More Bang For The Buck … Or Let’s Just Say Simply More Fizzle For The Money ………… !

More Bang For The Buck … Or Let’s Just Say Simply More Fizzle For The Money ………… !

It’s not strange to realize at this time of the baseball season fans are opining on how their teams are doing and where the letdowns appear to be if those ball clubs aren’t faring well. Much of that could very well be put down to the fact that certain players haven’t been playing up to par. And nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to the highly paid players who’ve essentially been a bust over the course of the season.

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Nothing could be more apparent at present than the premise prescribed when you have players such as Vernon Wells , Jayson Werth , Alfonso Soriano , Carlos Zambrano , Adam Dunn and Barry Zito simply coming up firing a blank . Having read an article in the sports’ pages of Tuesday’s edition of USA Today I thought it only appropriate to look at Bob Nightingale’s article more closely . Wells the the Los Angeles Angels’ slugger has had a monstrous and unproductive season for the team . At this juncture I’m not so sure if Arte Moreno as the team owner had it to do all over again the front office would have acquired the player from the Toronto Blue Jays by way of a trade .

Vernon Wells is owed $63 million through 2014 and it’s apparent that any takers for such a contract would have to be willing to undertake that commitment long term . How and why Mike Scoscia and GM Tony Reagins would have sought to add Wells to the roster under the premise that he would add some potency to the the team’s offense must now have the Angels’ fans in something of a quandary ! And though the ball-club now seems to be out of contention within the AL West in mounting a serious enough challenge to the Texas Rangers , it has to be said that trade has proven to be a monumental failure . Money can’t always by happiness but most certainly can buy great deal of damn misery as the Los Angeles Angels are now finding out .

It’s pretty safe to say that the Chicago Cubs have pretty much underachieved this season as can be attested to in their standing within the NL Central . And if nothing else the fallout after Carlos Zambrano’s meltdown in the game against the Atlanta Braves where the player abruptly left the clubhouse bailing on his teammates and abruptly announcing his retirement . However, in lieu of that the player has since reneged on that announcement simply stating that he was angry. Team GM Jim Hendry has , however , suspended Zambrano without pay but a grievance has been filed by the player’s agent Barry Praver with the union (MLBPA) on the player’s behalf , which will be forwarded to the MLB hierarchy .

The failings of the Chicago Cubs have been well chronicled and given the ball-club’s lack of success in the postseason they can either be lamented or simpy chided for their complete mediocrity .

As prolific as Alfonso Soriano was said to be while with the New York Yankees it has to be said the player has been less of an asset and more of a liability with the Chicago Cubs . From one moment to the next one never simply knows what to expect from the player. And it’s not as if this season has proven to be any different for Soriano as we have seen the Cubs simply give up on the year . And for team owner Tom Ricketts and his family even with the multi million dollar refurbishment of Wrigley Field , the loyal fans still coming to the ballpark in droves it has to be said that the fans are still be short changed by the organization at large.

Can someone please explain to me how it is that Mike Rizzo can still remain the general manager of the Washington Nationals ? Isn’t it enough with the hooplah over the drafting of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg the organization has nothing to show for it at all ? Building for the future is one thing but I doubt that the fans will want to become members of AARP before this team actually shows some semblance of being competitive .

Last season the hooplah was the furor was with the Nationals acquiring Jayson Werth from the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent. The player lauded by the front office as being a leader and someone who would tutor the younger players on the roster , it has to be said that Werth has been a complete disappointment. And at seven years $126 million ($18 million a year), can we all agree that agent Scott Boras has found a way to con another idiotic general manager in baseball.

I’ve heard fans opine on the fact that when a marquee free agent hits a slump then he ought to be viewed as crap but what about the general manager who signed that player how should they effectively be treated ? Shouldn’t they also be denigrated and chewed out for their stupidity ? It appears the fans are not always willing to go that far but I would simply pose this question ….. why the fu#ck not ?

