The Day After …

The Day After

So with the Tokyo Summer Olympics having begun , beyond the controversy of the Japanese government making the decision to have no members of the public be in attendance for any of the events , has created a scenario unlike any other previously held Summer Olympic event hosted in recent history . If that wasn’t enough , we also have several high-profiled athletes not in attendance for the Games as well as their being several historic results and some surprising ones The US Men’s Basketball Team suffered an embarrassing a they fell to n France in the opening game within their group.

Kevin Durant is seen here with the US Flag adorning his upper body after the NBA star led Team USA to their fourth straight Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Basketball . The team defeated France to win the title .

Men’s Head Coach Gregg Popovich has often said the players were in need of a wake up call and that has been very clear, given that this was the third defeat suffered by the team over their last five games . Far be it for me to suggest still remains the favorites to win Olympic Gold , but from where I sit this team may well struggle should they make it out of the group phase .

Simone Biles , now considered the greatest female gymnast in US history has withdrawn from the competition , with the Women’s Team having failed to successfully defend their team Gold Medal with their having lost out to Russia this time around Biles withdrew from the All Round Competition , citing health issues and undue stress . Yet many believe the real reason she withdrew stemmed from the fact judges had began to penalize her routines , because she was so much better than her opponents at the international level. Luckily , for Team USA in the All Round Competition the gold medalist was an American , with Sunisa Lee . This competition and the jingoism often associated with the Olympics seems synonymous with what’s deemed as patriotism. We now have the issue of their being false sense of security of false patriotism and racism being exhibited .

In this COVID sound world , we have the issue of non appearance of fans for these events. These games have not proven to be a ratings’ extravaganza for NBC, even though billions was spent for the broadcast rights here in America. It is hard to create excitement when many of the venues are sparsely attended for the events , especially for the most popular ones . No doubt NBC will seek to recoup potential losses , with their seeking to resell and rebroadcast elements of their coverage through their various services.

The off-season insanity of the NBA continues , with their being more excitement surrounding the trades taking place along with the signing of free agents. Veteran , Carmelo Anthony has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers , where he will play alongside close friend LeBron James . Also joining Anthony in Los Angeles will be seasoned point guard Russell Westbrook. Given the Playoff Run of the Lakers ended so disappointingly , it was understandable why GM Rob Pelinka and Head Coach Frank Vogel decided to make these moves .

Not to be left out of the equation the New York Knicks signed Kemba Walker , providing them with quite a formidable starting unit . With that being said, it is becoming increasingly difficult in believing or seeing them take down the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks as the reigning NBA champions , much less their being good enough to take on the best that the Eastern Conference has to offer or the rest of the NBA for that matter.

Say what you will , but the MLB season has began to heat up . The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to make a successful defense of their World Series’ title . As one of the highest paid teams in all of baseball. It has to be said that the front office is now intent on taking on all of the identical traits once associated when it came to the New York Yankees and their willingness to pay exorbitant salaries . Over their last ten games , the most impressive team in all of baseball has been the Philadelphia Phillies having gone 5-0 with their win streak, but nowhere as impressive with 8-2 shot . The Phillies for their part will begin a weekend schedule against the New York Mets , whereas the Dodgers are due to face the Los Angeles Angels . That series could prove to be very enthralling for both teams.

So the mandatory OTA’s (Organized training activities) have began within the NFL and the story on everyone’s mind seems to be the impending future of Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback , Aaron Rodgers and the likelihood of his remaining with the team and signing a long term contract . As the salaries continue to escalate along with the incentives by way of the contracts for the league’s quarterbacks . It has to be said that the general managers around the NFL seem to have lost their way even with regard to the salary cap .

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills is the latest quarterback in the NFL , having signed a lucrative deal with a guaranteed six figure sum . Whether or not Allen can fulfill the potential based on just one year , where he got the Bills into the postseason remains to be seen. The team will begin their preseason schedule with their preseason opener against the Detroit Lions . While Josh Allen seeks to prove himself , we also have Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens seeking to up the ante by way of a new deal . I am sure his agents will. have that in mind based on Allen’s contract. Jackson’s mother Felicia Jones just happens to be his agent and manager. The front office of the Ravens will be hard pressed to seemingly franchise-tag the player, while hoping to provide him with a lucrative long term contract . Jackson for his part will be hoping that he can lead this Ravens’ team to deep postseason run , but preferably as divisional champion , than a wildcard entrant even with the regular season moving to a seventeen-game schedule for the 2021 season .

