in terms of their business practice ? Other than perhaps the New York Yankees , Philadelphia Phillies and and now the Texas Rangers I’d dare you’d be hard pressed to find an organization that is acting with any sound practical business principle !

There is this continued idiocy amongst some fans who believe that there is parity within the game of baseball because in recent years there has been assortment of teams that have won the World Series ! That hasn’t been due to parity but simply the teams in question hitting a rich vein of form when it mattered most and having the financial wherewithal to parlay their success through acquiring players and playing what’s deemed to the market rate for the top priced commodities on the market . If parity were abound then certainly teams such as the Oakland A’s , Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates , Houston Astros , Toronto Blue Jays , Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals would be amongst the perennial contenders within their divisions and most notably their presence would be witnessed in the playoffs . Simply look at the postseason in recent history over the past fifteen years and let me know the last time any of the team mentioned play an active part baseball’s postseason extravaganza ?

I’ll say this for Los Angeles Dodgers and their soon to be former owner Frank McCourt ….. he does still possess a giant pair of brass balls ! Even in the midst of the team that he and the front office executives as well his ex wife Jamie McCourt have brought to its knees , having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US Federal Court . The now disgraced former owner is making the proclamation that the baseball team can and will be sold for in excess of $1.5 billion or for as much as $ 1.75 billion . With it being reported that Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban is said to be out of the running for as a possible suitor for the team that will be placed up for sale through a auctioning process, which will be overseen by federal bankruptcy court judge presiding over the proceedings which was vetted by capital investment advisory firm Blackstone Group who were hired by Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy to oversee the vetting process.

The NBA franchise owner , Mark Cuban had stated all along that he wasn’t prepared to pay for a franchise that is simply overvalued and at best is still beleaguered by a number of problems both on and off the field of play. The valuation itself of $1.5 billion would make the baseball team the second most valuable within the game behind the New York Yankees whose estimated value is in excess of $1.65 billion , never-mind that the fact that the Steinbrenner family controlled franchise is the most profitable of the league’s 30 baseball teams . A claim that certainly cannot be made by the soon to be former Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ owner. As a matter of fact , during McCourt’s seven year tenure as owner of the ball-club that they have yet to show an operating profit in spite of their legacy as one of sport’s most famed franchises. I was once told the real value for the Dodgers just happens to be the land that surrounds the Dodgers’ Ballpark . In this day and age with depressed markets for commercial real estate , the idiocy to maintain the myth that the Dodgers is simply worth its weight in gold is asinine !

Of the eight consortium’s that originally lodged their documentation for submittal in this vetting process which has now been cut to seven , it will be interesting to see whether not groups that have known personalities as part of the groups in question will ultimately be successful in their endeavor . Clearly , Magic Johnson and Joe Torre are intent on making their presence felt in the greater Los Angeles area . The duo are are part of separate bidding teams looking to be the prospective future owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Even with the proposed multi- year tv deal that will net the Dodgers’ organization a proposed $3 billion over the next two decades , something of which McCourt surely would have plundered for his own gain , rather than for the benefit of the ball-club, given the allegations made and then evidence provided that would suggest that he and his wife at the time simply used the ball-club as their own personal ATM. And at no time even in light of there being growing suspicion that there was wrongdoing not only by McCourt but also several high ranking front office executives were complicit in suborning the actions of Frank McCourt. While this was going on even with the widely circulated reports Bud Selig and his office simply overlooked this whole debacle until it was almost too late !

At the end of the day despite the outcry of the fans what I find truly despicable in this whole episode is the very fact that some very well respected baseball columnists have acted like paragons of virtue in their virtual none coverage of this whole episode . But then again no one at all should be surprised by this at all given their pomposity and near complete dismissal of the steroid era and the prolific use of illicit PED’s ____ until the story became a national news’ story being reported on by actual accredited investigative journalists. So to my mind, the likes of Buster Olney and Peter Gammons can continue bury their heads where the sun doesn’t shine , while simply being the buffoons they appear to be !

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In your opinion do you believe that the New York Mets as an organization and specifically its ownership have been negligent ? And what punishment do you feel would be fitting were it possible for the league hierarchy exact some form of mandate against the ball-club ? Do you feel that David Wright is still capable of contributing to a team seeking to be a contender should the Mets seek to trade the player ? And finally given the recent breaking news that Mark Cuban’s attempt at buying the Los Angeles Dodgers has come to an abrupt end do you feel that he was correct in his assessment that the team is overvalued given the fact that they are in the second largest ad market in the nation ? But also do bear in mind that the state of California and in particular the city of of Los Angeles is in a deep economic downturn which at present shows no signs of abating . By all means do take time to leave a comment on the points raised within this piece and anything else that you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

😉

Picture and slide show details below.
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(1) FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2010 file photo, New York Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon , left, club president Saul Katz and Mets owner Fred Wilpon , right, listen to Sandy Alderson answer questions from the media after being introduced as the Mets’ new general manager during a news conference in New York. With spring training just weeks away, nobodyís working harder to prepare for the Metsí future than their lawyers. A March 2012 trial may decide how much the team owners’ investment in imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff’s disastrous fraudulent business will cost the club. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ….

(2) Third baseman David Wright #5 of the New York Mets fields a ground ball against the Florida Marlins during a spring training game at Tradition Field on February 26, 2009 in Port St Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Marlins 9-0 . Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images …

(3) Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson, New York Mets new manager Terry Collins, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz pose for pictures during a press conference at Citi Field on November 23, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images Noeth America /Chris McGrath …..

(4) Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt is seen here with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at Dodgers’ Ballpark in Los Angeles , California. Having taken the organization on Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings and reorganization the now beleaguered owner hopes to sell the team for an inflated sum said to be in excess of $1.5 billion ……. ($1,500,000,00). A sum with which Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban believes to be an overvaluing the team which still has a number of issues to deal with beyond the financial stability of the organization . AFP / Daniel Boyd ….

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So It All Comes Down To This …..

So It All Comes Down To This …..

Well as the MLB season enters its final week several of the divisional races seem to be all but sealed . Albeit , that the divisional wildcard races are still up for grabs the competition there seems to be very boisterous with the teams seeking the final berths within the the leagues are of the greatest importance to these ball-clubs. In the AL what seemed to be an insurmountable lead for the Boston Red Sox over the Tampa Bay Rays has been all but erased but for a mere two game margin between the two teams. The AL East has been sealed with the New York Yankees triumphant making the postseason for the forty ninth time over the course of their long distinguished history .

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For New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi this has been a season that pretty much was one that truly tested his resolve and that of his coaching assistants . And certainly when one takes into account all of the drama that has surrounded the season by the team you simply know that it’s back to business as usual for the organization. With GM Brian Cashman yet to sign a contract extension it would appear that this will be situation soon to resolved if if Hank and Hal Steinbrenner know what is best for the New York Yankees. The team itself has performed with the due distinction you would come to expect that has a litany of highly paid and praised All Stars .

Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Robinson Cano , CC Sabathia , Derek Jeter , Jesus Montero and the ever dependable Mariano Rivera have all contributed to the team’s success this season.

One of the more bewildering issues of the baseball year I do believe has been the disappointment in seeing a number of teams that have simply not lived up to expectations . Now you can spin it anyway that you want by saying injuries do play a part in ball-club’s season but at the same it is incumbent upon those teams , their respective managers and general managers to make sure that the parts in place for those teams to attain the success that they strive for. Instead , I hear repeatedly the excuses that continue to be used repeatedly by fans and purists alike who use that as a crux for their own comfort . I mean if a manager simply cannot get the best out of his players or those teammates simply cannot step up to the plate then it is a clear indication that the team just isn’t on the right track.

At this point of the season last year it would be safe to say that the fans of the game were simply satisfied with what they had seen with the expectations that the postseason would live up to the usual intrigue. The San Francisco Giants as defending World Series’ champions have seen their season virtually slip away due to the team’s inconsistency and the simple fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks came out of nowhere like a buzz saw felling everything in their way and leaving all in their wake. For Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy I am sure that he and GM Brian Sabean had hoped for a more productive season from the team . Most certainly for Kirk Gibson and his coaching staff the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks seem to be on the cusp of another postseason appearance only adds to the allure and ongoing history of this ball-club. And for the Diamondbacks’ manager there is very reason to believe that he could very well end up being named the NL Manager of the Year .

This young Arizona Diamondbacks’ team bought into everything that Kirk Gibson was selling and their play was simply epitomized by the character shown by Gibson as a player . Certainly Dustin Upton has been everything that the front office had come to expect and a great deal more by way of his productivity this season. But it has been a collective effort on the part of this team that has put this organization back in the postseason. It gives hope to the small market teams around the league with the ambition to succeed where the brevitas is actually also shown by the team owners as well.

Now it goes without saying that although much of the season has eclipsed by the drama off the field of play with ongoing saga of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the fact that beleaguered owner Frank McCourt sought to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US Federal Court in the state of Delaware. McCourt has remained steadfast in his resolve to retain control of the team albeit that time now appears to be running out . Having received financing in the form of a $150 million loan courtesy of Goldman Sachs which will aid in the funding of the organization’s expenditure until the end of the season. However, while this saga continues there seems to be no clear sign that Frank McCourt has been able to negotiate an amicable agreement with the team’s creditors , whilst in litigation. So much of this could have been avoided had MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league hierarchy used due diligence in monitoring this situation from the beginning instead of absolving themselves of any responsibility and then choosing to intervene as a face saving image exercise . Now all the talk appears to be the expanding of the postseason with the addition of two teams from each league . If the commissioner really wants to address the real issues facing the game then he had better wake to the real problems that the game now finds itself in rather than creating the premise that this new format would actually be of benefit of the game.

Selig has shown as much insight for the business side of the game as a blind man would feel at ease playing hopscotch in a minefield . And while the ongoing saga continues with the Los Angeles Dodgers let us not forget the fact that the New York Mets now sits on a precipice which the owners simply cannot extricate themselves from at present . Having seen a prospective investor in Wall St hedge fund manager David Einhorn pull out of a deal to purchase a minority stake in the team with a view to then gaining a 51% stake at a later date Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as the senior managing partners and co-owners of the team .

With the New York Mets and the two principal partners now defendants in a civil suit that seeks the return of $750 million determined as a small part of the monies received by Katz and Wilpon which they say are genuinely derived profits recouped by way of their investments in the Bernard Madoff ” Ponzi Scheme” . Representing the plaintiffs seeking the returns of the monies mentioned is renowned attorney Irving H Picard . The plaintiffs’ case from a prima facie viewpoint is very strong but in reality neither Katz, Wilpon or any other senior executive within the Mets’ organization has sought to openly willing to answer in depth any of the questions sought by Irving Picard. Clearly the longer this maelstrom continues the more acute the situation seems to be for the New York Mets because should the presiding judge in this civil case find for the plaintiffs in this hearing then it will not bode well for the ball-club . The team from a financial standpoint is losing money and that is even with the benefit of that $755 million all purpose built stadium at the taxpayers’ expense courtesy of the city of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who has made sure that this white elephant sits proudly in Flushing New York while the city commission furloughs municipal employees , city wide .