Another of Boras’ high profiled clients is Barry Zito and his season can be best described as being caked in utter bullshit ! To see the San Francisco Giants’ fall from grace though not quite out contention in the NL West divisional hunt or the wildcard berth is to witness a team that simply seems to have ran out of steam at present. As defending World Series champions it’s hard to imagine a team could be viewed as being self destruct mode . Zito , himself has $46 million remaining on a contract that if anything will be a boon for Brian Sabean and the organization at large .

If there’s to be an absolute baseline in mediocrity this season simply in terms of productivity from a highly paid player in baseball then that mantel would clearly belong to Adam Dunn ! Suffice to say his season productivity in terms of his BA ( .162 ) isn’t even in line with his own body weight . I am not about to lambast the player much less the Chicago White Sox organization at large . GM Ken Williams along team owner Jerry Riensdorf and manager Ozzie Guillen must’ve undergone a strange transformation of sorts , wherein , they felt that Dunn was still a valuable asset to this team at large . Clearly this season that simply has not been the case as the White Sox have simply struggled to remain competitive within the AL Central . Barely above .500 within the division with a 61-60 mark it has to be said that the team will have to fight tooth and nail to pass both the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers who lay ahead of them within the AL Central .

One could be critical of the job that Ozzie Guillen has done this season but in reality the failings of this team are not simply Guillen’s alone . It has been a collective effort all round much of that blame has to laid squarely on the players who have simply not stepped up to the plate . Adam Dunn being the primary example of that with his meager productivity this season and that of his teammates . But that asides if Guillen’s only premise is to be verbose and simply use profanity as a way of instilling his wishes from his players then you can comprehend why it is that the team has as such failed to respond with resolve throughout much of the season.

It’s hard to try and explain the reasons behind the failures of the aforementioned players other than to suggest that they’re simply not as good as advertized or previously thought . One thing is definitely certain, any organization choosing to take any of players mentioned had better make sure to be diligent in the process , and know exactly what the hell it is that they’re doing . This much I do know , given the actions of the general managers of the teams in question who sought the services of these high priced free agents, it is obvious that they simply craved the idea of having what they thought was a productive asset but instead they’ve simply ended up with a dud !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the points raised within this piece and that of Bob Nightingale’s article do you feel that it is primarily a general manager’s responsibility or that of the player to actually prove their worth ? Do bear in mind however , the premise behind any deal is that the player is being rewarded based on his ability and the executive in this case is simply being rewarded for his professed astuteness in making a deal that’s said to be beneficial for both parties. Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

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

Contact tophatal @ rapptu@gmail.com or via these social media services

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Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Los Angeles Angels’ Vernon Wells, a former Toronto Blue Jays, evades a ball from Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero during the second inning of their baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young ….

(2) Vernon Wells (10) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game on August 13,2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images ……

(3) Jayson Werth (28) of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout after striking out against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park on August 16, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images …….

(4) Alfonso Soriano (12) of the Chicago Cubs makes an attempt on a line drive against the Washington Nationals on August 11, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Nationals 4-3 . Photo by David Banks/Getty Images ………..

(5) Pitcher Carlos Zambrano (38) of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The player would be ejected during the game subsequently announce his retirement but would soon renege on the comment . However he has since been suspended by the club without pay for 30 days. The suspension of which he’s now fighting having lodged an appeal through the union which will be reviewed by the MLB hierarchy . Mark Zarrilla / Getty Images North America ………

(6) Adam Dunn (32) of the Chicago White Sox argues with home plate umpire Bill Miller after striking out in the eighth inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 10, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(7) Dave Righetti (19) the pitching coach of the San Francisco Giants talks with Barry Zito (75) and Eli Whiteside (22) during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 31, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio . Zito would then be immediately be place on the team’s DL with a sprained right foot . The player’s productivity this season can be best described as meager when one bears in mind he’s due $18.5 million this year . Getty Images North America / Mark Parrilla …………..

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MLB news

MLB Results 16th August 2011

MLB probable starters 17th August 2011

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard

To read Bob Nightingale’s article in USA Today click on the link provided Zambrano contract among bad deals

Link provided … List of highest paid MLB players

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

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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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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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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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MLB News

Los Angeles Dodgers News

MLB Scoreboard 21 st April 2011

MLB Results 20 th April 2011

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

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

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Slide show for your perusal

With the NBA postseason set to commence in the second week or third week of April (April 16th), it’s easy to understand why these teams contending for a playoff berth would want to hit form of consistency that sets them on the right track as the playoffs approach . My own thoughts are that the teams looking to make a postseason berth are going to have to raise the level of their game as the playoffs approach.

