Manny , Manny, Manny …. Who’s Sorry Now ?

Manny , Manny, Manny …. Who’s Sorry Now ?

By tophatal

The critically acclaimed movie ” Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt , Phillip Seymour-Hoffman and Jonah Hill , celebrates the Oakland A’s and in particular GM Billy Beane’s ascent into baseball folklore as being an astute assessor baseball talent . But as of late the Athletics’ woes have been well chronicled in terms of their lack of regular and postseason success . To say that ” ineptitude” has been the face of the franchise in recent years would be an insult to the use of the word but such has been the mediocrity of the organization that it has myself wondering in particular, why any major league player would want to don an Oakland A’s uniform !

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal .

Now having seen the AL West in terms of this past season with the domination of the division by the Texas Rangers as the divisional champions for the last two years as well as the AL pennant representative in the World Series in 2010 and 2011 . This has to grate on the nerves of the long suffering A’s fans seeing the rise in the dominance of the Texas Rangers and seeing financial acumen shown by GM Jon Daniels and the front office of the Texas Rangers . Money is of no object for the now resurgent ball-club with the vast financial resources at their disposal . A two decade $3 billion television deal that affords the organization leeway in acquiring talent at the drop of a hat , of which $100 million was made available to the Rangers this off-season . It would appear that the league has essentially become about “the have’s” and “have nots “ with the likes of the Texas Rangers near the top of the food chain , whereby they can now challenge the likes of the Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels , New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies .

The Oakland A’s ballpark at times has been bare in terms of fan attendance for their home games and this was noticeably so this past season . Sparsely attended and with winning results coming at an inconsistent pace it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the team barely being able to remain within posting close to a .500 record (74-88) for 2011 . Billy Beane for his part knows that this team needs to bolstered from an offensive standpoint if they are to viewed as a competitive threat within the division (AL West) and most certainly as a viable candidate for a wildcard berth .

If the rumors now swirling are to be believed then it would appear that Billy Beane is intent on acquiring ……. Manny Ramirez as a DH and play various parts of the out-field for the team. The now disgraced former big leaguer , fell from grace last season having retired abruptly, rather than face a second 50 game suspension for a violation of the league’s substance abuse program . Barely contributing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 Ramirez in for all of his off-field issues remains an enigma and a pariah within the game . There’s no doubt that Manny Ramirez when his head is focused on the game is a big time player who can hit for power and of which his run productivity cannot be denied .

I am not so sure that it would be prudent for Beane to sign the player even if it were to one year deal or otherwise ! That is unless team owner Lew Wolff feels it worthwhile as a lure to get fans’ interests piqued at the prospect of seeing the player in A’s uniform . Though acquiring the player might not be viewed as a great financial risk given their payroll , which is amongst the lowest within baseball . And for those who still feel that the premise of the “Moneyball” aspect can still prove to be pertinent in today’s game , ask yourself how that has been working out favor of the A’s overall financial viability and their success as of late ? Being financially frugal can only get you so far but it would appear that either Wolff is unwilling to increase payroll or he’s simply happy with his lot of seeing the baseball club repeatedly being viewed as an “also ran ” amongst the teams within the league . The apathy amongst the A’s fans seems palatable within their fan-base but I guess it now goes with the territory , given the team’s recent lack of success !

With a relatively young core that makes up this roster it has to be said that if patience is the virtue upon which Billy Beane is hoping to build this team’s future upon while these players acclimatize themselves to the rigors of the game at present he may well be ill served to continue along this path. How much longer can he feel that this organization proceed under this premise ? And the mere fact that the front office and in particular Lew Wolff is waiting upon some sort of resolution to be forthcoming from the league hierarchy led by Bud Selig as to the A’s wish to relocate makes this organization’s situation all the more comical . The commissioner at present seems to be none too interested in the plight of the Oakland A’s as he looks forward to the upcoming season and the inauguration of the Miami Marlins’ new ballpark . Perhaps if Wolff and his partners fawned over Selig and the hierarchy , while brow-beating the city of Oakland then perhaps their wish to have an all new purpose built facility might well have been fast-tracked . Anyone who is aware as to the back door dealings with regard to the Marlins’ stadium issue must now know _____ that deal is now the subject of a federal investigation being conducted by the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) in conjunction with the US Justice Department . Chances are those involved subject to a subpoena will for now remain tight lipped rather than implicating themselves in any possible wrongdoing .

Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin , while he and his coaching staff are expected tutor many of the young players on this team . with a view to bringing out the best in the talents of Jemile Weeks , Scott Sizemore , Cliff Pennington , Ryan Sweeney , Dallas Braden , Josh Reddick and Brandon Allen to name but a few on this current roster . It will be interesting to see how those players handle themselves this upcoming season in comparison to 2011 when their problems were quantified in so many areas , in terms of a lack of run productivity . However what truly plagued the team was their poor defense throughout much of the season which proved to be costly in seemingly allowing their opponents win a number of games that were well within the A’s grasp.

As Spring Training comes around , it will certainly be interesting to see the guise that the Oakland Athletics’ roster will take. As the team’s aspirations take shape for the organization , Bob Melvin and his staff will try their utmost to create the momentum needed before the regular season begins . Are the A’s capable of pulling off a major surprise and competing at a high level this season ? Well that remains to be seen but it is becoming increasingly clear that after years in the doldrums it has to be now or never , rather than the continued excuses proffered up by their fans , and what appears to be on the surface the inability of the front office , coaching staff and players to prove to show that this organization is capable of competing alongside that of their peers.

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal .

The future of Manny Ramirez to my mind within the game of baseball is a major gamble for any team willing to take the player, be it on a whim or out of necessity ! As a player , Ramirez has shown that his ego needs to be massaged by his manager and at the moment of any real sign of adversity he is not always willing step up to the plate . Furthermore , with his already tarnished image and continued demeanor why would any team at this juncture be willing to take a chance on the player ? What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the possibility of the Oakland A’s acquiring Manny Ramirez ? Do you feel that his addition will be of benefit to the team or a hindrance ? Chime in on this , and any other topic you feel of relevance as it relates to the A’s , Spring Training and the Opening Day of the regular season in Major League Baseball (MLB) .

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

😉

Picture and slide show details below .

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

(1) Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin (L) speaks, while Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge (R) looks on, at a press conference in Tokyo on January 16, 2012. Melvin and Wedge announced that the Athletics and Mariners will play for their opening Major League Baseball games at the Tokyo Dome stadium in March. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO ….

(2) Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge, center, gestures with Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin, left, and Mariners special consultant Ken Griffey Jr. after a press conference in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. The Mariners and Athletics will open next season in Japan with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi ………

(3) Josh Willingham (16) of the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in a game in Arlington on July 9, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …..

(4) Oakland Athletics’ owner Lewis Wolff , right, talks with vice president and general manager Billy Beane during the A’s spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Beane, the architect behind Oakland’s four division titles since 2000, was rewarded with a seven-year contract extension Wednesday, June 13, 2007. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …….

(5) Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman (left) is seen here alongside team signings …. Johnny Damon (center) and Manny Ramirez prior to the start of the 2011 season . Also in picture is the team’s manager Joe Maddon . Ramirez’s tenure with the team was short-lived with the player abruptly retiring after it was announced that he had violated the league’s substance policy for a second time . AP Photo /Erica Cresswell …..

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

MLB news

Oakland Athletics’ news

Oaklan Athletics’ roster

Oakland A’s coaching staff

Oakland A’s front office

Oakland A’s history

Oakland A’s postseason history

Oakland A’s year by year results

A’s Hall of famers & A’s retired numbers

A’s All Stars & Awards

—————————————————

MLB final standings on closing day of the 2011 regular season …… Wildcard standings on final day of the 2011 season

——————————————————————————————————————————-

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

——————————————————————————————————————

Elita Lofblad (laying down) & a friend . What’s not to like ?