The New York Mets for their part have had a woefully inept season and that is even with the advent of having both Sandy Alderson and J. P. Ricciardi within the front office of the organization. Plagued by anemic pitching but an even more mediocre offense pretty much summed up the New York Mets’ year , albeit that the sole bright spot on the team has been the play of Jose Reyes , the presumptive favorite many believe for the NL MVP this season. Given the financial constraints that will now be placed upon the New York Mets I do believe that in part this team will be gutted with the organization seeking to complement this roster with many of their prospects and players from within their farm system. Certainly there’s a great deal that manager Terry Collins and his coaching staff can work with within this organization

The “crazy train” seems to have left the station as there appears that Albert Pujols , his agent Dan Lozano and the St Louis Cardinals are no closer to agreeing to a contract. The player prior to the start of the season intimated that once Cardinals began their regular season play he would not enter into negotiation with organization. GM John Mozeliak has to make the re-signing of the All Star slugger the team’s major priority entering this offseason. The team can ill afford to lose the player to free agency and signing any one quite possibly at five or six suitors prepared to pay the asking price for this productive first baseman . With the team having resigned Lance Berkman to a one year contract extension the organization has to be cognisant of the fact that the Chicago Cubs , Chicago White Sox , Los Angeles Angels and quite possibly the Texas Rangers could make a bold attempt to sign Albert Pujols. Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts in light of his team’s abysmal showing this season has made it abundantly clear that he’s willing to spend and spend big in bringing some semblance of success to Wrigley Field .

John Mozeliak knows that he’ll be hard pressed to outbid Tony Reagins , Kenny Williams and Jon Daniels should it come to an outright bidding war. Certainly the owners of the quartet of teams mentioned have the financial wherewithal to lure the Cardinals’ first baseman but at what price within the market place and precedence that could very well be set ? If the statements are to be believed then it could well amount to a contract that would certainly make Albert Pujols the highest paid player in baseball annually and quite possibly lead to largest contract signed by a player in professional sports . Pujols believes he is worth a contract commensurate with his talent and when one bears in mind that Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees will earn in excess of $30 million this year alone , then who can argue with the player’s stance ? Productivity wise , there is very little to choose between the two players and without a doubt both are future bound for Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame having met the criteria for enshrinement . Herein lies the caveat to this all , once the bar is raised that high with the exorbitant salaries that are now being paid then where does that leave the small market teams who simply cannot compete with that sort of financial resourcefulness ? Truth be known , baseball is now on a slippery road to a downward spiral into an abyss and now amount of tinkering with the playoff format can hide the real acute issues that the game of baseball faces . Bud Selig is merely trying to place a Band Aid unto open wound to the abdomen that has been hemorrhaging blood profusely !

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As to what the postseason now holds for the fans we can only wait and see but as an avid fan of the game I sincerely hope that we can be provided with the excitement we have come to expect with some truly competitive series throughout the divisional series , pennant championships and the World Series itself !

What have been the highlights for you as a fan of the game and what do you hope to see during the MLB playoffs ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

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(1) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals slides into third base as Blake DeWitt (9) of the Chicago Cubs waits for the throw during the game played at Busch Stadium on September 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images …..

(2) Rafael Furcal (15) of the St. Louis Cardinals moves out of the way of a wild pitch by <a href="http://baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=marmoca&t=p=&year=2011"&gt; Carlos Marmol (49) of the Chicago Cubs which allowed the game winning run to score in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on September 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images ……

(3) Geovany Soto (18) of the Chicago Cubs walks off the field as the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate a walk off victory at Busch Stadium on September 24, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images …….

(4) Manager Kirk Gibson (23) , center, of the Arizona Diamondbacks and coach Alan Trammell (3) , left, congratulate players Alberto Castillo (33) and Henry Blanco (12) following their 15-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants during of a MLB game at Chase Field on September 24, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images ….

(5) The lights go out at Chase Field and also on the San Francisco Giants’ season . Manager Bruce Bochy (16) of the San Francisco Giants talks with umpire Gary Darling as their game with the Arizona Diamondbacks is interrupted by a twenty-minute power outage in the seventh inning of a MLB game at Chase Field on September 24, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images ….

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And The Surveys Says ……….. David Einhorn Is An Ass ! But There’s More $1.2 Billion Can Possibly Buy A Piece of Crap !

And The Survey Says …….. David Einhorn Is An Ass ! But There’s More $1.2 Billion Can Possibly Buy A Piece of Crap !

Perhaps it was simply naive to think that hedge fund manager David Einhorn could be considered an astute businessman . Einhorn the founder and CEO of Greenlight Capital Investments Inc sought to invest $200 million into the beleaguered New York Mets . And as many of you must now be aware the organization as well as its two most senior executives Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as well as the ballclub itself are co-defendants in a civil suit seeking in excess of $750 million received by Katz , Wilpon and their investment company Sterling Equities Inc . This civil suit comes about , having been derived of the Bernard Madoff “Ponzi Scheme scandal”.

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Madoff now incarcerated , is serving a 125 year sentence for his fraudulent acts and it has been estimated that a mere $2.6 billion has been recovered from the $59 billion ($59,000,000,000) lost by the victims of this scandal . Representing the plaintiffs as the receiver in the federal trial within the US Federal Court System is renowned attorney Irving Picard . And it would appear with the reluctance of both Katz and Wilpon to fully disclose all of the interaction that is said to have taken place with all of the vested parties who are the defendants in this case. Allegations that monies have been sent to offshore accounts and a lack of candor from anyone within the New York Mets’ organization with regard to this matter but somehow David Einhorn thought it prudent to invest $200 million to purchase a stake in the team. Pardon me for saying this , but this is simply another reason that indicates the complete stupidity that lies within the game amongst the team owners , front office executives and no less than the league hierarchy itself. I’ve no doubt that Einhorn may well be suitably qualified to run a hedge fund company but based on this one act alone I wouldn’t have this asshole invest my money in anything deemed to be a worthwhile investment based on his alleged knowledge .

Courtesy of The New York Times

Deal to Sell Piece of Mets to Einhorn Falls Apart

Richard Sandomir , The New York Times

In a surprising development, the Mets announced on Thursday that they had ended their protracted negotiations to sell a minority share of the team for $200 million to David Einhorn, a hedge fund manager.

In part, the deal broke down over Einhorn’s desire to be preapproved by Major League Baseball as the team’s majority owner in anticipation that he might be able to buy more than 50 percent of the team in coming years. He was also apparently seeking considerable input as a limited partner, which also may have factored in the talks’ breakdown.

That the issue of future majority ownership would help topple the negotiations was not surprising. There was always an inherent tension in the relationship between the Mets’ owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, who are in their 70s and want control of the team to remain in family hands, and Einhorn, 42, who clearly had his own aspirations about the club’s future.

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The New York Mets are a poorly ran organization, bereft of executives with any intelligence and the league hierarchy itself is no better than the crazed idiots who seem to think that the ball-club is simply worth saving . From my own standpoint I do believe that Einhorn was led to believe that the team was a worthwhile investment but given the idiocy of this decision from the outset , let me ask you this who in their right mind chooses to invest $200 million in a ball-club that itself is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy ? The team is carrying significant debt much of which hasn’t been fully disclosed and herein lies the biggest problem within baseball itself , it is the complete lack of candor , transparency of the teams who more often than not seek public financing for their stadiums at the expense of the taxpayers. And how quaint is it that in this time of economic strife no one seems to question the fact that multi millionaire team owners are granted these amenities while small businesses are left out in the cold when it comes to governmental aid at the state or federal level .

Whatever legal counsel and advice proffered up to the fund manager (Einhorn) has to been idiotic at best , but this is another reason to indicate why the game is in the current state that it is , in as it relates to the financial well being of the teams in baseball . At this point I’m wondering what else it must now take for Bud Selig to further to show some interest in the legal proceedings concerning the New York Mets and the actual dealings of the organization itself ! I know that both Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi have been brought in the oversee the front office and all personnel decisions concerning this ball-club.

The team itself has struggled over the course of this season . But if nothing else for manager Terry Collins and his coaching staff this has been a work in progress as they assess this roster . Far be it for me to suggest but the New York Mets are a long way off from where they need to be or would hope to be . And given their present financial predicament the likelihood of them being able to turn things around do not appear to be promising at present . What talent that’s said to be on the roster could very well be on the way out at some point in the immediate future and it is clear the Jose Reyes and David Wright are the most prized assets on this team . Although it can be said amongst their prospects , draft and their farm system could be considered where the future may well lay for the organization as it determines its very future .

Well it appears that the never-ending Los Angeles Dodgers’ saga isn’t at an end as it is being widely reported that Bill Burke , co-founder and former the director of the Los Angeles Marathon is heading a consortium to buy the beleaguered franchise. The ball-club now in bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11) with that effort having been sought by team owner Frank McCourt . Now it goes without saying , that this is a further case where the league hierarchy led by Bud Selig , simply dropped the ball , acting like a blind man playing hopscotch in a minefield . Each step taken and this ass has acted as if the actions of the executives within the Dodgers’ front office were simply unknown to him . What might be unconscionable is the very fact that Peter Wilhelm as the COO and general manager Ned Colletti have simply acted in like lap dogs while McCourt and his ex-spouse , Jamie McCourt have plundered the coffers of this ball-club. They have simply used the organization as their personal ATM , spending lavishly on luxury homes , vehicles , vacations to various parts of the globe and in some cases Frank McCourt used the organization as collateral in numerous business deals . Those business transactions are in direct contravention of the the bye laws of the game as set by the league hierarchy . How this can be overlooked by the Bud Selig simply beyond belief but it once again shows the stupidity of the commissioner and those said to countenance the well being of the game .

Bill Burke has formally lodged through the US District Bankruptcy Court , Wilmington , in the state of Delaware , as they are dealing with the bankruptcy proceedings concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers. Burke and the consortium have offered $1.2 billion ($1,200,000,000) for the team and that is believed to be the highest bid ever offered for the the potential purchase of a ball-club . The presiding judge would have to assess the merits of the bid but the approval would still have to come from the league hierarchy concerning this sale . $1.2 billion seems extraordinarily high but we have yet to verify all of the details of the consortium’s bid and whether or not they are assuming the debt of the organization as that situation has yet to be fully resolved. At this juncture , I am not so sure that there will be a satisfactory ending to this drama as Frank McCourt wants to retain total control of this team . Sadly , for the beleaguered fans of the ball club having McCourt as the owner has been one of those episodes one would rather forget because there has been nothing at all that could would stipulate as being satisfactory. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ recent record and that of their lack of real success in the postseason playoffs clearly indicates that this organization is without real direction. Certainly given their history , the famed players to have donned the uniform and the Hall of Famers

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Frank McCourt is offered $1.2 billion for Dodgers

By Bill Shaikin , Los Angeles Times

In an international twist in the Dodgers’ ownership saga, Frank McCourt has been offered $1.2 billion to sell the team to a group indirectly financed by the government of China.

The bid is headed by Los Angeles Marathon founder Bill Burke, according to a letter sent to McCourt on Tuesday. The letter was disclosed to The Times by two people familiar with its content but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The proposed sale price would set a record for a Major League Baseball team. However, the bid was received with skepticism within MLB, where executives wondered whether the proposal might be used by McCourt to stir negotiations with other potential buyers or to persuade a Bankruptcy Court judge to keep McCourt in charge of the team.

“There are questions within the sports industry about whether this is a genuine offer,” said one industry consultant who works extensively with MLB and other professional sports leagues.

The offer was unsolicited, according to a person who had spoken with McCourt’s representatives but was not authorized to discuss the conversation.

It is uncertain whether the embattled Dodgers owner is receptive to the offer. McCourt has said that he had no interest in selling the Dodgers and that he intended to remain the owner after the team emerges from bankruptcy protection.

Steve Sugerman, a spokesman for McCourt, declined to comment on whether McCourt had received the letter and whether he would consider selling the team.

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Click on the link provided to read the article in full .