A work colleague of mine brought up the subject of the NFL labor dispute and the lockout and made the statement that how is that all of a sudden the league now sets to paint the NFLPA in a dark light bearing in mind that they were the ones who sought instigate the lockout because the Executive Committee of the union were unwilling to acquiesce to a number of conditions that league proposed ? With Neil being a labor relation’s lawyer I found it somewhat surprising that he raised that point ! One of the sticking points now appears to be the league’s wish to have a comprehensive drug testing policy as it relates to PED’s and in particular HGH . For some reason I was under the impression that the league already had what they’d deemed to be a comprehensive drug testing policy but obviously it’s no better than the policy that MLB hierarchy has in place . Now if this is one of the real sticking points said to be many that the league and the union are said to be far apart on then it this lockout suddenly becomes not merely about money but a great deal more.

I know that the league (NFL) does test for certain prohibitive substances , namely marijuana , anabolic steroids and certain other illicit opiates but if they weren’t already testing for HGH then this is the question I’ve got to ask what the hell is going on within the NFL and their own credibility as it relates to the use of HGH ? Given the fact that we’ve all seen the dangers of abusing steroids and in particular a number of these opiates how is it that they’ve continued to not address the issue of HGH being used by the players . I know that it’s use has to be closely scrutinized by a medical professional. But herein lies the caveat if it’s only now that the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to address this issue then clearly there’s something that the NFL and owners weren’t prepared to make public unless they’re prepared to use it as leverage against the union. At the same time in the midst of this all Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams issued a public statement saying that it is his belief that a 2011-12 season will commence on time . Unless Bud Adams is actually fully aware of some upcoming turn of events then clearly the league feels that they now hold the upper hand in any proposed return to the table concerning resolving the labor negotiations.. I’m not so sure that now appears to the case as I do believe that Goodell and the owners have been out-maneuvered by the NFLPA headed by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .

Courtesy of NFL.com

NFL wants its players tested for human growth hormone

By Steve Wyche of NFL.com

The NFL believes now is the time to include human growth hormone testing in its banned substances policy and is pushing players to add it to a collective bargaining agreement — whenever one is reached.

The NFL and NFL Players Association discussed the policy before the union decertified March 11 and league owners imposed a lockout March 12, but no details were provided regarding where things stood.

News of the league’s insistence on HGH testing being part of the new CBA was first reported Thursday by FoxSports.com.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s vice president of law and labor policy, said Friday that the league has pushed for HGH testing since 2008, but with the opportunity to re-cast terms of a labor deal, it has become a priority. The NFLPA had resisted it in the past because of HGH testing methods and the reliability of results.

Blood testing remains the most reliable means to detect the presence of HGH, and that has been the sticking point — not both sides’ desire for fair play, Birch said.

“In terms of the policy, we’ve always been in lockstep with the players,” Birch said. “It’s an important tool in deterring — that’s maybe the most important part — and detecting those who are using (HGH). It helps the public understand what they are seeing is legitimate and that it’s not the result of artificial means. It’s equally important to players to know that someone hasn’t gained an artificial advantage over them.”

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

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At this juncture the whole labor dispute nonsensical and personally with each passing day with the damage being done to the image of both parties , I now feel that the fans couldn’t give a sh_t how things turn out. It’s not as if the league or players have ever had the fans’ best interests at heart any time during their deliberations !

With the trial of Barry Bonds now hitting its stride it’s amazing to see to read or hear about the testimony now be given by the number of witnesses subpoenad to appear at the trial by the prosecution in this case the US Justice Department and the attorneys representing the People of the US. With Jason Giambi having testified that he was a recipient of steroids from Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson and Bonds’ former mistress Kimberly Bell testifying that in her time spent with the MLB slugger over the course of their relationship the player got considerably bigger. I can only surmise that apart from Bonds’ rigorous training regimen that she was trying to allude to the fact the player was using something illicit to spurt his growth or could it be that she was also taking about the size of his member ? And as absurd as this case has become I do believe that we’re going to hear a great deal more than goes from the sublime to the ridiculous !