I’ve never been enamored with the Dallas Cowboys , their opinionated fans or that of their team owner and de-facto General Manager Jerry Jones. This has been a franchise which hasn’t not achieved anything of note by way of a deep postseason run in over two decades . Yet year in and year out , Jerry Jones tries to convince us all that his team is the one to beat. Jones has a shrewd business acumen , but beyond that he’s simply not that great in assessing talent or putting it on the field of play. In their preseason opener , albeit that the team played a number of their second and third stringers, their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers indicated a great deal to me. I can only hope that the Cowboys are able to overcome the loss and prove to us that they’re capable of winning the Superbowl .

Peyton Manning will be inducted in the Hall of Fame in Canton , Ohio . Manning will be part of a distinguished group of stars who made a name for themselves in the NFL .

I for one hope that in the coming months, the sports’ stories will be one, which will provide a great deal of news for the ever discerning fan.

Tophatal ………

USA Today Sports ….

The   Fallout Could Lead to A Breakout   …

So  we’re  now  at a  point  in the  sporting  calendar  where  there’s  a  vast  array  of sports’   activities   taking  center-stage  and  usual  the  non-stop   cycle   of the  NFL  (National  Football  League) continues  with  activity.   Reigning  Superbowl  champions  have  all  of their  ducks  lined  up  in a  row   , having  signed  several  players  from their  championship  winning  roster  to  new  deals  ,  with  their  Superbowl  MVP  ,    Tom  Brady  also  agreeing to  a new  deal at an almost  bargain  basement  price   by  his  own standard s  .    Brady  will  head  into the upcoming season seeking  an unprecedented  eighth  Superbowl  ring , having  won  six  with the  New  England  Patriots  and  his  seventh  with  the  Tampa  Bay  Buccaneers    , for the  franchise’s  second  Lombardi  Trophy  in their history.

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Tom Brady, currently a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers .

Beyond what has been taking place by way of the league and the teams seeking to position themselves for the upcoming NFL Draft and salary cap issues , we have seen the retirements of Alex Smith , Philip Rivers and Drew Brees, with all three veteran quarterbacks having varying degrees of success for their respective teams . One team looking to take advantage of this all will likely be the New York Jets after their recent foray with the trading away of quarterback Sam Darnold . More likely than not the Jets will seek to draft a quarterback to replace Darnold who simply did not meet the expectations of the franchise during his stay .

Trevor Lawrence could very well be taken as the number one overall player and most certainly be among the top quarterbacks taken by the end of the first two rounds of this upcoming Draft.

JANUARY 07: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after his teams 44-16 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Things have become testy since the All Star Game with their being a plethora of uneven results . One thing is certain no envisioned that the Los Angles Lakers would be struggling to remain among the top-five teams within the Western Conference . With LeBron James by far the best player in their lineup , it will be interesting to see how the team fares over the remainder of their schedule . Next up for this Frank Vogel coached team will be two games on the road against the Dallas Mavericks . The first of the duo of contests will take place on the 22nd April , 2021 .

The Lakers’ in division rivals the Los Angeles Clippers are vying for one to the top three seeds within the Western Conference , but it has been the resilient play of the Phoenix Suns which has been a great surprise to everyone over the past ten days. Led by Kawhi Leonard the Clippers will be in action themselves with several games of note . An upcoming contest against the Houston Rockets should tell us a great deal about this Clippers’ roster .

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors .

Can Steph Curry lead the Golden State Warriors back into postseason contention ? That’s an intriguing answer for a team without one of it’s best players in Klay Thompson. The Warriors can make into the NBA Playoffs by way of the play-in factor , a new addition to the playoffs due to a shortened regular season schedule brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic . Golden State for it’s part will be looking to play with the real consistency . In their next game the Warriors are due to meet the Denver Nuggets at home on Friday , 23rd April .