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The one bright spot quite possibly for Los Angeles Dodgers this season has been the play Matt Kemp and it bodes well for his possible candidacy for the NL MVP . And given the other potential candidates said to be in the running for the award . The fact that Kemp plays on a team with a losing record and they are completely out of the running not only for the NL West but also the wildcard berth within the National League leads me to believe that he has an outside chance to win the award . If anything the presumed favorites could are the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun and his teammate Prince Fielder . The coveted award adds to a player’s resume’ but places them alongside an illustrious number whose names adorns one of the game’s most prized and fabled accolades .

Don Mattingly and his assistant coaches have tried their best to make the transition from Joe Torre to his protege’ (Mattingly) seem smooth and without real friction . But it has been the drama off the field that if anything that has simply brought far too much focus and attention on the organization for all of the wrong reasons . Somehow , had there been an ounce of intelligence from within this organization amongst its executives , then perhaps , the Dodgers’ fall from grace would not be so dramatic and unbelievable in its magnitude , never mind the capricious acts of Frank McCourt and his ex-wife , Jamie McCourt .

At this juncture I am no longer surprised by the idiocy to be witnessed within the game of baseball . Far too many fans are simply about what is happening on the field , rather than what’s happening within the front offices of the teams . Needless to say , there’s a great deal more to be added to both of these stories as they play themselves out for the public’s consumption .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

With David Einhorn now backing out of this deal to purchase a stake in the New York Mets what do you think would be the appropriate action that should be taken be it by the league hierarchy or the presiding judge in this legal matter ? And as such do you feel optimistic that Bill Burke’s potential bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers will be looked upon favorably by the league and the bankruptcy judge presiding over the organization’s filing ? Leave a comment as to the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent .

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

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) From left to right New York Mets Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon , Manager Terry Collins, prospective Mets owner David Einhorn and General Manager Sandy Alderson talk during batting practice before a Major League Baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on August 6, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
Getty Images North America / Paul Bereswill …..

(2) Saul Katz (standing) is seen here with Mets’ co-owner Fred Wilpon the executive suite at Citi-Field , Flushing , New York . AP Photo / Chris Beresford …….

(3) Dr William “Bill” Burke who leads a consortium backed by the Chinese government that has made a $1.2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team’s owner Frank McCourt has yet to release a formal statement concerning the unsolicited bid the group but it is believed that the beleaguered club executive may well reject the offer. Courtesy of CBS Los Angeles ………..

(4) Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti (left) and the team’s owner Frank McCourt . This was Colletti’s formal introduction to the public as the team’s new GM in November 2005. Icon SMI/ Larry Goren …….

(5) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talks with pitcher Dana Eveland in the dugout after the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The Dodgers won 6-4 with Dana Eveland getting the win. AP Photo/Gene Puskar ….

(6) Matt Kemp (27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on September 1, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images ……
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MLB news

MLB Standings

MLB wildcard standings

MLB results

MLB probable starters 2nd September 2011

MLB schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Standings 1st September 2010

MLB results 1st September 2010

Los Angeles Dodgers’ news

New York Mets’ news

Thrill , Spills And Whatever Else Befalls The Game of Baseball Down The Stretch ……

Thrill , Spills And Whatever Else Befalls The Game of Baseball Down The Stretch ……

It’s now extremely hard what to make of the baseball season and how things seem to playing out . There now seems to be only one divisional race of real intrigue or interest . And that would appear to be the AL East , although there’s still a great deal to be said about the intrigue and suspense taking place within the NL West where a mere two games separate the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks (70-59) from the San Francisco Giants (68-61).

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Slide show for your perusal .

With the always competitive AL East we have come to expect seeing both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fight for divisional supremacy. So much so , that it comes a surprise when neither team sits atop of the division at season’s end. At this point last season the races were somewhat different in terms of the teams vying for a divisional title as well as a wildcard berth and one would expect it to be the same for this year .

Within the NL Central it would appear that the St Louis Cardinals may well be out of the running for the division as they now sit some ten games behind the Milwaukee Brewers . And as with any ball-club around the league injuries and team inconsistency has played its part in the problems for Tony La Russa’s team . Certainly the manager and his coaching staff have tried to get the best out of this team but if anything it has been the dominant and overpowering play of the Milwaukee Brewers that has simply bewildered the Cardinals throughout the month of August . And with the Brewers now intent on making a postseason run it will be interesting to see what Ryan Braun , Prince Fielder and their teammates are able to achieve over the remainder of the season .

To say that I am surprised by the play of Arizona Diamondbacks this season would be an understatement ! If anything I felt that the NL West would be a division where the duel would be between the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers . If anything there’s more drama to be had off the field concerning the Dodgers than there is to seen on the field in terms of their play . And even if Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are said to be having exemplary seasons for the team , it has been the odious behavior and idiocy of the organization’s front office executives that has shone more light on the Dodgers that is unfavorable than the ball club would prefer to have. Team owner Frank McCourt has hamstrung the Los Angeles Dodgers in such a way that it would seem impossible that anyone could look upon this organization favorably in terms of it being a viable takeover target . The ball-club’s situation hasn’t been helped by the complete ineptitude shown by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league hierarchy . Selig’s own lack of real action has to come into question concerning this matter. If anything , it has been all too little , and all too late !

I am not so sure what to make of the Cleveland Indians this season , as they’ve simply lured their fans the public alike into thinking that this was a resurgent team once again. Nothing could be further from the truth as their play or should one lack of play , has led them to simply fall from grace within the AL Central . I’ve no doubt that Manny Acta and his coaching staff have to be disappointed with the effort put forth by this team but if anything I feel that a preponderance of the blame lies with the front office led by GM Chris Antonetti under the auspices of team owner Lawrence Dolan . The organization has sought to pare down salary but at the same time the moves made this season during the trade deadline haven’t at all panned out . The team’s biggest acquisition Ubaldo Jiminez has simply been average this season and in particular during his spell with the Cleveland Indians . But to suggest that it has simply been the pitching that has let the team down would be remiss because from an offensive standpoint , here too ball-club has been nondescript .

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Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (30) of the Cleveland Indians sits on the bench after being taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images ………….

Now as we approach the final month of the season with there still be a number of teams still vying for some semblance of consistency as their year winds down. Most definitely within the AL and NL we have seen the teams give the best of themselves by way of their play. But at the same time I am very sure that a great many fans have at times been disappointed with their respective ball-clubs and their lackluster effort .

There’s a great deal to be said also for the players in contention for the major individual awards this season. The usual suspects are front and center wherein we could well see one or two surprises amongst the claimants for the Cy Young Award , Rookie of The Year , MVP Awards within both divisions as well as the Manager of The Year . Last season those winners offered up a mirror image on the year as a whole in terms of the performances and that of the divisional winners .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What are your impressions of the MLB season and how do you view things panning out given the fact the waiver deadline will soon be upon us ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and always thanks for the continued support !

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

Contact tophatal via these social media services

Facebook.com ………. http://facebook.com/tophatal

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(1) New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi , left, talks to starting pitcher CC Sabathia during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Athletics won 6-4 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ….

(2) Ryan Roberts (14) and Chris Young (24) of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate after a 4-2 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Juan Rivera , right, scores ahead of the tag from St. Louis Cardinals catcher Gerald Laird during the third inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, in St. Louis. The Dodgers won 9-4 . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …….

(4) CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo (30) and closing pitcher Josh Lueke (31) of the Seattle Mariners celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 9-2 to take the series 3-1 at Progressive Field on August 24, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images ……

(5) Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (30) of the Cleveland Indians sits on the bench after being taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images ………….

(6) From left to right , GM Chris Antonetti , alongside Cleveland Indians’ owner Larry Dolan and minority stake owner Mark Shapiro , far right . Shapiro remains with the ball-club serving in a role as its President . AP Photo/ Mark Sturridge ……

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MLB news

MLB Standings as of 24th August 2011

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB results 23rd August 2011

MLB results 24th August 2011

MLB probable starters 25th August 2011

ML team stats : Overall

American League

National League

MLB Team salaries 2011

NB: Written as of 08/24/11 but set for publishing 08/25/11

Bud Selig Puts The Emphasis On The Letter “D” In The Word “Dumb” …. !

Bud Selig Puts The Emphasis On The Letter “D” In The Word “Dumb” …….. !

I’m now trying to fathom how it is that the MLB hierarchy having agreed in principle to the sale of the Houston Astros by Drayton McLane to Houston businessman James Crane seems to have hit a snag . For some reason after a meeting of the team owners and league hierarchy having met at the Otesaga Hotel , in Cooperstown, New York , commissioner Bud Selig chose to postpone the vote for the approval in the sale ( $680 million) of the baseball club. Pardon me , for being out of the loop on this but what the hell are Bud Selig and his compatriots thinking , stalling this procedure ? Isn’t it bad enough that the fans have had to endure the utter stupidity of the league hierarchy in their handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the odious actions of Frank McCourt and the entire front office of the organization ? The formal statement issued from the commissioner’s office on the matter(sale of the Astros) is that the vote will be dealt with at a latter date .

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I’ve long held the opinion that Bud Selig might just be the most gullible and naive executive in all of professional sports ! His tenure as the game’s highest ranking executive has been filled high and low points throughout this era . But it’d remiss to simply carry on chastising the commissioner without pointing to some of the good that he’s done for the game . But to hell with it , why should I ? From my own perspective I do believe that this sale will be approved , with Crane gaining outright control of the team after the free-fall of the organization during the tenure of McLane’s ownership in recent years . The lack of success postseason or otherwise over the years have been fleeting for Houston Astros .

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Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, left, listens as Jim Crane, right, speaks during a news conference to announce a group led by Crane is purchasing the baseball team from McLane, pending approval from Major League Baseball, Monday, May 16, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …….

This season has been one lowly expectations and derisory play by this Astros’ ballclub . If nothing else it leaves the fans with a sense of abject failure and nothing positive to take away from the experience while in attendance at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas. In the Astros’ most recent game played against the lowly Chicago Cubs , themselves fellow residents within the NL Central _____ a meeting of two of the worse teams in all of baseball. There’s a great deal of mediocre baseball being played at present but perhaps none more so than by both the Astros and Cubs.

Courtesy of Foxsports

What’s holding up Astros’ sale ?

By Ken Rosenthal & Jon Paul Morosi

When Jim Crane agreed to purchase the Houston Astros in mid-May, baseball officials estimated that the approval process would take two months.

The process is now at three months and counting.

Baseball announced Monday that a vote on Crane’s bid is not expected at this week’s owners meetings in Cooperstown, NY, stunning ownership representatives throughout the sport and raising questions about the sale’s viability.

As recently as Monday morning, Crane was under the impression that his purchase of the club for $680 million would become official this week, according to one source.

Two separate issues account for the delay, sources say.

• Baseball’s efforts to resolve the Dodgers’ ownership situation, which is diverting manpower from the vetting of Crane and his partners.

• Commissioner Bud Selig’s discomfort with one or more aspects of the Astros sale, which makes him unwilling to submit Crane for approval to the owners at this stage.

“The standard due diligence that must be completed before any transaction of this magnitude can close remains ongoing,” baseball said in a statement.

“Because that procedure is continuing, it is not expected that the proposed sale of the Astros will go to the approval process at this week’s owners’ meetings. Major League Baseball will continue to work as expeditiously as possible to complete the process.”

The next owners meetings are scheduled for November in Milwaukee. Baseball could conduct a phone vote on the Astros sale before then, and both Crane and the team’s current owner, Drayton McLane, might lobby for such an outcome. The team is on pace to lose 111 games, and the delay could complicate its offseason planning, sources said.