The longer this charade goes on as to the money being spent on this case the more I continue to question the asinine stance of the MLB hierarchy under the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in particular the owners within the game , managers and the MLBPA under then Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA . If the NHL and the sport of hockey hasn’t gone through enouhh problems as it is ther Players’ Union hires Fehr to become their Executive Director ? Are they fu_king mad ? The game is still in a financially tenuous position and it’s not as if Gary Bettman as the NHL Commissioner has actually got them now heading in the right direction as of now is it ?

As it now stands the legacy of the game throughout the nineties and into the early part of this decade has been irrevocably damaged and harmed ! With the advent of the regular season about to start as of tomorrow I can’t help but wonder what the teams , owners , union , fans and the game’s hierarchy hope to see when in large part the fans are still being reminded of the inane stupidity of the league hierarchy’s lackadaisical approach to the steroid issue . Bud Selig and his then counterpart Donald Fehr and the union as a whole were complicit in perpetrating this fraud upon the public and wherein the teams and players had a financial windfall. Were this a white collar crime committed I can assure you that the FBI , Justice Department and dare I say it the idiots within both Congress and the Senate would be asking that there be indictments of all of the guilty parties concerned ! But instead those blowholes have remained mind numbingly silent , even with those odious and sleep inducing Congressional hearings that took place and was overseen by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce . What was achieved by those hearings dependent upon one’ s views ranged somewhere between the idiotic with the grandstanding by those congressional committee members and the idiotic statements and testimony given by the league hierarchy and the players subpoenad to testify !

The one thing I for one question now is given what we may or may not know to be true is how the public view the records attained by players during the steroid era and how they ought to be viewed by the fans and public in general ? God knows the single season home run record as well as the home run record ought to have an asterisk placed at their side . I don’t state this as a damning indictment of Bonds alone . But I do feel if that he’s now to be viewed as the face of the steroid era along with Jose Canseco and several other players whom we all know to be associated with the illicit use of steroids amongst other substances banned by the game then we also ought to question silence maintained by players such as Derek Jeter , Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who’ve often been viewed as what’s right within the game but with their avowed silence on the issue , has to have the fans thinking up to a point whether or not they condoned the actions by their fellow players ? I mean even the most menial and lowly of the low within the union (MLBPA) as well as the marquee names have profited greatly from the era having seen their salaries rise not merely based on potential alone but from the stats that were achieved during the era . And with the idiot general managers then willing to pay exorbitant salaries to players while being lassoed in by uber-agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem and Leigh Steinberg making the players immeasurably wealthy beyond their wildest dreams . It now begs the question what credibility does the game of baseball really have as to its legitimacy in being viewed as the nation’s favorite pastime as well as the integrity of its players , managers and the league hierarchy itself ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the NFL labor dispute continues to meander along whatever route it presumably takes how do you as such view the situation as a discerning fan of the game ? Do you also feel that the league’s stance with regard to them wanting to instigate a test for HGH via blood testing is the proactive thing to do by the NFL ? Or do you feel that a the federal laws in place as it relates to the use of steroids is enough of a deterrent to the players as a whole ? And what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the recently commenced federal trial of former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds ? Simply leave a comment on your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter as you’d deem fit .

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalists Nnamdi Asomugha (R) of the Oakland Raiders and Israel Idonije (2ndR) of the Chicago Bears pose with the Peyton family, Connie Payton (2ndL), wife of former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton, and her children Brittney (3rdL), Jarrett (3rdR) and Adolpho Birch (L) during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images North America Inc / Doug Pensinger ……..

(2) Birch (center) seen here with officials of the NFL and local dignitaries in Arlington , Texas prior to this past season’s Superbowl played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers . AP Photo Chris Morgan ………

(3) DeMaurice Smith (R), NFLPA executive director, arrives with NFL Players Association Spokesman George Atallah (L) and Kansas City Chiefs player Brian Waters (C) for an extra day of negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners during a 24 hour extension in negotiations. Brian Smialowski / Getty Images North America …..