🙂

Raychel Frew covering up some quantitative assets . And why not might I ask ? .

Movers And Shakers ……………….. It’s All In The Games People Play !

Movers & Shakers …………. It’s All In The Games People Play …. !

As the baseball postseason beckons , the month of September is now here and there’s still a great deal to play for as divisional leaders seek to widen the distance between themselves and their closest rivals . Also at stake are the wildcard berths within both the AL and NL . But what might well more interesting could very well be the offseason managerial moves as well as those of the front office executives within the game .

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal .

After four years of absolute futility it would appear that general manager Andy MacPhail will leave the Baltimore Orioles . MacPhail , whose father Lee MacPhail , a member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame and who like his son held the position from 1958-1963. For team owner Peter Angelos these years of mediocrity and the lack of postseason play has made this organization a major laughing stock and the butt numerous jokes throughout the game. I simply laugh when I hear purists state that a team is building towards the future but one would beg the question didn’t Noah build an ark because he knew of the impending disaster of the floods ? Well , the floods have continued for the Baltimore Orioles relentlessly and they’re unlikely to abate anytime soon !

To view the on field play of the Orioles , with the thought that this team has a chance of actually being competitive is akin to watching paint dry . Manager Buck Showalter and his coaching assistants while gradually getting the best out of these players , it appears that this roster is still a long way off from where they really need to be. Granted , the Orioles do play in perhaps the toughest division (AL East) in all of baseball but that simply cannot excuse their poor play. Throughout the month of August , from the sublime to the ridiculous it has simply been a journey into inexplicable as the team’s fall from grace has magnified .

The Orioles host their divisional rivals the Toronto Blue Jays for a two game series at Camden Yards , Baltimore , Maryland. Camden Yards has played host the many of Cal Ripken’s most heralded moments over the course of illustrious career. But one now seriously doubts that the ball-club’s most beloved player having retired can continue sit idly by and witness the monstrosity that has taken place . Inasmuch , as Peter Angelos would love to see this ball-club have a modicum of success , he as the team’s owner has done little to suggest that they are actively striving for that mantel . If anything , the owner and the front office have simply benefited from the league hierarchy’s largesse by readily accepting the tax revenue money shared amongst small market teams and doing little to bolster the team’s roster by way of acquiring players that could contribute to the organization. I’m sorry but even with their drafting of players , routinely the Baltimore Orioles have come up short with their choices .

Courtesy of USA Today

Orioles’ MacPhail could start GM exodus with departure

By Bob Nightengale of USA Today

BALTIMORE – Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, has reached a decision on his future with the Baltimore Orioles but plans to wait until season’s end before announcing his intentions.

“Let’s just get to the end of the year and see what unfolds,” MacPhail told USA TODAY. “We’ll see. We’ll see.”

MacPhail, according to two high-ranking Orioles officials, plans to leave the organization after his contract expires Oct. 31. He will not pursue an extension. The officials are not authorized to discuss the decision publicly because it is not official.

MORE: Jim Hendry’s time ran out with Cubs

MacPhail, whose father, Hall of Fame executive Lee, was Orioles general manager from 1958 to 1965, has been with the Orioles since 2007 but could not turn them around. The Orioles are three losses from their 14th consecutive losing season.

“I know there’s a lot of speculation, but that comes with the territory,” MacPhail said.

Several GM candidates have been brought up internally, an Orioles official said, led by New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, whose contract expires after the season.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, expected to have an influential voice in the decision, said he’s not interested in the job.

“You hear all kinds of things,” Showalter says. “I just hope for the best for Andy. This is not one person’s fault. You can’t be this bad, for this long, without multiple reasons.”