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Click on link to read article in its entirety .

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For his part, I think that Jim Crane will be aggressive in trying to make this organization more competitive and most certainly looking to facilitate a much more consummate business approach altogether for this ballclub. Granted, over the years Drayton McClane has spent capriciously on free agents while seeking to win a World Series title . The draft choices of the organization have reaped some dividends for the Houston Astros but overall there had been the tendency to accept that when failure arose it was accepted and that would be it . With the ball-club having traded Hunter Pence their best player to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline, this sent a sense of foreboding as to what the fans are to expect over the remainder of the season .

At this point last year the Houston Astros were striving to make their mark within the division and the league as a whole . Much of what we have come to expect of a team that struggles tends to come from poor play , compounded with multiple team injuries and in some cases poor a management style but in reality simply put , these are the things one would come to expect of a beleaguered organization . Jim Crane will have to assert himself and make demands of this organization if things are to change for the better . If not, then one could foresee that the changes made as determined by the owner that could very well be drastic indeed . At the end of this year , I do believe that those changes will be made one way or another !

Iriving Picard as the plaintiffs’ attorney in the lawsuit filed against the New York Mets’ organization as well as the ballclubs two primary owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon has won an initial ruling that would allow Picard to receive an initial sum of $300 million from the club as part of the approximately $750 million originally sought in damages. If one recalls , the case against the New York Mets and the two owners , were , that they knowingly profited from the monies derived from the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme that defrauded thousands of clients to the tune of $59 billion ($59,000,000,000) . Reiterated by Irving Picard in the suit that bears the brunt of the plaintiffs’ claims are that the defendants knew that the monies received over the course of time had been derived fom an illegal act .

Courtesy of the New York Times

Madoff Trustee Gets a Green Light on Clawbacks

By Peter J. Henning

Irving H. Picard , the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff’s investment advisory firm, received good news from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday when it affirmed his position on how investor claims should be treated.

Under his approach, those who invested more than they received from Mr. Madoff’s huge Ponzi scheme , the net losers, can pursue claims for reimbursement, while those who took out more than they put in, the net winners, are subject to lawsuits to recoup their gains.

The Second Circuit found that Mr. Picard’s position for assessing investor claims, called the “net investment method,” was more consistent with the applicable legal standard “than any other method advocated by the parties or perceived by this court.”

The appellate ruling comes on the heels of a recent decision by Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan rejecting the trustee’s authority to pursue claims against banks and others who were accused of helping to perpetuate Mr. Madoff’s scheme.

That decision throws into doubt some of Mr. Picard’s multibillion-dollar claims against deep-pocketed defendants like JPMorgan Chase , Bank Medici and UniCredit.

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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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Both Katz and Wilpon , as the two prominent defendants in the case have denied all culpability and any wrongdoing with regard to knowlingly profiting from Madoff’s scheme . However , much of their defense juxtaposes and hinges on the premise that the duo were also victims of Bernard Madoff’s malfeasance . It has been intimated that Katz and Wilpon’s investment company Sterling Equities Inc used their company to siphon off the monies they claimed to be profits from their original investments in the Ponzi Scheme __ moving those funds around various resources at their disposal including the New York Mets and other associated companies within Sterling Equities Inc . It is hard to actually quantify the misdeeds of Madoff but it is even harder to believe that both Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon would think that the public at large are susceptible to their claims that they did not know that the person, who they personally knew and trusted had been in fact been compliant and complicit in perpetrating a massive fraud and grand larceny. And the two defendants are said to be investment gurus , beloved by investors and financial institutions on Wall Street, alike .

Now far be it for me to suggest that Bud Selig’s handling of the Mets’ affair has been a classic case of a bungling executive who’s simply clueless as to how dire this situation has become . Now as we all know David Einhorn CEO of Green Light Capital Investments Inc. has plowed $250 million of his own money to purchase a stake in the New York Mets . I can only surmise that that Einhorn and his legal counsel were advised that this was a prudent investment by the business entrepreneur . Far be it for me to suggest this but it is my honest opinion that Selig sought Einhorn’s intervention in purchasing this stake as a way and means of avoiding any further misconception that he’s (Bud Selig) not fully aware of the ongoing saga and how best to deal with that situation . Public statements from the commissioner’s office have been minimal at best , other than to suggest that they are closely monitoring the matter . If that means , Selig’s scrutiny was along the lines of watching the Los Angeles Dodgers’ saga unfold to the point where owner Frank McCourt took the team and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings , then it leads me to believe that the commissioner is an even bigger ass than I originally took him for ! He has simply watched as McCourt and his associates have maliciously caused irreparable damage to the image and reputation of the ball-club. And though the organization are the recipients of a $150 million loan from JP Morgan Chase until the end of the baseball season.

I’m no conspiracy theorist but JP Morgan Chase as a major financial institution was also one of the biggest recipients of taxpayers’ monies under the federal government’s TARP Program ( Troubled Assets Relief Program) which was overseen by the US Treasury Dept and its head Tim Geithner . If an institution the size of JP Morgan Chase can be the recipient of $45 billion ($45,000,000,000) of the public’s money and then simply have the brevitas to state that they are now lending more money to small and mid-sized businesses across the nation than ever before , then I would have to believe that Los Angeles Dodgers would now have to be considered a small to mid size business ! How do you feel about that as a perception in the grand scheme of things ?

Over the ensuing months I would like to think that the league hierarchy under Bud Selig’s tenure would now show some common sense in dealing not only with the Los Angeles Dodgers and now the New York Mets’ situation . But given the commissioner’s premise that under the watchful eye of C. Thomas Schieffer the league can closely assess the ongoing actions of Frank McCourt during these deliberations , it would be safe to think that the commissioner has the fortitude to do what is right . In the case of the New York Mets , well that is one saga that as it unfolds has become a soap opera that still has many episodes to played out for the public’s consumption.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Given the ongoing saga of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets how would do you now view the commissioner’s handling of both situations ? And do you feel that the decision by the league hierarchy will prove to be a hindrance in the sale of the Houston Astros at this juncture or merely the process being delayed until a time more fitting for league and owners to take a vote on the matter ? Last but not least , how do you believe that Jim Crane will fare as the owner of the Houston Astros and do you feel that he will ultimately be a success ? Do offer up your comments as to the points raised and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

Contact tophatal via these social media devices

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Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, left, listens as Jim Crane, right, speaks during a news conference to announce a group led by Crane is purchasing the baseball team from McLane, pending approval from Major League Baseball, Monday, May 16, 2011, in Houston. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …….

(2) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig seen here at the dais addressing the press and fans prior to the commencement of 2011 All Star Game staged at Chase Field in Phoenix , Arizona home to the Arizona Diamondbacks . In what was thought to be a straight-forward process in approving the vote in the sale of the Houston Astros the commissioner sought to postpone the vote in order to ratify what he believes to be are several anomalies that do not meet his approval . There is now some speculation that Jim Crane the Houston businessman whose consortium bid $680 million for the team may well withdraw that offer and walk away from the deal altogether. Courtesy of AFP/Photo/ Mark Templeton ……….

(3) Pitcher Bud Norris (20) of the Houston Astros talks with manager Brad Mills (2) at Minute Maid Park on August 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. The Astros would go on to defeat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 . Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images ……..

(4) Third baseman Jimmy Paredes (38) of the Houston Astros tags out Darwin Barney (15) of the Chicago Cubs who was caught in a rundown at Minute Maid Park on August 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 4-3. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images …….

(5) David Einhorn, part owner of the New York Mets, watches the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on May 28, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America …….

(6) Irving Picard the court appointed trustee entrusted in seeking to recoup the losses of the plaintiffs in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Bloomberg News / Daniel Acker …….

(7) New York Mets team President Saul Katz (left) and principal partner and owner Fred Wilpon seen here at the team’s new venue Citi Field in Flushing , New York. The two as well as the Mets’ organization and their jointly owned investment company Sterling Equities Inc . are defendants in a civil suit filed by plaintiffs who are victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Getty Images / Andrew Burton …………

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MLB news

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard

MLB Results 18th August 2011

Probable starting pitchers 19th August 2011

MLB schedule 3 days at a glance

Houston Astros profile

Houston Astro news

Houston Astros’ front office

Houston Astros’ active roster ……. 40 man roster

Houston Astros’ team stats

Houston Astros coaches

Tick Tock , Tick Tock , Time Is Now Moving Fast In Baseball ……..

Tick Tock , Tick Tock , Time Is Now Moving Fast In Baseball ……..

Well it’s that time of the year when the eyes of the sports’ world is now peering on baseball’s showcase event. The 2011 All Star Game is set for tonight with the AL taking on the NL with with it comes to the privilige of having homefield advantage throughout the World Series . And given the idiocy of the events that took place in 2002 with the game ending in a tie and Commissioner Bud Selig looking to explain that this was the best possible outcome from an extremely exhilarating game. Somehow I simply hope that that the commissioner has the temerity to show some common sense in determining a fair result . Perhaps the commissioner may well have the players from both rosters spoon each other until they reach that height of ecstasy . Given the stupidity of the many judgments rendered by him over the years I really do believe that it is now for him to hang it up and ride off into the sunset !

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I’ve read a number of pieces questioning whether or not realignment of the divisions would be of benefit to the game , bringing in a much more competitive nature and rivalries within baseball. To me that’s simply dressing up a pig and then asserting that it now looks like a sow ! It’s simply a damn stupid idea that makes no sense at all. The problems within the game have more to do with the financial imbalances and the mere fact that the owners , league hierarchy and general managers haven’t got a God damn clue ! Rather than looking to solve the problem they are ignoring it , and carrying on as usual. And we are now seeing how that is working out for the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets ?

Seemingly it had to take Frank McCourt to create his own web of deceit , lies that would all but bring the Dodgers to the brink of financial disaster (in filing Chapter 11 [ financial reorganization]) before the league hierarchy under Bud Selig sought to act with any real action. It’s a pity that the team hasn’t gone under then perhaps the other idiot owners around the league would perhaps pull their heads out of their ass and begin to address the inherent problems that are now encircling the game beyond the financial strains that no doubt many of them are now facing ! And if anyone is under the impression that the dye has been cast concerning this episode then they are mistaken . One now simply has to preamble over to the mess that’s now unraveling within the New York Mets’ organization . And that is even with the advent of the $200 million cash infusion made by hedge fund manager David Einhorn into the ball-club in taking a minority stake in the team. I can only surmise that principal partners and co-owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon have assured the young Wall St phenom wunderkind that his money is indeed safe . At present the organization and both principal partners are the defendants in a civil suit that seeks to recoup in excess of $750 million as part of the monies received by the New York Mets and the owners’ associate company Sterling Equities Inc which we are told is from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon have plead their innocence stating that they ……… “are victims themselves having lost countless millions”. Though not inconceivable I find it somewhat ironic that two men who co-founded an investment company some three decades ago could have been so easily duped given their alleged financial experience and those the of the executives of Sterling Equities Inc ! But these are merely my own suspicions and thoughts on the matter ! Afterall we can only take them at their word can’t we ? But then again did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is up for sale at a reasonable price ?

With several marquee players now taking their leave in not playing in the game due to injury we will still see the event with many of its stars on parade. The New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez won’t be participating in the All Star Game with Jeter recusing himself and Rodriguez bowing out due to surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. With that said it now remains to be seen how this will be viewed by the fans in general with two of the game’s biggest stars not appearing.