(4) Former TN. Govenor Phil Bredesen, Honoree/Owner NFL TN. Titans Bud Adams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and current TN. Governor Bill Haslam present Bud Adams with the “Lifetime Humanitarian Award” at the 2011 T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala at the Hutton Hotel on March 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Rick Diamond / Getty Images ……

(5) Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds leaves federal court at the end of the day on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ……..

(6) Major League Baseball player Jason Giambi leaves federal court after testifying during Barry Bonds’ perjury trial on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images North America ….

(7) Kimberly Bell the former mistress of Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds is seen here leaving the US Federal Courthouse in San Francisco , California, having given her testimony in the player’s obstruction of Justice and perjury trial . AP Photo / Phil Montgomery …

(8) Former Major League All Star Jose Canseco known steroid user whose revelations of widespread steroid and PED use amongst his peers in the league led to widespread outrage along with the watered down Mitchell Report and MLB ‘s inane drug policy . AP/Reuters / Keith Pettigrew ……….

(9) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (L) is pictured alongside then Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Donald Fehr during testimony 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 . Andy Krupp /Reuters ……

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Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

🙂

NBA News

NFL News

MLB News

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Bubba Sparxxx ………………………….”Ugly ” .

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Dre Dre ……. feat’g ……… Snoop Dogg …………………… ” Let Me Ride ”

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TI ………… feat’g ………. Christina Aguilera ……….” Castle Walls ”

Could this better describe the situation now facing both the MLB and NFL and their respective images as they each perceive it to be ?
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You’re Sick ? Go To Your GP ….. You Want Funny ? Go See A Comedy Show ……….. You Want Sanity In Sports ………. Well , That’s Something Else ……….. I Ain’t Got No Answer For That ………….

You’re Sick ? Go To Your GP ….. You Want Funny ? Go See A Comedy Show ……….. You Want Sanity In Sports ………. Well , That’s Something Else ……….. I Ain’t Got No Answer For That ………….

Just when I thought there was sanity within the world of sports . Something ludicrous happens to upset the apple-cart once again. First of all MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is back on his pedestal preaching that the AL East‘s Tampa Bays is in urgent need of a new baseball facility, to house the team and to be also in with a chance of staging MLB’s mid-season showcase, the MLB All Star Game. There’s absolutely nothing like an idiotic commissioner who’s completely oblivious to the dire economic situation facing the vast majority of the teams across the league. You get the impression that either Selig’s head has been buried in the sand , much like an ostrich . Or from the mere fact that he’s been away from the game was just suddenly inserted into the position of commissioner and asked by his members to just do the job without seemingly rocking the boat. Proving to me once again that the game’s hierarchy (MLB) much like the very owners themselves, ‘are a bunch’ of blithering idiots !

Allan ‘Bud’ Selig , Commissioner of Major League Baseball, seated alongside President & Chief Operating Officer  Bob DuPuy . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Roger Scott ……………..
Allan ‘Bud’ Selig , Commissioner of Major League Baseball, seated alongside President & Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Roger Scott ……………..

Given the fact that the Rays have one of the lowest payrolls in the entire league, as well as having a fan-base that is ‘below the league average’. It would appear that none of this seems to matter at all to Bud Selig. He’s entrenched himself with the notion that bigger is better and that money should be of no object to the teams with baseball. Well , Mr Selig , the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays while being wealthy, they haven’t the advantages or the vast financial resources ‘bestowed upon teams’ such as the Boston Red Sox , New York Mets , New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels or the Los Angeles Dodgers for that matter. Rays’ principal owner Stuart Sternberg has done his leveled best to provide the fans within the community a brand and product that they can support wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, that’s not being reciprocated by those who turn up in attendance for the games at Tropicana Field. In large part, the only time that the Rays plays in-front of a packed sold-out crowd , is either when the Yankees or Red Sox are in town, as part of their regularly season scheduled games. Or when the Rays’ front office decides that a pre-game free admission concert is apt, in luring some additional fans for a game. If that’s not an indication as to how dire the situation is for the organization. Then obviously, as commissioner, Bud Selig doesn’t know what the hell is going on within the game !