——————————————————————————————————————————–
Click on the link provided to view the article in depth

——————————————————————————————————————————-

It is hard to suggest where the Orioles go from here even with the contributions of Vladimir Guerrero , Nick Markakis and the pitching staff seem to be bereft of real competitiveness when adjudged against the teams within the AL . It doesn’t get better overall when one takes into account all of ball-clubs in MLB .

It would be easy to suggest that the Baltimore Orioles through their prospects and minor league farm system that things could necessarily be turned around with the right sort of precipitous moves . But we have seen that this ball club simply has stumbled through many of their own self created obstacles .

The departure of Andy MacPhail will probably now set into motion a number of moves within the game of baseball. Billy Beane , Andrew Friedman , Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein are amongst a number of general mangers whose contracts expire at the end of the season . In the case of Epstein , Cashman and Friedman can leave without any compensation being sought . And with the Chicago Cubs said to be also seeking a replacement for Jim Hendry after his firing by team owner Tom Ricketts . It has to be said that this offseason the real interest won’t necessarily be about the big money free agents who will land on the open market but more so I believe, where many of these front office executives may well end up !

Theo Epstein, the primary architect of the Boston Red Sox’s most recent triumphs in the World Series . It would appear however that Epstein’s days with the ball-club could very well be numbered as there now seems to be an impasse between he and club president Larry Lucchino . However , it would be simply idiotic for principal managing partner & team owner John Henry to allow the wunderkind to leave . To lose such a prize asset as Theo Epstein would be the worse thing that this ball-club could actually do beyond choosing to implode Fenway Park . I firmly expect that the organization will offer their general manager a long term contract , which would be clearly in their best interests.

Lew Wolff , — principal managing partner of the Oakland Athletics has publicly stated that he would not stand in the way of Billy Beane leaving the club at the end of his tenure . A somewhat magnanimous gesture given the fact that were it not for Beane , this organization might well be far worse off than it already is. Lew Wolff has hamstrung this ball-club with his Scrooge like behavior as it relates to bolstering the fortunes of this organization by spending to acquire on players. Instead the fans are being asked to be content in seeing a team simply fall from grace with little to show by way of being competitive. It seems a travesty that this fraud has been allowed to be perpetrated upon the loyal A’s fans ! But it appears that neither Lew Wolff or any of the senior executives are in fact overly concerned with their plight. If that were the case then you would actually see Wolff and those very same executives acting aggressively in making a real attempt to turn things around . Fans have somehow have begun to accept the fact that it could well be Lew Wolff’s intent to simply sit back and gladly take the handouts given to the organization by MLB . Recent success by way of a playoff berth is fast becoming a faded memory and the seasonal showings within the division (AL West) haven’t at all been that impressive .

Salary constraints asides , there is some optimism amongst the A’s fans but in large part I do believe that comes out of their sheer devotion towards this organization and its storied history of the illustrious players associated with the team and that of their Hall of Famers .

For the teams who will seek to acquire a new general manager this offseason it is bound to be very intriguing to see which candidates are amongst those being interviewed for those vacant positions . I know that there’s bound to be great deal of money that will be offered to those players thought to be amongst the most prized free agents once the season has ended but as we know everything as such starts with the decision made by the team owner and that of a general manager who seeks assemble a ball-club that they believe will be competitive . Clearly that is all that is being sought by executives within the game but perhaps , some more than most .

Peter Angelos may well seek the insight of Buck Showalter as to who the next general manager will be for the Baltimore Orioles . As he should , given that manager’s acumen for molding a ball-club into a competitive being , as one simply has to take note of Showalter’s achievements in grooming the players that would essentially go on to win four World Series in the latter part of the nineties and early 2000’s . Joe Torre may well get the credit for taking those teams to those series and winning them but were it not for Buck Showalter , one doubts that the ball-club would have achieved those successes in that short a span . Derek Jeter , Mariano Rivera , Jorge Posada and Andy Pettite are part of the quartet that went on to reach those illustrious heights , all groomed under the tutelage , first and foremost by the Orioles’ current manager .