Jeter having come off attaining his 3,000th hit as a player and along with the New York Yankees’ alltime hits’ lead . But for Jeter this simply isn’t about attaining feats but more to do with leading this team to another World Series title . The division within which the New York Yankees reside is now turning into a real barn burner and I’ve no doubt it will be long drawn out dog fight between all of the participants there ! The AL East has always been viewed as perhaps the most competitive of all divisions within baseball. This year I’ve no doubt that the race for the wildcard berth and division will all hinge on the play of the Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays down the final stretch run of the season . It’s pretty much safe to say that both the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles won’t be in the thick of things as far as this divisional race is concerned.

Now it goes without saying that we have seen considerable amount to be pleased about concerning the play of the teams during the season. Earlier on this year I had a rather contentious and often ridiculous interface with a patron who would suggest that the Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a turnaround in terms of their play . Suffice to say that turnaround has yet to come into being and when you consider that the team now resides at the foot of the AL Central with a sub .500 record (37-54) can someone explain to me what signs there are that would suggest that this team much less the organization is really in the midst of a resurgence ?

While I’m sincere in seeing all of the league’s teams do well in the game I have never been one to sugar coat what I see as something delusional when I’m being told that a team is on the rise . The game of baseball has become about the immediacy of here and now ………..“what have you done for me lately ” ? And it is certainly not what you’re about to do quite possibly do in thee , four or five years from now ! If that were the case then the game itself simply wouldn’t be a worthwhile endeavor for the fans to be a willing participant as an observer . The fans want to see their teams do well each season not simply struggle then to fall by the wayside . And then it all comes down to excuses as to what might have been or even perhaps injuries played a part in their demise . Does anyone remember where the team finished at season’s end in 2010 ?

There have been strong suggestions this season we are in the midst of seeing the rise of the pitcher and it has to be said the season being had by Jered Weaver , Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia would has me believing that the AL Cy Young Award won’t be that easy to pick an outright winner . All three are worthy candidates and one would simply be naive at this juncture to suggest that we know who the winner ought to be at this juncture .

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PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 12: National League All-Star Brian Wilson(38) of the San Francisco Giants reacts with teammates catcher National League All-Star Miguel Montero (26) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and National League All-Star Joey Votto (19) of the Cincinnati Reds after making the save to win the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The National League defeated the American League 5-1. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

Speaking as a fan of the teams within the NL I am hoping that Jair Jurrjens with the season he’s having can rise above the fray and succeed and show that the fans it’s not simply about the Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching rotation this season . The Phillies’ trio of Roy Halladay , Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have lit up the league with their stellar displays and perhaps unequivocally justifying why they’re viewed as the prohibitive favorites for the NLCS .

As I alluded to earlier if Jair Jurrjens can usurp the Phillies’ trio of aces then perhaps Atlanta Braves can make a go of it this season and make light of the thought that many do not believe that they are good enough to win the NL East . They are now proving that and a great deal more by being competitive not just within the division but across the entire league . Manager Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff now have this team playing with a great deal of passion and I’d like to think that he’s in with a chance of winning the NL Manager of The Year Award but it would appear with the current play of the Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle would appear to be if not the consensus winner then the clear cut favorite for the award.

We are often told that stars are created because we need them to be there to bring about a sense of security and our passion for the game . And I guess that this indeed true of any individual or team sport ! This year however we have seen the ascent of Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista as their stars have risen into the stratosphere . The two players within the AL have all but a strangle-hold on the offensive categories within the AL . Suffice to say that without the duo in question their respective teams might not even be playing with any sort of the competitive juices to be had . And OK , each year for some reason the Blue Jays start fast right out of the gate only to stumble and fall before the halfway point in the season. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays , their fans and their front office they seem to have forgotten that the season is one of 162 arduous games and that you have to be in it for the long haul .

Both Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista could very well be battling it out at the end of the season for the AL MVP Award if there’s to be any justice within the game , as the duo have stood head and shoulders above their rivals within the American League .

National League’s Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers holds his MVP award following the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Phoenix. The National League won 5-1 . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …….

With the second half of the season resuming as of tomorrow it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires for the teams said to be in contention for their respective divisions as well as the wildcard berths within both leagues. And as a fan of the Atlanta Braves my greatest wish is to see the team make the postseason and simply acquit themselves as against any prospective opponent that they are likely to face . What happens thereafter all comes down to the breaks that they make for themselves rather than the opportunities offered them by an opponent .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

This season within baseball what thoughts if any do you have on the events that have taken place ? And how best do you feel that the league hierarchy can deal with some of the problems that they now face ? And what team or teams , player or players have actually surprised you with their performances so far ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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

Contact tophatal @ …….. rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) FILE – In this April 26, 2011, file photo former New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez throws a pitch during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Milwaukee Brewers acquired former All-Star reliever Francisco Rodriguez and cash from the New York Mets on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in exchange for two players to be named. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta ….

(2) American League’s Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays is tagged out at home plate by National League’s Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves after trying to score on a hit by American League’s Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Phoenix. The NL would go on to defeat the AL 5-1 . AP Photo/David J. Phillip ….

(3) PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 12: A general view of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

(4) (L-R) National League All-Star Jair Jurrjens (49) of the Atlanta Braves, National League All-Star Starlin Castro (13) of the Chicago Cubs, National League All-Star Brandon Phillips (4) of the Cincinnati Reds, National League All-Star Joey Votto (19) of the Cincinnati Reds and National League All-Star Jay Bruce (32) of the Cincinnati Reds stand before the start of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……

(5) (L-R) American League All-Star Josh Hamilton (32) of the Texas Rangers stands with American League All-Star Adrian Beltre (29) of the Texas Rangers and American League All-Star David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox before the start of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …..

(6) (L-R) Daniel Hernandez Jr. and Joe Garagiola Sr. throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hernandez is credited with helping to save U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in January and Garagiola was a former MLB player and long time announcer. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images ….

(7) American League All-Star Carlos Quentin (20) of the Chicago White Sox swings during an at bat in the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

(8) PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 12: National League All-Star Brian Wilson(38) of the San Francisco Giants reacts with teammates catcher National League All-Star Miguel Montero (26) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and National League All-Star Joey Votto (19) of the Cincinnati Reds after making the save to win the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The National League defeated the American League 5-1. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

(9) American League’s Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run during the fourth inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(10) National League’s Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers holds his MVP award following the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Phoenix. The National League won 5-1 . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …….
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MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Schedule 14th July 2011

MLB Probable starters 14th July 2011

MLB Stats

American League Category leaders alongside

Batting Avg —- Adrian Gonzalez

Hits —- Adrian Gonzalez

Home runs —-Jose Bautista

RBI’s —- Adrian Gonzalez

Pitching

Wins —- C C Sabathia

ERA —- Jered Weaver


National League
Category leaders alongside

Batting Avg.Jose Reyes

Hits —- Jose Reyes

Home runs —- Lance Berkman

RBI’s —- Prince Fielder

Pitching

Wins —- Jair Jurrjens

ERA —-
Jair Jurrjens

2010 MLB Awards

Slow But Steady , Slow But Really Steady

Slow But Steady , Slow But Really Steady

It has been really interesting as of late to watch the way things have unraveled within the AL East . And as many prognosticators believe the division may well be the most competitive in all of baseball it goes without saying that the reasoning is very much justified . As an ardent admirer of the game I have a certain fascination with the team that is local to Central Florida. And that happens to be the Tampa Bay Rays who over the last two years , have been twice a winner of the division , an ALCS Pennat winner and made their sole appearance in the World Series in 2008 which ended in sadness with the team losing to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in the best of seven series . At the helm as the team’s manager has been Joe Maddon the organization’s most successful coach.

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Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida , is home to this young organization that has had its fair share of highs and lows over the course of its history . For Maddon and his coaching staff , they have essentially been great tutors of which much of that tutelage has come to fruition in seeing the giant steps made in the progression of young stars on the roster . Perhaps none more so than Evan Longoria , Matt Joyce and the team’s two pitching All Stars David Price and James Shields . It’d be remiss however to suggest that the aforementioned trio are the sole cause for the team’s success this season but with the addition of Johnny Damon and reliever Kyle Farnsworth the Rays have proven to a formidable challenge to the likes of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees .

New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter returns to the dugout after being thrown out at first base to end a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Rays won 5-1. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

The Rays have been very lucky with the fact that their pitching has held up well and the mere fact that there now seems to be a great deal of confidence throughout their starting five as well as the relievers would suggest that they are quite capable of giving the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees a real run for their money down the closing stretch of the season . I firmly believe that if the team is within two games of the lead coming into the month of September then all bets are off as to the division being anything but a two horse race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees as it now appears to be !

With the All Star Game scheduled this upcoming week the Tampa Bay Rays’ schedule becomes ever so important. The team is a mere four and a half games behind the division leading New York Yankees (51-14) but only a 1 1/2 games behind the second placed Boston Red Sox (51-35). The Rays are coming off a resounding 12-5 shellacking of the Minnesota Twins. If the team can continue with that sort of the momentum then their upcoming series of games against their divisional rivals the Red Sox and Yankees should prove to be very interesting. The New York Yankees host the Rays at Yankees Stadium for home series of three games before the midseason break and the festivities surrounding the All Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona .

First up for the Tampa Bay Rays will be to rein in the New York Yankees , the winners of seven of their last ten games and riding on an offensive that has been very potent indeed . Leading the way for the Yankees has been first baseman Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson in the team’s onslaught. But need we remind ourselves that this team also has the likes of Robinson Cano , Nick Swisher and . Alex Rodriguez all of whom are capable of providing the New York Yankees with the much needed offensive weaponry that any team would enviable of having . .

Now while much of the focus has been the Derek Jeter watch as he makes his way to the 3,000 hits plateau as he is now but three hits away from reaching that milestone and become the organization’s all time hits leader . The fifteen year veteran now sits atop of the mountain and will now be instantaneously be immortalized by the Yankees’ fans . Jeter has already surpassed Yankees’ legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig but if anything this modern day icon and the face of the game to most and in particular the Yankees’ fans. One has to admit that the player is now winding down his illustrious career .

If the Rays can get to the pitching of the Yankees of which I believe is the team’s Achilles Heel then quite possibly they can win this series , cut the deficit that Bronx Bombers has over the other residents within the division. I think it’s pretty safe to say and that Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are out of the running for the wildcard spot within the AL in terms of a postseason berth !

The contributions of Damon to the Rays this season cannot be underestimated as he’s provided a steadying presence to the team and the younger players I believe are thoroughly appreciative of that fact ! As for the Tampa Bay Rays’ fans their hometown hero has given them something to believe in with the advent of the ongoing financial woes of the organization. Say what you will but team owner Stuart Sternberg , GM Andrew Friedman and the associated partners have remained steadfast that for now the team will remain within this locale . But it appears that with each passing moment the likelihood of the Rays remaining within the area is unlikely as no common ground can be found between the two opposing factions.

Surprisingly enough the Tampa Bay Rays were once again winners in MLB Draft garnering a number of top collegiate prospects further enhancing the reputation of the scouting and coaches within the Rays’ organization of which the Baseball Operations is headed by Gerry Hunsicker . And it should come as no surprise as to the reasons why the Tampa Bay Rays have been so successful down the years with draft choices . Though this past season the team had to release fan favorites Carl Crawford , Rafael Soriano and Carlos Pena because of budgetary constraints it has to be said the organization hasn’t lost sight of what got them to where they are today.