Stuart Sternberg (3rd from l) With Partners Timothy Mullen, Randy Frankel, Andrew Cader, Gary Goldring and Stephen Levick
Stuart Sternberg (3rd from left) with Partners Timothy Mullen, Randy Frankel, Andrew Cader, Gary Goldring and Stephen Levick. photo appears courtesy of Sports Business Daily / Jennifer Santieri ............


Suddenly from his podium , Bud Selig believes he can dictate the city of Tampa , the state and to the Rays what’s needed in order for them to be deemed a contender, as a future recipient of being bestowed the staging of an All Star Game. The fact of the matter is , the cash strapped city and the state of Florida with a burgeoning deficit have no place to go but to place the burden of building a new facility for the team upon its residents. And given the fact that statewide the unemployment level is close to the national average of 9.8% . I hardly think that it’s appropriate for this burden to be placed upon the residents of the community as well as the entire state. But an idiot such Bud Selig wouldn’t know this ! He and his moronic minions seem to have no sense of duty or morals when it comes to exacting their form of extortion upon the fans and the general public. One wonders what might happen were Congress and the Senate to rescind MLB’s ‘anti-trust exemption status’ ? That would obviously put the cat amongst the pigeons and have the league’s hierarchy, as well as the owners running for the hills. But alas, both legislative houses appear to be in bed with the league when it comes to this very issue. MLB’s lobbyists on K Street in Washington D.C. would make sure that event would never take place within either legislative body.

Kings' GM Geoff Petrie   seated  alongside team  coach Paul  Westphal  and  the  team's  owners  Gavin  &  Joe  Maloof.   photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press/   Ryan Murphy  ............
Kings' GM Geoff Petrie seated alongside team coach Paul Westphal and the team's owners Gavin & Joe Maloof. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Ryan Murphy ............

So it has now come to this, wherein the Sacramento Kings has essentially given up on the NBA season ? The Western Conference team within the Pacific Division has raised the ‘white flag of surrender’ , having traded away their best player in , Kevin Martin and three others to the Houston Rockets in order to obtain Tracy McGrady and his rather ‘outlandish ‘ and ‘exorbitant’ $23 million contract. Salary dump on the part of the Rockets and their GM Daryl Morey. McGrady ,himself, had become something of a diversion and malignant cancer within the Rockets’ locker room. As to what this might suggest to the Kings’ fans is open to a matter of conjecture and a great deal of debate. Suffice to say, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if the fans were to begin hanging effigies of the Sacramento Kings’ ownership and that of their front office in the rafters and outside ARCO Arena , in Sacramento.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Reports: Rockets trade McGrady to Kings

Houston (AP)—Published reports say the Houston Rockets have traded Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract to the Sacramento Kings for guards Kevin Martin and Sergio Rodriguez , center Hilton Armstrong and forward Kenny Thomas.

The Kings also reportedly will get forward Carl Landry, Houston’s most productive bench player this season, and seldom-used forward Joey Dorsey.

The deal was first reported by KRIV-TV and the Houston Chronicle early Thursday morning. ESPN.com reported that the New York Knicks will work with the Kings and Rockets on Thursday morning to acquire McGrady in a three-team swap.

The seven-time All-Star is making an NBA-high $23 million this season, the last year of his contract.

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Westphal   (right)  seen here   with  Mayor   of Sacramento ,  Kevin  Johnson.    photo  appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images/  Ivan  Bressloff  ............
Westphal (right) seen here with Mayor of Sacramento , Kevin Johnson. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ivan Bressloff ............