Showalter , if anything will be looking for someone whom he can work alongside and at same be able to communicate with , without there being any real conflict or hidden agendas . And if Peter Angelos has any common sense he ought to heed well the advice given to him by his manager once he embarks upon a search for the successor to Andy MacPhail.

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece and where do you any of these front office executives moving to , should that scenario actually arise ? By all means do leave comment as to your thoughts on the subject matter .

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

Contact tophatal via these social media devices

http://facebook.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/tophatal

Picture and slide show details below .

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

(1) Manager Buck Showalter (26) of the Baltimore Orioles walks to the dugout after a pitching change in the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Blue Jays would go on to defeat the Orioles 13-0 .Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

(2) Edwin Encarnacion (10) of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Mike McCoy (18) after scoring in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Toronto won the game 13-0 . Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(3) Mark Reynolds (12) of the Baltimore Orioles tosses his bat after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 31, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

>

(4) GM Andy MacPhail (left) is seen here seated Buck Showalter after he manager was formally introduced to the convened press as the team’s new manager . MacPhail has since announced that he will be stepping down from the role within Baltimore Orioles’ front office . Team owner Peter Angelos has yet to make a formal statement as to what aspect the search will take for a successor to the general manager . AP Photo Brett Gibbons ….

(5) Peter Angelos (L), owner of the Baltimore Orioles Baseball team, watches testimony from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (R) at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on the Mitchell Report into the use of steroids in baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 15, 2008. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Major League Baseball’s players and owners must come together “in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort” to remove steroids from the national pastime. REUTERS/Jason Reed/ United States ……..

(6) CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 31: Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins (13) of the Oakland Athletics wipes his face after the tenth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 31, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images ….

(7) Oakland Athletic’s co-owner Lew Wolff makes a public presentation to the Fremont City Council regarding the ballpark and village proposal in Fremont, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007. Wolff invoked visions of Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field as he outlined an ambitious development plan for a new baseball ballpark Tuesday. AP Photo/San Jose Mercury News, LiPo Ching ….

(8) Oakland Athletics’ Jason Giambi , right, leans on the shoulder of general manager Billy Beane as he is introduced during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009. Giambi and the Athletics finalized a one-year contract with an option on Wednesday, bringing the free-agent designated hitter and first baseman back to the place he began his big league career. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu ……

(9) Larry Lucchino (center) and Theo Epstein, (right) seen here with principal partner and owner John Henry of the Boston Red Sox. picture appears courtesy of AP/photo/ Chris Argyle …………
=============================================================================================================

MLB news

MLB Standings 31st August 2011

MLB Standings wildcard

MLB Standings 08/31/2010

MLB wildcard standings 08/31/2010

MLB results 08/31/2010

MLB team stats (Overall)

AL team stats

NL team stats

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB results 31st August 2011

MLB probable starters 1st September 2011

Baltimore Orioles’ news

Boston Red Sox news

Chicago Cubs’ news

New York Yankees’ news

Oakland A’s news

Tampa Bay Rays’ news

List of current MLB general managers

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

Do take part in the above mentioned poll.

Into Each Of Our Lives A Drop Of Rain Must Fall But Then Again You Can Always Rely On An Idiot Within The Sports Arena To Provide Us With Something Extra !

Into Each Of Our Lives A Drop Of Rain Must Fall But Then Again You Can Always Rely On An Idiot Within The Sports Arena To Provide Us With Something Extra !

Well it had to happen did it not ? A baseball team owner being openly critical of one of his peers . In no uncertain terms Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has been critical of Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt and his ex wife Jamie McCourt in their ownership of the organization. As we all know the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection, filing Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Federal Courts .