The Tampa Bay Rays for their part have continued to surprise many but there’s a growing belief that what we’re now seeing are the waning moments of a ball-club that is in transition of moving out of the area , as the fans lament what they believe to be a double standard in terms of baseball’s hierarchy of merely leaning towards and assisting those who essentially are financially more well to do. From top to bottom the organization of the Tampa Bay Rays is a well ran operation with a farm system that’s the envy of many organizations around the league. The one stumbling block of the Rays has been the financial constraints because the ownership group is limited in its resources. I will always continue to maintain that a ball club cannot exist on a meager fan base of no more than 15,000 hardcore fans ! That seems to be bearing true as of today, with the Rays averaging no more than 19,000 fans per home game at Tropicana Field this season . In a number of cases the fanbase is simply outmatched with the arrival of either Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees and there we will see the attendance rise to as high as perhaps 25,000 to 30,000 in attendance . Hardly conducive when the away team is actually drawing far more supporters than the hosts of a scheduled home series but such are the vagaries of the game as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays.

I certainly do believe that the Rays’ organization is now clutching at straws in the belief that an accord can be reached where they will remain in Central Florida ! It has now become abundantly clear with the financial worries of both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties that neither county government can facilitate the financing needed to build a new venue for the team. Both county administrations are facing acute financial difficulties of their own having to furlough employees , slash budgets and a slew of sundry maneuvers has many questioning whether or not a multi million dollar facility is the right thing to do in order to facilitate the whims and wishes of a multi millionaire baseball team owner . It is not as if Stuart Sternberg or any of his senior partners have shown good faith by even suggesting that they are prepared to assist in the financing of a new venue. Any statement forthcoming , be it from Sternberg , Andrew Friedman or Matt Silverman for that matter , has essentially been about the need of a new venue rather than how best to cooperate in working together in making such a scenario happen.

As many of you know my disdain for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig knows no boundaries ! I find him to be obnoxious , a buffoon , an ignoramus and someone who is now completely out of touch as to the realities of the game and its numerous problems ! Rather than trying to be of assistance to the Tampa Bay Rays in attaining a new venue , he has seen fit to be critical of the organization’s endeavor even going as far to suggest that they will never stage an All Star Game until they have built a new venue that is to his liking and that of the league hierarchy’s . Suffice to say if the fans in the area haven’t seen that as the nail in the coffin to the organization’s efforts it has been heard loud and clear by the officials who sit on the boards of both county commissions in Hillsborough and Pinellas County . I don’t believe that Selig could have put the situation anymore succinctly than that , thereby laying to rest what now may well be a futile exercise on the part of the county governments of each ___ as well as the Tampa Bay Rays. The local sports talk radio hosts and print media may well hold out hope that things may well change but they are facing an uphill battle in their thinking that a venue can and will be built at this juncture .

It would indeed be sad to see the Tampa Bay Rays leave the area but facing a reality that the area cannot sustain a franchise that in essence hasn’t a long history or pedigree of success . Never mind the fact that this is simply a first or second generation of supporters who are now loyal to this franchise . The vast majority of the teams within the game have a long history of support that is steeped in the loyalty of its fans and with familial ties . But here with the Rays the success though only recent cannot hide the fact that there is a glaring and stark reality to this organization’s history. Its first decade under Vince Naimoli has more to do with it being a comedy of errors , with an owner who essentially saw this team as his own personal bauble and fiefdom for him to reign over like a king. Success never manifested itself to any degree and the organization came to be known as a laughing stock around the league .

Now even with its recent successes the Tampa Bay Rays still finds itself bedeviled by worries about its financial security more than anything else . With a payroll amongst the lowest in the league the coaches and front office will have to get by on a squad of good if not great players , their future prospects and as I alluded to earlier a farm system that is amongst the best in the league .

Should the organization in the ensuing years leave the vicinity of Central Florida then the death knell of the game at the major league level within this area will have clearly sounded. Spring Training is all that the area will then have to cling to and that in of itself may not be such a bad thing after all. The teams who make the area their home during the preseason bring with them a burgeoning legion of fans and snow birds into Central Florida all looking to give support to their teams and aid the area with their income and making creating something of a vibrant economy during their time here . Now in spite of that fact it doesn’t lessen the blow that a Major League team now finding success may well have to leave its locale merely because the league hierarchy in its infinite wisdom has been about as helpful in their cause to remain as one could consider Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be in assisting in a peaceful settlement of the Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiations . Whereas Bud Selig was front and center in assisting the New York Mets and New York Yankees in the facilitating and building of their respective venues ( Citi Field & Yankee Stadium) he has been nowhere to be seen in assisting the Tampa Bay Rays in their endeavor to have a new venue built. But given the fact that as odious as the commissioner is , I can’t help but feel that the fans are now having the last laugh as things have gone to spiral out of control for himself and the league hierarchy as they now try to sort out the ongoing mess of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which will undoubtedly be followed by the web of intrigue and malfeasance that has taken place within the New York Mets organization . . Here’s to you Bud , you ingrate and piece of crap !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? And how as such do you view the race now taking place within the AL East ? Simply chime on in with your comments as you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Ben Zobrist (18) of the Tampa Bay Rays bats against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images ….

(2) New York Yankees fans hold up the number of hits Derek Jeter has, during his at-bat in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Jeter grounded out to end the game as Tampa Bay won 5-1 . AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ……

(3) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter returns to the dugout after being thrown out at first base to end a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Rays won 5-1. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(4) Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth is congratulated by catcher John Jaso at the end of the Rays’ 5-1 win over the New York Yankees in a baseball game Thursday, July 7, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …..

(5) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 6: Johnny Damon (22) and Kelly Shoppach (10) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a two-run home run by Shoppach against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning on July 6, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …..

(6) Casey Kotchman (11) and B.J. Upton(2) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ……..

(7) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 6: Sean Rodriguez (1), Evan Longoria (3) and Casey Kotchman (11) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate a two-run home run by Rodriguez against the Minnesota Twins in the eighth inning on July 6, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 12-5. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….

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Ten Questions For The MLB Commissioner ……………

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

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

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

Courtesy of Fox Sports

Report: Dodgers seek to blame Selig

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

Picture and slide show details below .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Schedule

MLB Scoreboard & results 5th July 2011

MLB Probable starting pitchers 6th July 2011

Do I Hear A Bid of One Billion Dollars … ?

Do I Hear A Bid of One Billion Dollars … ?

Well we are all aware that David Einhorn the New York hedge fund manager and founder of Green Capital Investments has invested $200 million into the cash starved and financially strapped New York Mets . Now along the way we have all read about the problems of the organization and the fact that the team’s well the two most prominent owners team are now defendants in the ongoing case as the plaintiffs in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal seek as much as $1 billion in punitive damages from Saul Katz , Fred Wilpon , the New York Mets and Wilpon’s investment company Sterling Equities Inc . With that in mind I’d like to think that Einhorn and his lawyers were given some sort of guarantee that his investment is in fact safe , given the fact that the case against the defendants would appear to very strong. The plaintiffs’ lead attorney Irving Picard remains steadfast in his belief that the defendants are guilty and knowingly hid these funds having been made aware that as recipients of the funds from Madoff , this all from a fraudulent and felonious act. I’m not so sure that when it’s all said and done the Mets as an organization will be the ball club in its present guise that will be around . There is a very strong possibility that should the judge presiding over this hearing rule in the defendants’ favor after all of the evidentiary facts , we could very well see the organization seeking bankruptcy protection.

I was once told by a patron that bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom for a franchise . Somehow I don’t think that this individual knows what actually comes about in such a situation for the franchise given the fact that creditors aren’t always willing at first to renegotiate their debt for pennies on the dollar . For me however , I simply look at the Mets as an organization whose owners and front office over the last few years have become complacent , clueless and completely inept ! And although there has been an upheaval in the front office with Sandy Alderson , team President and EVP J P Ricciardi being brought in to oversee all personnel and roster moves in all aspects of the player personnel decisions. And given the overwhelming belief that this team has underperformed this season it is easy understand why the New York Mets are viewed a monumental laughing stock around MLB. Terry Collins was brought in as the Mets’ manager having succeeded Jerry Manuel whose managerial style bordered on sheer ineptitude .

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I’ve no doubt that at the end of the day this organization will either sink or swim by the decisions made of which much of it was brought on by their own actions . At 39-39 within the NL East and already some games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies I now feel that there’s no chance of the team actually competing within the division , much less winning it or possibly gaining a wildcard berth . And given the proclivity of this team to simply implode at the most inexplicable of moments it’s easy to understand why Wilpon was so vehemently critical of players such as Jose Reyes , Carlos Beltran and David Wright . A trio of overpaid, alleged superstars who between them have contributed little by way of success this season or seasons past . If nothing else given the fact that of the investment made by David Einhorn I am not so sure that he’ll get an entirely acceptable return on his investment.

Consider the idiocy however concerning not only of the Mets’ organization but the capricious nature of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the very fact that he cajoled the city commission in voting for a $2.355 billion bond issue that financed the building of Citi Fied (and Yankee Stadium ) an edifice that for much of this season has been half filled through much of the home games played at the venue . Built at a cost of over $755 million I can’t help but wonder what gave Bloomberg or the New York Mets the impression that building this monstrosity would equate with any future success for the organization Mets ! But this is merely a harbinger of the idiocy and corrupt practices that now takes place within the game all under the nose and suborned by Bud Selig , baseball’s hierarchy and the team owners within the game.

Here’s a question I would pose you now if you were a wealthy financier or entrepreneur and $ 1 billion at your disposal would you take it upon yourself to invest in a professional sports franchise and if so which particular sport would that investment be in ? Would it be within MLB , the NFL , NHL , MLS or NBA for that matter ?

Each of the four major sports face their own difficulties given the variables of economic climate but in large part the hierarchies of MLB, NBA , NFL and NHL along with the respective owners have never really shown enough foresight to actually plan expediently for the future. The NBA now faces a work stoppage that in large part can be avoided but given the fact that NBA Commissioner David Stern likes grandstanding and playing to the media , I think that the league and the hierarchy are in for a rough time ahead as they seek an accord before the expiry of the existing collective bargaining agreement on the 30th June , 2011 . The team owners along with the league hierarchy will steadfastly stand by the fact that they will seek concessions from the NBPA headed by Executive Director Billy Hunter and union President Derek Fisher .

Should there be a stoppage within the NBA and it becomes as litigious as the impasse now in evidence between the NFL and NFLPA then any thought of the 2011-12 season starting on schedule in September could end up being wishful thinking on the part of the NBA fan. It is clear that neither side wants to be the first that backs down and I have no doubt that the executives of the teams will be working behind the scenes also to make sure that they can do their utmost in conjunction with the league to stave off any thought of a stoppage.

As for the NHL even with the fact that they just had an exhilarating Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins . The aftermath of the Bruins’ game seven victory and the city of Vancouver erupted into violence, with fans rioting , 150 injured victims and some 100 arrests. But what might be even more unbelievable were the multi million dollars’ worth of damage caused by the rioters. The city’s police Chief Jim Chu states that the cause of these riots weren’t due to the loss by the Canucks but simply due to the fact that these were individuals looking to take advantage of an event to loot and riot. Nonetheless, it will still be viewed as something of a black eye for the game and in particular the city of Vancouver and the team .

Hockey itself has come a long way from its own self inflicted wounds stemming from their lockout . Financial mismanagement and sheer ineptitude being shown by the league hierarchy led by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman still hasn’t brought the sport back to the visibility it once had. Viewership is still down but at the same time attendances are still up at a number of franchises around the league . Teams are now back to their old ways of conducting business , wherein we have seen being offered exorbitant contracts but yet somehow a number of owners simply wanted to have the best talent on offer and rewarding the players with such extraordinary offers that most teams could ill afford to pay. I won’t lambast a sport that I have little if any interest in because from a financial standpoint I believe that Bettman and the owners are still struggling to find a firm financial footing and given the proclivity there for simply tripping over their own bootlaces , the less now said about the NHL , the better !