Far be it for me to suggest , but I get the feeling that while the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are seen as the teams to beat within the Eastern Conference , one team which is being overlooked just happens to be the Milwaukee Bucks , but given their recent failures in the postseason it would be easy to write them off once again . Yet for all sense and purpose the Bucks led by two time League MVP , Giannis Antetokounmpou seems to have his teammates playing the way Head Coach Mike Budenholzer has sought . This team is quite capable of overcoming the deficit within the conference and ending up as the top seed . Next up for the Bucks will be a game against the 76ers as par of their regular season series. The contest should tell us a great about the intentions of both teams and the directions they’re said to be heading .

LeBron James has been playing with the level of someone who belies his age James and the Los Angeles Lakers as the reigning NBA champions are having an extremely tough season . It seems unaccustomed for this team to be having issues within the league at present , but injuries as well as inconsistency has played it’s part in the Frank Vogel coached roster . James and the Lakers have an upcoming game against the Dallas Mavericks , having lost to Dallas previously in their most recent match-up on the 22nd April .

Time may well be running out for both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers to really prove their credibility within the NBA and their championship aspirations. High payrolls notwithstanding it is becoming pretty clear that there’s not a great deal of real consistency needed .

Alex Rodriguez having not been able to make a successful attempt to become a MLB team owner, but the former New York Yankees’ player has joined a consortium with a view to buying the Minnesota Timberwolves , where owner , Glen Taylor is seeking to sell the franchise , but under which retains control while the new ownership group acclimatizes to their fiduciary responsibilities . Rodriguez and his partner , Marc Lore an e-Commerce executive and CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce operations, purchased the Timberwolves for a reputed $1.5 billion .

What else needs to be said about the Los Angeles Dodgers at this juncture ? This weekend there will be a full cluster of games to be played . Dave Robert’s has a team playing with a great deal of aplomb with his coaching staff being at the top of their game . Roberts will have his team ready for a fairly tough weekend schedule where they will be playing the San Diego Padres . On the mound as opposing pitchers will be Yu Darvish of the Padres against Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers .

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is off to another terrific season for his team . It will be interesting to see what transpires this weekend as the Dodgers face the Houston Astros .It will be Andrew Heaney facing off against Zack Greinke . .

There are several great games scheduled for both Saturday , 24th April , as well as Sunday , 25th . One of the contests for today (Saturday) pits the Boston Red Sox against the Seattle Mariners with these two AL teams seeking to position themselves within their respective divisions and league . On the mound for the Mariners will be Chris Flexen as he faces Nathan Eovaldi of the Red Sox . While the Boston Red Sox are riding high their divisional rivals the New York Yankees are struggling to to make their presence felt having posted an 8-11 record as of the 23rd April . Manager Brett Boone and his team of his priced stars will be looking to placate themselves of their inauspicious start to the season . To round out their current series the Yankees will be in action today when they face the Cleveland Indians on the road . The opposing pitchers will be Gerrit Cole of the Yankees facing off against Shane Bieber of the Indians .

Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves and reigning NL MVP .

Early leaders in various statistics provides us with something special to expect over this season within baseball . I would like to think that the major awards for this season will go to credible candidates .

What if anything are you hoping to bear witness to this season within the world of sports ?

Tophatal …………

Sports News in general

NFL Draft 2021

NBA standings

MLB news ….

MLB weekend schedule …

The Rubber Ball Won’t Come Bouncing Back

  The Rubber Ball  Won’t Come Bouncing  Back..

Urban  Meyer  whose  retirement  from  College  Football  came  as  not  great surprise  even  after the  success of having  won  three  national titles  ,  two  with  Florida (Gators) and  another  with  Ohio State (Buckeyes)  gave the  coach all the credibility he  needed when he chose to ride off into the  sunset.  Meyer  was  able  to  parlay his retirement  into  a well-paying  gig as College  Football  analyst with ESPN.

If the rumors are to be believed then Urban Meyer’s appetite has been whetted with the coach seeking to come out of retirement and make his return to the professional level of football within the NFL ranks with one of the teams with a vacancy at present . Meyer is seeking seeking five-year deal worth $60 million .