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Now unless I’m mistaken this is the very first time that we’ve had an owner issue a public statement on this matter . But what might be even more surprising is the very fact that Wolff a staunch supporter of Commissioner Bud Selig was one of the very owners who at the time of McCourt’s purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the main supporters of Frank McCourt buying the team. And the very fact that Wolff and Frank McCourt share the same business background in the development of commercial and residential real estate has me wondering whether or not the two had a business deal jointly between them that went south which has now brought about this animus !

Courtesy of USA Today

A’s owner Lew Wolff calls on Frank McCourt to sell Dodgers

By Jorge L, Ortiz , USA Today

Commissioner Bud Selig is not only one who wants Frank McCourt to just go away. One of the Los Angeles Dodgers owner’s brethren is now calling for him to leave.

Oakland Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff told the Los Angeles Times that McCourt’s attacks on Selig are misguided and called for him to sell the team. Wolff is the first owner to publicly speak out against McCourt.

“My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale,” Wolff told the Times. “But to try and equate or compare what Bud Selig has done with the administration of the current Dodger franchise is unsupportable.”

McCourt’s lawyers have contested in divorce court Selig’s claim that McCourt has taken more than $100 million from the team for his personal use, and they argued that Selig has received more than that amount from MLB through his yearly salary of more than $18 million.

Wolff stood up for his former University of Wisconsin fraternity brother, saying his comments were not an attempt to gain favor with Selig as the A’s continue to wait for a report on their stadium options. Wolff also denied any interest in buying the Dodgers.

“For anyone to seek to diminish Bud’s accomplishments in order to rationalize their own actions is, in my opinion, ludicrous and hugely disingenuous,” Wolff said.

Selig rejected a proposed TV rights deal with Fox that McCourt said would be worth upwards of $3 billion, citing concern over McCourt’s handling of the Dodgers’ revenues. McCourt responded by filing for bankruptcy.

——————————————————————————————————————–
Click on the above link to read this article in its entirety .

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

Lew Wolff voicing his opinion on Frank McCourt and his misdeeds to my mind actually smacks of stupidity given the A’s owner’s own handling of his team . The Oakland Athletics’ problems this season have been well chronicled and the very fact that the organization has struggled to even maintain some semblance of consistency would suggest that they’re still a long way off from where they really need to be . My own belief is that Lew Wolff as an owner has done little to suggest that he and his partners are ambitious to win . Were it not also from the fact that in Frank McCourt’s first pursuant of trying to own an MLB ballclub then I would have simply waived off this criticism as justified but herein now lies the premise . Several years prior to Frank McCourt gaining control of the Los Angeles Dodgers he has also sought to purchase the Boston Red Sox .

In pursuant of the deal as is normally required in all such instances , Frank McCourt and his partners filed the necessary papers with the board of governors and MLB hierarchy . Much of that paperwork indicated that the bidders would be financing the deal through a menage of cash and borrowing from several major financial institutions. However , it had to be noted that McCourt was also involved in major litigation where he was the defendant in a legal matter that involved unfulfilled obligations concerning the development of a real estate deal . Somehow this was initially overlooked by the league until brought to their attention by their legal counsel and the deal was in the end nixed . If such as is the case, wherein the league had such an issue concerning a potential buyer of one of their franchises once before then how is it that the league hierarchy and owners saw fit to relent and then allow that very same individual the chance to own another of their franchises the second time around ? The pattern again followed the same principle minus the legal issues but once again even in light of Frank McCourt’s previous problems the signs obviously were not heeded . This time around the board of governors which includes the owners voted unanimously to approve the deal .

If Lew Wolff is now trying decry the antics of Frank McCourt then how is it that he did not do so when the Dodgers’ owner came to the table with his deal to buy the organization ? What really had changed other than perhaps the greed of the baseball hierarchy and that of the team owners ? To me this is all so asinine given the fact that the vast majority of owners in the game are about as acutely business minded as the ” idiots” in the House and Senate who claim they have the nation’s interests at heart but who simply bicker like infants when they cannot get their own damn way ! And it is very much the same with the owners and league hierarchy within baseball !