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

In terms of the points raised within this piece what thoughts if any do you have ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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(1) New York Mets’ Jose Reyes, right, scores along with Mets’ Angel Pagan on a two-run RBI single by teammate Carlos Beltran in the second inning against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, June 26, 2011. AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis ……

(2) Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, right, yells at home plate umpire Andy Fletcher after being ejected from the game during a baseball game against the New York Mets in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, June 26, 2011. AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis ……

(3) ARLINGTON, TX – JUNE 26: A detail view of the field during the game between the against the Texas Rangers and the against the New York Mets at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 26, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images ….

(4) Daniel Murphy (28) of the New York Mets get tagged at second base by Ian Kinsler (5) of the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 26, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ian Kinsler;Daniel Murphy ……

(5) Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson, New York Mets new manager Terry Collins, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz pose for pictures during a press conference at Citi Field on November 23, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images North America / Chris McGrath …..

(6) David Einhorn, part owner of the New York Mets, watches the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on May 28, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Chris Trotman/ Getty Images North America ……

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MLB News

NBA News

NFL News

NHL news

It’s Often Best To Be Seen And Not Heard ……………

It’s Often Best To Be Seen And Not Heard ……………

Well with the ongoing NFL lockout you simply knew that ESPN couldn’t live without getting a sound byte no matter how inane it might be. And you can simply count on ESPN to sink to the lowest common denominator to make sure that scenario arises . Reporter Sal Palantonio  in an interview with the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis had me chuckling when he correlated that the prolonged labor stoppage would lead to a rise in crime because the discerning NFL fan would have nothing to with there being no football. I simply wanted to say …” nig_a shut the fu_k up for God’s sake ” ! Ray Lewis knows about committing a crime and actually getting away with it because of the fact that the legal establishment simply obfuscated their responsibility as they often do , when taking a plea agreement or in this case, Lewis simply got off ” Scott free” in the manslaughter death of a victim in a deadly brawl during which two of Lewis’ accomplices actually committed this heinous act . ==================================================================================

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Courtesy of USA Today

Ravens’ Ray Lewis warns of spike in crime if NFL season is lost By Nate Davis , USA Today Ravens star LB Ray Lewis believes if the players and owners don’t soon find a way to resolve the ongoing lockout that people outside the NFL’s family could suffer far more severely than the ones squabbling within it. “We really got to remove pride. Seriously,” he said in an interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “There’s no other reason the issue is going on. That’s why I don’t get into words and all that other stuff, because it takes away from life — itself. Man there are people who’s really struggling — for real. There’s real struggles out there. What we’re going through right now, we’re affecting way more than us. “There’s too many people (that) live through us, people live through us. Yeah, walk in the streets, the way I walk the streets, and I’m not talking about the people you see all the time.” Lewis goes on to suggest that the livelihoods of many fans and some of the NFL’s subsidiary employees — such as stadium workers — hang in the balance. “Do this research if we don’t have a season,” Lewis says. “Watch how much evil — which we call it crime — watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game. … There’s nothing else to do, Sal.” —————————————————————————————————Click on the link to read this article in its entirety . =================================================================================

Ray Lewis ought to recognize that crime usually goes up primarily because of the harsh realities of an economy goes into the tank ____ it’s now there for all to see. Without a doubt Lewis is either showing his ignorance or he’s merely looking for a way to show that he feels aggrieved because of the league’s actions in initiating the stoppage . And the very fact that the stoppage itself has been legally upheld by a judicial ruling by the 8th District Court of Appeals in Minneapolis , Minnesota he of all people should be concerned with his own union (NFLPA) body has been doing while all of this plays out . The NFLPA has simply been about its own image and self worth while painting the league hierarchy as the villains of the piece . It’s at times like this I’m simply happy that the idiots within the NFL and the NFLPA show that what they lack in common sense is only exhibited by the stupidity that either side has shown in trying to further play to the public’s sympathy by simply looking to blame the other for something that they collectively brought into being .

As respected as Lewis may well be by his peers within the league and some fans across the NFL panacea , I do believe that he could have expressed himself considerably better . Emotional as he may well be about this stoppage , he should remember also that the average fan out there isn’t as lucky to have been attributed with the Lewis’ God given talents and the fact that they would be able to earn a multi million dollar salary each year . And in spite of his image makeover after his legal issues in the aftermath of the trial that took place in the manslaughter death of that male victim by his two accomplices I still believe that Lewis is considerably lucky not to be behind bars ! Were this a mere civilian rather than a high profile athlete the outcome might well have been different. At this juncture there’s not much more that can be really said other than the words I’ve already directed at the Ravens’ player !

We all know the idiocy that has taken place concerning the New York Mets  and the fact that the organization as well two of the team’s most prominent owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon  as defendants are being sued in a Federal Court by the plaintiffs in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal . The plaintiffs are being represented by noted attorney Irving Picard . In light of this Katz and Wilpon have plead their innocence in any wrongdoing and have stated that they are if anything victims of Madoff’s malfeasance rather than being enablers that have profited financially wherein the duo have received in excess of 700 million over the decades that the scheme had been enacted.

Given the grave financial instability of of the New York Mets I found it quite comedic that Fred Wilpon was being critical of several players on this team most notably Jose Reyes , Carlos Beltran and David Wright . Wilpon stated that he felt that Reyes, in the process of seeking a contract extension isn’t good enough to be earning a Carl Crawford type of a contract (7 years / $140 million ) and that Beltran isn’t the same player they signed to a 7 year $119 million contract. Furthermore , he went on to state that the team’s All Star and team captain David Wright isn’t a star in the making or simply good enough to be compared to his cross-town counterpart Derek Jeter  . Strong words indeed for an owner who simply signed the checks on the say so, of then general manager Omar Minaya  . And during Minaya’s tenure it simply wasn’t about attaining players for the sake of it but merely gaining back page coverage in order to compete with the New York Yankees for that coverage on the sports’ pages within the nation’s largest ad market and also on the local television there within the Big Apple. I’ve got to say when you’re that envious, there’s got to be something that you can do better in order to obtain a higher profile rather than spending money so capriciously ! Keeping up with the Joneses ?

This season much like last season it would appear that the New York Mets are simply mediocre and I seriously doubt that things are liable to change anytime soon . And even though the organization sought to bring in Sandy Alderson , J P Riccardi  to head the front office as Exec VP, general manager , assistant EVP general manager it still has me wondering whether or not this will be enough to turn things around for a team that has been engulfed in such an abysmal situation where much of that has been self inflicted by the idiotic personnel decisions made . But it appears even with a new manager Terry Collins and coaching staff in tow it appears that things haven’t changed all that much from his predecessor Jerry Manuel was leading this team. Minaya and Manuel simply took this team to depths of mediocrity and beyond if that’s actually possible . And Minaya simply tried to justify the personnel decisions made that brought this club to where they became somewhat of a laughing stock . Never mind that uber-agent  Scott Boras  and many of his clients made off like thieves in the night as the Mets simply overpaid for mediocre talent .

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Mets owner Fred Wilpon sounds off on his beloved team’s troubles By Tom Verducci , Sports Illustrated New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, as profiled this week in Sports Illustrated, provided a blunt picture of the team’s finances: The team is “bleeding cash” at the rate of a possible $70 million loss this year and his ownership of the team could be jeopardized by the $1 billion lawsuit against him and his Sterling Equities partners. The suit was filed by the trustee of the liquidation of Bernie Madoff’s investments. What does it mean for the baseball operations? In the short term, the Mets likely will cut payroll next year by about 30 percent and give a voice to a new investor that Wilpon expects to introduce in about three weeks — an investor he will treat as a limited partner. Is Wilpon worried that the lawsuit — in which the trustee wants about $300 million in fictitious profits and another $700 million in principal the Sterling partners put into Madoff accounts — could cause him to lose the team? “Not right now, no,” he told SI in an exclusive interview last week. “Because I don’t think anybody thinks that 700 is realistic.” ————————————————————————————————————————-

Click on the link shown to read this article in its entirety .

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At present the New York Mets  6-4 in their last ten games coming off a two game losing streak but they’re already 4 1/2 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies  (28-18) within the NL East . And as spirited a change as many well have thought might have taken place with the Mets this team continues to perform monstrously in the most inexplicably of ways . Injuries or not the explanation being given by Wilpon as to the team’s present woes while in part justifiable it simply doesn’t go anywhere in explaining how it is that he and the front office have simply let things get to where they are at present . Most team owners I would have thought would desire some real effort put forth by its players even in the face of real adversity . Instead all we have seen from this team is an exceptionally inept organization from top to bottom in terms of its performances both and off the field of play.

Now some might say it is still too early to judge Alderson , Riccardi and Collins at present but if things continue to get any worse I can assure you that the fans in attendance at Citi Field for the team’s home games can’t continue to endure the mediocrity that seems to be part of this organization’s current mantra. Er’go it’s akin to the laughable excuses I’ve heard being uttered when some patrons try to state that because a change are in the offing, it solicits that the changes being made even if they are incremental , will be for the better . Since when was the game of baseball not been about what you’re doing now but what you’ll be doing four to five years from now . And that's especially true when teams are struggling not only from a competitive standpoint but also financially as well ! If one is going to delve also into the business of sports at least one should show the acumen to understand that the game simply isn't just about winning but also being a profitable going concern. After all the owners are simply doing this all out of the goodness of their heart but some idiotic fans seem to be under the impression and that making money is the last thing that the team owners simply want to do !

Fred Wilpon and his partners within the Mets’ organization and at his company Sterling Equities of which Katz happens to be a co-founder have a lot to be concerned with given their reluctance to comply with many of the requests of the plantiffs’ attorney Irving Picard with regard to certain financial documents still in their possession concerning monetary movements between the New York Mets and the financial concern under their command. I get the feeling that Wilpon has made this statement simply to deflect the attention he feels that has been unwarranted concerning his actions and Saul Katz’s as it relates to the financial scandal that has engulfed the Mets and their company ! He may well be justified in calling out certain players but he also should be taking a close look at his own actions in all of this , as an owner , he too has a responsibility to voice his concerns but it was clear that was the furthest thing from his mind at the time when he , in conjunction with Minaya and Jerry Manuel decided to make many of the outrageous personnel decisions that have brought the New York Mets to where they presently are.

As this season plays itself out it will be very interesting to see how things pan out for the New York Mets and the steps that might well be taken by the front office come the trade deadline . Win or lose , as of now , the clock is ticking on this organization’s immediate future and the shape that it will ultimately take. The league hierarchy under Bud Selig may well be watching this all with a great deal of close scrutiny because simply put, in the aftermath of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ debacle , their financial woes and the assault of a San Francisco Giants’ fan, Brian Stow , at Dodgers Stadium . The last thing the game now needs is another black eye to further taint its already tarnished image .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? And do you believe that the statements attributed to both Lewis and Wilpon in any way are somehow justified ? Chime in with your thoughts as see fit .

Alan aka tophatal …………..

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Lewis seen here in his interview with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio speaks of what he sees as the ramifications of what he sees will embody and impact this lockout with regard to the NFL fan . ESPN/ Mark Gustaffson …….

(2) Linebackers Ray Lewis (52) and Terrell Suggs (55) of the Baltimore Ravens celebrate a play during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath …..