With there now being at least three known NFL vacancies now within the NFL after the end of the regular season and the customary bloodletting with the dismissal of NFL Head Coaches. It could be said that the front offices of these teams in seek of a new Head Coach might not be necessarily willing to go after someone without prior league experience. Yet Meyer does offer a coach with a known pedigree of success wherever he has coached. The stumbling block may well be his asking price . That being said, Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders is the highest paid coach in the NFL and he’s yet to take the Raiders to the NFL Postseason since his return to the league. Mark Davis the principal owner of the Raiders was out to make a statement with the hiring of Gruden. but his mistake and naivete was the contract offered to the coach . Jon Gruden’s contract with the Raiders is a ten-year $100 million deal , by far the highest in the league to date .

Among one NFL franchise showing possible interest in the hiring of Urban Meyer, are the Jacksonville Jaguars who had a disastrous season under Doug Marrone , who was fired by team owner Shahid Khan . The Jaguars finished with the league worst 1-15 record, which gives the team the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft . If Khan and Jaguars ‘ GM Dana DesJarlais can negotiate terms with Meyer , then he could become the coach of a team which struggled through much of the regular season .

The Coronavirus has plagued the NFL through much of the season and at differing points of the schedule there were at times at least twenty or thirty players sidelined by the virus . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set in place strict protocols which were often ignored which ultimately led to the dismissal of Dwayne Haskins from the roster of the Washington Football Team . Head Coach Ron Rivera seemed to have done an about-face, having first said that Haskins was OK , only then to cut the rookie quarterback of the 2019 NFL Draft . Haskins for now is an unrestricted free agent whose career in the NFL might be as short-lived as that of former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel .

It’s hard to say where Dwayne Haskins can now go from here having imploded his career through self destruction , deceit and lying . One of the contests in question will pit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road to face the Washington Football Team with the home team having nothing to lose , with their having the worst record of any of the postseason teams. Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady will be looking to carry on his postseason record by notching up another postseason victory for his new team .

I’ll say this for the new NBA season , it is proving to be very exciting as the rookies around the league get to whet their appetite for the game against the seasoned veterans . Over the next ten games it will be interesting to see how the teams are going to fare . James Harden and the Houston Rockets are still looking to lay claim as one of the best teams in the NBA but with the departure of Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade which sent John Wall from the Washington Wizards to the Rockets, it will be interesting to see what rookie Head Coach Stephen Silas can do with this Rockets’ roster .

Next up for the Houston Rockets will be a game against the Indiana Pacers on the road , in an intra-conference match-up . This contest will be taking place on Wednesday , 6th January , 2021. The Los Angeles Lakers will continue their quest to make a successful defense of their NBA title . The team led by four-time League MVP , LeBron James will next be on the court when the Lakers face the San Antonio Spurs at home in all Western Conference match-up .

Sorry , but I am having a hard time being convinced that Doc Rivers can immediately turn around the fate of the Philadelphia 76ers , turning them into a legitimate contender for this season’s NBA title . Rivers was never able to get the best out of the Los Angeles Clippers during his seven year tenure with the franchise. Granted , he won a title with the Boston Celtics . but that feat was twelve years ago . Over their next ten games I think that we’ll be better able to judge the Sixers on their merits . Their next game will see the Philadelphia 76ers face the Brooklyn Nets on the road between two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams .

Becky Hammon could very well become the first female in North American professional sports to coach a team where the players are male. Hammon is currently a lead assistant on the coaching staff of Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs . Also as part of his staff , Popovich has a future Hall of Fame bound player, Tim Duncan. Given the faith shown by Popovich in his two lead assistants , it is not surprising that he’s allowed to take the helm in the coaching of this team while looks more dealing with the operational side of this renowned franchise . This season however the Spurs find themselves in something of a difficult situation as they seek to transition , with their being several young players on what now appears to an inexperienced roster.

Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff appears committed to these younger players , while the likes of Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge can still provide the type of veteran leadership needed. This is a roster which can be competitive this season should the right breaks fall their way . In their next contest the Spurs will face the Los Angeles Lakers on the road in an all Western Conference clash . It will be very interesting to see the type of insight likely to be provided by Becky Hammon and Tim Duncan as they assist Gregg Popovich in the coaching strategy for the game .