And though the Kings were recipients of not just McGrady but also the Rockets’ productive bench player Carl Landry and as well as seldom used forward, Joey Dorsey. As to the opportunities that this opens up for Kings’ coach, Paul Westphal remains to be seen. But it’s clear with the acquisition of McGrady , which isn’t being viewed as a long term solution to the team’s problems. But it should gives him enough time to assess the roster and that of the commitment shown by the players. For team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and that of GM Geoff Petrie , these have been exacerbating times. And that’s just not from competitive standpoint but also from financial one as well. The organization has struggled with declining attendance and at the same they’re still at an impasse with the city of Sacramento and the inadequacies of their facility- ARCO Arena. And that is in spite of speaking directly with the city’s Mayor Kevin Johnson on this very issue. Johnson ,himself, was once a player in the NBA and he had quite a distinguished career playing for the Phoenix Suns for the majority of his professional career. The parlance between the two sides with them being unable to come to some sort of amicable agreement , puts the city at odds with the NBA franchise.
And it adds to the possibility that once the Kings’ lease at the ARCO Arena has expired , the Maloofs may well look to relocate the franchise either win another part of the state or move across the country altogether. No doubt city of Las Vegas mayor, Oscar B Goodman , would like nothing more than to welcome the Maloofs and their NBA franchise to the city, as its newest professional sports franchise. With the Maloofs already having ties to the city and the state through their hotel , casino ties as well as several other business interests. The synergistic fit would be of benefit to both parties. But for the moment that doesn’t appear to be on the horizon , as of yet.

<strong> Tracy McGrady (#1)</strong> of the Houston Rockets drives the ball around Tyson Chandler (#6) of the New Orleans Hornets on December 26, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports on February 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade between the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Knigs, and Knicks.  photo appears courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Chris  Graythern .................
Tracy McGrady (#1) of the Houston Rockets drives the ball around Tyson Chandler (#6) of the New Orleans Hornets on December 26, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports on February 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade between the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Knigs, and Knicks. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern .................


As I alluded to earlier , it’s my belief that the Sacramento Kings have given up on the season and the thought of being competitive throughout its remainder. I could well prove to be wrong in my assumption but in all likelihood it’s safe to say that the organization is looking forward to the future and to build the team around their ‘sensational’ rookie Tyreke Evans . It is clear to those with any knowledge of the team and the thought process of both Westphal and Petrie, that this is now best way forward for the franchise. It is sad however, that a player of Kevin Martin’s caliber is lost to the team. As to whether or not a player of McGrady’s clearly declining abilities can reasonably contribute anything to this team , remains to be seen .

Well it appears what semblance of sanity one thought there was within the Knicks’ has left the building, just like ‘Elvis’. Apparently not wanting to be left of back pages of the venerable New York City newspapers and their wonderful sport’s sections. New York Knicks‘ President of Basketball Operations and GM, Donnie Walsh entered into the fray and took Tracy McGrady of the Kings’ hands. And for that the Maloofs and Geoff Petrie will be eternally grateful. As to what this says about the Knicks as an organization, can be best summed up by saying …..’fu_k why did they get rid of Zeke’ ? If he can f_ck up the Knicks, the way that he did , then why the hell did they hire Donnie Walsh to begin with ? I hear can hear Spike Lee now saying, ……… ‘we’re legitimate contenders for the championship . T-Mac’ll ‘take us’ to the promise land’.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

AP source: McGrady to Knicks in three-way trade

By Chris Duncan, AP Sports Writer

Houston (AP)—The New York Knicks have acquired disgruntled guard Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract in a three-team swap with the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings, a person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke Thursday and requested anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced.

The Knicks will also get Sergio Rodriguez from the Kings, though the lure of the deal was McGrady and his expiring $23 million contract.

The Rockets will get guard Kevin Martin and forward Hilton Armstrong from Sacramento and forward Jordan Hill , Jared Jeffries and draft considerations in 2011 and 2012 from New York. They’re also relieved to have finally found a taker for McGrady, the troublesome seven-time All-Star they’ve been trying to trade for almost two months.

The Kings will get New York guard Larry Hughes and Houston forwards Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey.

The Knicks have been courting McGrady—or at least the financial benefits of his contract—almost since the moment in late December when the Rockets granted him an indefinite leave and announced they were trying to trade him.

While interested in seeing McGrady play for the last two months of a lost season, New York is more interested in dropping their payroll and becoming a major player in this summer’s free-agent sweepstakes.