Billy Beane the Oakland Athletics’ general manager has done as much as he can on a shoe-string budget but in recent times it has given the fans of the team little hope if any. Granted, one could allude to the fact that they’re building towards the future with their prospects and players drafted over the past few years . But in reality fans want to see some semblance of success sooner , rather than later . Anyone who would suggest to the contrary is living a life of complete denial . It’s idiotic to suggest that a fan is prepared to sit around and wait anywhere between two or even five years to see their team strive for success. If anything they’re either prepared to show their discontent with the ownership group or simply begin to abandon their team altogether . Merely giving the impression that they are prepared to endure the pain and the bravado of repeatedly watching an organization fail is as such nothing short of sadomasochism . Self flagellation at its best and worst perhaps ?

NBA Commissioner David Stern is now of the belief that the NPBA (union ) representing the players are not acting in good faith . Am I missing something here ? Unless I am mistaken the commissioner along with the NBA hierarchy and team owners indeed sought this lockout initiating the stoppage upon the 30th June deadline and expiration of the then existing collective bargaining agreement . Stern , alongside San Antonio Spurs’ owner Peter Holt and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver in a joint public statement went so far as to suggest that the union represented by executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher were being intransigent during the two sides’ deliberations in trying to reach a compromise .

Stern’s biggest gripe is that the union could now choose to de-certify and then pursue their own legal recourse not only against the league hierarchy directly but also against the team owners . And with the commissioner having practiced law he knows that the union is quite within their right to pursue their grievances legally . Plain and simple David Stern doesn’t want to be viewed as being outmaneuvered by the NBPA or anyone else that he feels is beneath him !

Anyone who has seen how David Stern conducts himself in public will know that if he’s not front and center alongside others ____ not the main attraction then you might as well be standing in the background. It has been this sort of autocratic leadership and at times bombastic attitude that has perhaps led to this impasse . Had the league hierarchy and union for that matter had the hindsight to even convene prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement and try to lay some groundwork for their dealings then in some respects the ensuing action could have been avoided . But that would simply be asking way too much of two organizations where narcissism and being egotistical seems to be the norm !

And now with the game’s own international body FIBA granting the right of the NBA players should they choose to ____ pursue playing abroad during the entrenchment of the two sides during the lockout . It would appear that the power that the league and owners thought they had was in fact nothing more than an actual pipe dream. With perhaps the game’s biggest star in Kobe Bryant now said to be mulling over several lucrative offers of an to play in China or Turkey I don’t think that it will be all that long before several other marquee stars of the NBA may well choose to follow suit !

David Stern for his part may well feel that in pursuant of the owners’ interests that they appear to be in the right but were it not for the fact that transparency of the league hierarchy when it comes to their finances borders on the secrecy of Opus Dei and that particular order. The league owners plead poverty but somehow they choose not to rein in their expenses when it comes to the salaries of the players and at the same time the union itself paints the picture that they’re being held hostage by the demands of the league hierarchy and owners. Now in the midst of it all with the NBA on track to lose several hundred million dollars it is Stern’s intent to have us believe that this lockout is the only way possible to get the union to heed their original warnings of financial doom. Were it not for the fact that in the past two seasons that the teams around the league have been the beneficiaries of in excess of $ 500 million in loans guaranteed by the league and in the past decade itself the league has borrowed in excess of $1.65 billion from several major financial institution across the country I now have a hard time fathoming how it is that the NBA finds itself in such a mess ! Unless the CFO of the league hierarchy is someone who’s clearly not adroit with finance then something is clearly awry within the NBA . David Stern’s main argument has been that the league now needs to rein in costs and he points to the fact that the NBA is on target to lose in excess of $450 million for the fiscal year . Ho hum ! That figure though excessive makes me wonder when the commissioner himself is being compensated to the tune of $23.5 million a year (including incentives) and the likes of Rashard Lewis can earn in excess of $22.5 million on the back end of a rather exorbitant contract then I have to wonder where the madness is actually coming from within the NBA !