(3) From left to right Fred Wilpon , GM Sandy Alderson , team manager Terry Collins , Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon  and team President Saul Katz . Collins was being formally introduced to the public and New York press as the team’s new manager after the abrupt firing of his predecessor Jerry Manuel . Getty Images / Chris McGrath ……

(4) Mike Pelfrey (34) of the New York Mets reacts after giving up a first inning home run to Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets  9-3 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images …..

(5) Chris Dickerson (27) of the New York Yankees hits a double in the seventh inning against the New York Mets on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets 9-3. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

(6) Mike Pelfrey of the New York Mets is pulled in the seventh inning as teammates Daniel Murphy(28) , Willie Harris(22), and manager Terry Collins (10) look on against the New York Yankees on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets 9-3. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……

(7) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees and Jose Reyes (7) of the New York Mets share a laugh on May 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets  7-3 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ….

(8) David Wright(5) of the New York Mets who’s on the team’s DL sits on the bench during the game between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees on May 20, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Mets defeat the Yankees 2-1 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……

(9) Mark Teixeira (25) of the New York Yankees (not pictured) hits a home run just over the leap of Carlos Beltran(15) of the New York Mets in the bottom of the third on May 20, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……..

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Finally An Act of Rationale By MLB And In Particular Bud Selig Who Shows That He Might Indeed Have A Backbone

Finally An Act of Rationale By MLB And In Particular Bud Selig Who Shows That He Might Indeed Have A Backbone

I’ve read with a great deal of glee where the MLB —- hierarchy has now chosen to intervene and take over the day to day running of the operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers and not a moment too soon ! Given the financial situation of the organization and wherein the league hierarchy under MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has sat idly by as Frank McCourt has brought the organization to the brink of bankruptcy . In the last eighteen months two major ballclubs have been placed within the bankruptcy in order that they may have a stay from their creditors while being able to reorganize themselves . First off were the Chicago Cubs whose previous owner billionaire commercial real estate developer Sam Zell placed the team into bankruptcy protection in order to stave off creditors of the Cubs’ parent company (The Tribune Group) at the time going after the team to make the debt payments due. And while this maneuver worked it did cause and cost the company financially a great deal of bad PR that it could have well done without. But what might be even more gave glaring, it gave further credence as to the fact how dire the financial situation was for a number of teams around Major League Baseball .

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Slideshow for your perusal .

Courtesy of MLB.com

Selig to Appoint a rep to oversee Dodgers

By Ken Gurnick , MLB.com

LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball has taken over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday.

“Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club,” Selig said in a statement.

“I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days.

“The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

McCourt issued a brief statement late Wednesday night that read: “Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner’s action today.”

In an e-mail message sent to Dodgers employees on Wednesday, McCourt said, “In light of the Commissioner’s announcement today, I ask that you please continue to conduct business as usual with our complete dedication to the game and our loyal fans. Each of you has represented this organization with class, and while this is no doubt a challenging time for all of us, I truly appreciate your efforts.”

McCourt, owner and chairman of the Dodgers, bought the club from News Corp. on Jan. 29, 2004, and the club reached the postseason in four of his seven seasons as owner.

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If one of most renowned teams in baseball has to be forced into bankruptcy through the financial mismanagement of its parent company then what must that forebear for other organizations around the league at the time ? Given the Cubs’ history and perceived financial resources as it was believed to be , this was nothing more than a shot across the bow of the teams who faced much starker situations but who’ve yet to make it known to the public. I’ve heard it said that the hierarchy of the league wouldn’t be prepared to contract teams but that it is utter stupidity by anyone who believes that it can’t , or won’t happen. If it is the league’s wish then it will happen especially in the light of the economic uncertainty and the whole financial mismanagement of teams around the league at present. With the Cubs having been reorganized whilst in bankruptcy protection it was bought by Tom Ricketts and his family (founders of online stock trading company TD Ameritrade) for an unprecedented $ 850 million . Paring down costs to an extent while still trying to remain competitive has been of the highest order for the Ricketts as they seek to make the Chicago Cubs relevant again within the league .

The second such team , with which bankruptcy was forced upon them, were the Texas Rangers who at the time were jointly owned by Texas multi millionaires Tom Hicks and Ken Gillette . Their combined worth an estimated $2.5 billion but somehow they couldn’t make this organization a viable going concern , from a financial or competitive standpoint but yet somehow through their idiocy they managed to offer Alex Rodriguez what was at the time the richest contract in professional sports , a ten year $250 million contract . Rodriguez barely lasted three years with the organization although he managed to win AL MVP award with the Rangers . I can only surmise that Scott Boras as A Rod’s agent at the time , proved what most people may well have known , that in the state of Texas not only are the businessmen dumb but they lack real business acumen also ! Once again through financial mismanagement by an ownership group another team was brought to near extinction and each time MLB Commissioner Bud Selig sat idly by . Having been forced into bankruptcy for failing to meet their financial obligations the team was bought by consortium led by Nolan Ryan and former Rangers’ executive Chuck Greenbeg . A much needed change in fortune has taken place for the Rangers both financially and competitively on and off the field of play but it doesn’t change the fact that the game’s hierarchy and team owners have been less than truthful as to their overall financial plight .

It’s becoming increasingly clear for all who care to take notice that the game isn’t as financially sound as Selig makes it out to be , nor are the owners being financially prudent and fiscally responsible. It’s not just about the economics of the game or the fact of the now overall plight of the economy at but all but the lack of financial oversight and sound business practices that is taking place in almost every aspect of the game. The GM’s around the league have become opulent and ostentatious and it would appear that the owners alike choose not to pare down their expenses but if anything in number of cases pass on those costs to fans through higher priced tickets and in the prices that they pay for concessions and memorabilia . Well now that fans in large part are refusing to meet those demands , it is now becoming clear that the owners and in particular the league hierarchy have seen the light . Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case for Frank McCourt and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office who’ve amassed a debt now close to $1.3 billion collectively and who this past month borrowed in excess of $30 million from the local Fox tv station affiliate in Los Angeles to meet the team’s budgetary expenses for the month. Need one ask what would have happened had the MLB hierarchy chosen not to intervene and bring some sanity back within that organization ? Because clearly the likes of McCourt , GM Ned Colletti and Tommy LaSorda have lost their frigging minds if they think that they can continue to exist in such a way while trying to play down their financial plight !

And although it has been reported that McCourt will seek legal action in US Federal Court to stop the league from intervening and taking over the day to day running of the Los Angeles Dodgers I think that given his recent lack of success in the courtroom and the the financial maelstrom that he has brought within the organization , I find it hard to believe that any presiding judge hearing hearing this case would in fact choose to side with the plaintiff ! If anything the judge might be more likely to side with the defendant in the case given the severe financial problems that McCourt and his fellow executives have placed the organization in.

Now while all of this plays out as a comedic and public spectacle there are also calls for the O’Malley family to once again assume control of the Los Angeles Dodgers . As the previous owners of the ballclub I certainly don’t think that they would want to re-enter the fray of owning the organization once again, on any level, be it for the long term , or short term merely as a custodian ! If anything this situation is best left in the hands of Selig , the hierarchy under his authority . If anything it’d open up his eyes and that of the owners now knowing as such that they could be on the hook for the organization’s debt and mismanagement . One thing I do know, it’s highly unlikely that the Dodgers’ creditors would be liable to write off the vast majority of that cumulative debt as it presently stands as they too have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders and board members . Obviously that’s something that McCourt and his fellow executives didn’t take into account in terms of their own fiduciary responsibilities as it relates to their own consortium of partners in the Dodgers’ ownership. Living big and spending big doesn’t guarantee success if you simply don’t know what the hell you’re doing to begin with !

It’s certainly funny that given the Dodgers’ plight and that of the New York Mets who have their own vast problems from a financial and competitive standpoint but this might be one of the rare times that Bud Selig has chosen to show publicly that he indeed has a backbone ! God knows that this man has cowered his way under pressure and has acted oblivious to many of the problems that he has either created within the game through lax oversight or showing his complete naivete’ ! One only has to look at his handling of the steroid issue and the fact that he was absolutely powerless because he chose to be confrontational not only with the MLBPA but also with the Congress and in particular with two of its most powerful legislative bodies in the House Government & Oversight Reform Committee as Senate Judiciary Committee . You piss off the hand that feeds you in terms of providing you with your sole reason to exist throught antitrust exemption , you often in the end tend to make even more enemies than you actually want or need . Something that not even Selig would now care to openly admit to at this juncture .

Courtesy of The New York Times

Madoff Profits Fueled Mets’ Empire, Lawsuit Says

By Alison Leigh Cowan & Richard Sandomir

A lawsuit brought by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme contends that the owners of the Mets used the profits from their years of investing with Mr. Madoff to enhance their personal fortunes, enrich a number of family trusts and financially fuel their array of businesses — all in the face of repeated warnings that Mr. Madoff’s investment firm might have been a fraud.

The lawsuit, unsealed in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Friday, says the owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz , their families and their businesses “made so much easy money from Madoff for so long” that despite the many warnings — from within their own inner circle, and by other investors and financial institutions — they “chose to simply look the other way.”

“There are thousands of victims of Madoff’s massive fraud,” the lawsuit states. “But Saul Katz is not one of them. Neither is Fred Wilpon.”

Since Mr. Madoff’s arrest in December 2008, Mr. Wilpon has portrayed himself as a victim of the fraud, one he conceded was carried out by a man who had been his friend for many years. On Friday, in a personal statement and through their lawyers, Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz decried the trustee’s legal assault.

“The trustee’s lawsuit is an outrageous ‘strong arm’ effort to try to force a settlement by threatening to ruin our reputations and businesses, which we have built for over 50 years,” Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz said.

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If ever there was a cautionary tale to be learned as to the world of sports and how the excess of greed can turn a once beloved spectacle into a crevasse of bungling ineptitude then Major League Baseball would be it. From the cheating , lying and bungling ineptitude of the owners , players , union and the hierarchy itself and their overall unwillingness to act in a proactive manner whenever there is a real problem within their midst. Instead they each tend to act as if there’s nothing wrong at all , until it’s all too late and by then the damage done tend to be irreparable . And when I say damage done it’s not only to the game in terms of its competitiveness , financial stability but also to its very own image and the fact that the vast majority of the fans can and do no longer trust what the game says it stands for or the very people who are entrusted to oversee and maintain its very existence and livelihood .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Do you feel that the intervention now undertaken by Bud Selig and the league hierarchy will ensure the Los Angeles Dodgers’ long term existence and livelihood. Or do you feel that the Dodgers ought to have been left to their own devices and let them sink or swim dependent upon what they chose to do in order to survive ? And do you believe that in the long term contraction within the game will become more likely in light of the financial problems that are now coming to light concerning a number of teams within the game of baseball ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter and as usual thanks for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) MLB commissioner Bud Selig (left) watches the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images North America / Michael Buckner ……

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (R) greets Don Newcombe, former Brooklyn Dodgers teammate of Jackie Robinson, before the game with the St. Louis Cardinals as Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Stephen Dunn ……..

(3) Cubs GM Jim Hendry (left) is seen here alongside team owner Tom Ricketts at the team’s headquarters at Wrigley Field , Chicago , Illinois , speaking to the convened press . AP Photo / Tom Scott ….

(4) Nolan Ryan team President & lead managing partner of the Texas Rangers is seen here with Chuck Greenberg a former executive with the Texas Rangers . Greenberg a respected sports attorney and agent abruptly left the Rangers’ organization earlier , this year. Dallas Morning News / Michael Ainsworth ……

(5) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, GM Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Andrew Burton ……

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