Jeffries and Hill will make almost $10 million together next year so by including them in the deal, the Knicks will open enough salary cap space to offer nearly two maximum contracts to the free agents available after the season, starting with LeBron James .

The Knicks and Rockets had reportedly been working on a deal for a while, but couldn’t finish it without involving another team.

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Click on the link shown to read Chris Duncan’s article in
its entirety.
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God knows what Mike D’Antoni must be thinking at this moment in time ? I mean he couldn’t get the team’s current roster of players to play as a cohesive unit,under his tutelage as their coach. Who in the hell thinks that the addition of McGrady will actually improve this team one iota ? ‘Not I’, said the fly ! And I hear that both Condoleeza Rice and Jessica Simpson feel the same way ? Now that’s the sort of assurance that’s welcoming to the ears of the devoted Knicks’ fans.

With McGrady’s contract now in its final year , it’s quite obvious that the Knicks feel that they’ll be in play to be part of the LeBron James sweepstakes and when he comes up for free agency. But much of that’ll now also be predicated upon the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations taking placce between the NBA hierarchy and the NBPA under the auspices of NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter . The tension between Hunter and NBA Commissioner David Stern seems to be at ‘fever’s pitch’ and but a moment away from reaching ‘boiling point’. And it would appear that the union is unlikely to fall into line and acquiesce to the league’s demands of a ‘20% pay cut across the board that’d be retro-active’ . And this would also take into account maxed out contracts for players with tenure in the league. Call me naive but does anyone really believe the union will allow that to happen concerning its members ? Never mind the fact that Stern keeps on reiterating that the league is on course to lose in excess of $400 million for the fiscal year of 2010 ? Somewhere along the lines the NBA executives and GM’s seem to have forgotten about budgetary restraint for some reason ? They went on spending sprees the way that former Filipino ‘First Lady ‘ Imelda Marcos spent money on her vast array ‘haute-couture’ fashion accessories and shoes. That asides, until Stern allows the NBA’s books to be publicly scrutinized there’s little reason to be believe what he’s saying is true. Much like our Federal legislators and senior government officials, there’s very little to believe what they now say, that actually passes the ‘litmus test’ , when it comes what’s truthful and what is essentially ‘a white lie’ !

Scott Boras   with  client  Johnny   Damon   and    Damon's  wife  Michelle
Scott Boras (left) with client Johnny Damon and Damon's wife Michelle. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Russell Shaw .................

I’ve always maintained that the three most despised people in the world of baseball, are Barry Bonds , Mark McGwire and sports agent Scott Boras . If you need any proof of the latter ? Then consider this, Boras as agent for Johnny Damon , has been unable to land his client with a ‘team’ in MLB. And the reason you may ask ? Well it is this, Boras is under the impression that his client is still worth at least $8-$10 million a year for a player who’s up there in years and declining in talent. But somehow, he and Damon are of the opinion that his client is worth that sort of money in today’s economy and free agency market. One begs the question then what would either Albert Pujols or Joe Mauer be worth ? $15million , $20 million or $25 million a year ?


The asinine attitude of both Damon and Boras doesn’t bear explaining , except to say that they overvalue their self worth through their sheer stupidity and perception of grandeur ! As to whether or not Damon is signed by a team prior to the opening of Spring Training , remains to be seen.

These are but a few of my own observations as to the perceived sanity or lack of it thereof in the world of sports. Is there anything that you’ve observed that has made you wonder what the hell is going on within this particular environment ? Chime on with a comment that you , I and others may discuss within this forum. I look forward to reading your responses in due course.

NB Both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are the respective owners of their own cable sports programming outlets, namely NESN (Red Sox) and the YES Network (New York Yankees). Each of these entities provides both organizations with a vast mountain of cash to facilitate their financial well being and also to replenish their respective rosters as they would deem fit.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………

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Drake feat’g Timbaland ….. ‘Say Something’

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One  man's  wish  but every  man's   dream  and  that's  to  have  <strong>  Esther   Baxter  </strong>  .  And <strong><em> who  wouldn't  want  to  ? </strong> </em>  I   know   I  would  !
One man's wish but every man's dream and that's to have Esther Baxter . And who wouldn't want to ? I know I would !