Neither side at present shows signs of relenting and with each passing moment it would appear that the league and union have further alienated the fans . With the lockout now only a mere five weeks into its length it appears that neither side is yet willing to acquiesce and reach any sort of a real compromise . Little tidbits are released for the public’s and media’s consumption but beyond that not much has really changed . This impasse may well reach a breaking point where one side will actually relent but it does not appear to be the case now, or anytime soon . I can only surmise that David Stern and the owners will try to play the role of the protagonist in this all , as they seek to paint the union as the antagonists and villains of the piece ! Somehow , I don’t think that the fans really care which is side is portraying which damn character as they are now sick and tired of hearing about millionaires and multi millionaires complain about their financial angst and woes ! These individuals simply cannot relate to the common man much less a fan of the game .

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on Lew Wolff’s criticism of Frank McCourt and do you feel it justified ? Also in light of David Stern’s comments where do you stand on the NBA lockout and the impasse as it now meanders along ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece .

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

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————————————————-

(1) Oakland Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff smiles during a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Friday, April 1, 2005. The Oakland A’s owners struck a deal with Major League Soccer to bring a team back to the San Francisco Bay area after the San Jose Earthquakes left for Houston over a stadium squabble, officials said Wednesday, May 24, 2006. Lew Wolff and John Fisher , the A’s principal owners, will have three years to buy a team and develop a stadium solely for soccer. The location of the new stadium has not been determined but the new Earthquakes office will be located in downtown San Jose. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ….

(2) Oakland Athletics’ Kurt Suzuki reacts to striking out in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Seattle. The Mariners beat the Athletics 4-2 . AP Photo/Ted S. Warren ……

(3) Eric Sogard (36) of the Oakland Athletics reacts after striking out with the bases loaded to end the eighth against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ……

(4) Hideki Matsui (55) of the Oakland Athletics singles in the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ……

(5) Hideki Matsui (L) shakes hands with Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (R) after trying on his new jersey during a press conference where he was introduced as the newest member of the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 14, 2010 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics signed designated hitter Hideki Matsui to a one-year deal worth $4.25 million plus possible incentives for the 2011 season. Getty Images North America / Justin Sullivan …

(6) NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher, right, NBA union chief Billy Hunter, left, and LA Lakers’ Theo Ratliff arrive at a midtown hotel for a meeting with the NBA, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 in New York. One month after the lockout began, and three months before the season is scheduled to start, representatives for the NBA owners and locked-out players return to the bargaining table. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer ……

(7) NBA commissioner David Stern, left, gestures as he holds press conference along with deputy commissioner Adam Silver , following a meeting between team owners and the NBA players union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews ……..

San Antonio Spurs’ GM R C Buford is seen here alongside team owner Peter Holt during one the Spurs’ practice sessions . Holt a staunch supporter of the commissioner is one of the primary members of David Stern’s inner circle during the deliberations with the NBPA . Getty Images / Alex Small ……

—————————————————————————————————————————————

MLB news

MLB transactions at trade deadline

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB results Tuesday 2nd August 2011

Oakland A’s news

Oakland A’s schedule

Oakland A’s teams stats :

Hitting :

Pitching :

Fielding :

Oakland A’s roster ….. 40 man roster

A’s prospects

A’s minor league system & news

Oakland A’s transactions

Oakland A’s draft history

—————————————————————

NBA News

NBA league hierarchy

NBA team owners

NBPA Players’ Association (union)

NPBA Executive Director Billy Hunter

NBPA Leadership Executive Committee

NBPA Player representatives

NBA Player transactions in lieu of the lockout

—————————————————————————————————-

—————————————————————————————————-

Do take time to participate in the above polls .