Major League Baseball ended it’s postseason with a triumphant Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first world title in over three decades with their last victory coming in 1988 . The Dodgers’ triumph over the Tampa Bay Rays was not totally unexpected , but the end results did justify the means by way of the team’s mass spending on star players . Heading into this upcoming season there are high expectations for this Dodgers’ team

There were several off-season moves by a number of teams with salaries likely to go up alongside payroll obligations . Not doubt once the regular season gets underway on the !st April , 2021 , all of the teams will begin to get their wheels in motion . It will be interesting to see which players are likely to be in contention for the singular awards from each league . The MLB hierarchy led my Commissioner Rob Manfred will still be adopting strict protocols with regard to the Coronavirus as the pandemic does not seem to be waning .

So what should we expect of this NFL postseason with the teams now vying to become this season’s Superbowl champions ? The Kansas City Chiefs are there with their quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the team and quite possibly looking to win his second League MVP Award. The Chiefs will have a first-round bye as the wildcard round gets underway with their games this weekend beginning on Saturday, 9th January , 2021. The most fascinating match-up pits the Washington Football Team at home hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Tom Brady as the makes another postseason foray with a team other than the New England Patriots . I expect the Buccaneers to be victorious given Brady’s success in the postseason , but it would not surprise me to see Washington pull off the upset .

What if anything are you now looking forward to within the world of sports as we have entered the year 2021 ? One would hope the year will be considerably better than 2020 in spite of the continued news about the Coronavirus .

Tophatal ………..

USA Today Sports …

Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail and We’ll be Up and Running ….+

Yes it’s that time of the year when the NFL is in full swing vying it’s way to what should prove to be an interesting postseason , much like last year among the teams and players . Elsewhere in the world of sports there are some fascinating stories about to unfold . There’s now a great deal of uncertainty concerning the futures of several head coaches around the NFL . Last night in Monday Night Football the Philadelphia Eagles lost another game on their schedule falling to conference rivals the Seattle Seahawks. For Eagles’ quarterback this Carson Wentz , this was another game where the player continued to show a great deal of inconsistency with far too many errant plays .

Carson Wentz (11) of the Philadelphia Eagles is seen here during the game played against the Green Bay Packers which which the Eagles would go on to lose 30-16 .

For Eagles’ Head Coach Doug Peterson and the front office there could be pressing times ahead for this entire team and the coaching staff. Team owner Jeff Lurie might well have to make a severe shake up within the front office with the possible firing of GM Howie Roseman along with the firing of Doug Pederson also. With five games left of the regular season, the Eagles are playing not just for honor, but also for the futures of several players on the roster including Carson Wentz himself .

In week thirteen of the NFL schedule the Philadelphia Eagles will be back on the field to face the Green Bay Packers in a must-win game for the Eagles if they are to have a legitimate shot a seeding within the conference (NFC) for the postseason .

After a great postseason within the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers winning their seventeenth NBA title tying them alongside the Boston Celtics , it will be interesting to see if the Lakers can make a successful defense of the championship with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading what will be a revamped roster . Several players have left the Lakers moving on to supposed pastures green for considerably higher pay and the thought of contributing to their new teams .

The upcoming NBA season is not scheduled to begin until Christmas week with their being a slew of games to start off what could be another shortened season due to the Coronavirus . NBA league hierarchy led by Adam Silver did what was deemed to be the right thing with the NBA Playoffs being played in a bubble at a singular venue . What transpires out of this season could very well be determined by the league and that of the NBPA (union) .

Opening Night of the new season will see several of the new rookies on the court for their respective teams. If last season was anything to go by along with previous seasons, then the fans in whatever form they may well take should be in for some excitement.

Lavar Ball has placed all three of his sons on a pedestal believing all three are going to be the ” next big thing “ within the league (NBA).. His eldest son, Lonzo Ball , currently with the New Orleans Pelicans , has struggled within the NBA ever since he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers as a first round draft pick during the 2017 NBA Draft. With Lonzo Ball now happily being part of the Pelicans and playing alongside Zion Williamson . It has to be said that things have worked out perfectly for Lonzo and dare I say it, for his father also and their company Big Baller Brand (BBB) ? LaMelo Ball is the second of LaVar Ball’s three sons to have made it into the NBA , with his being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets . Team owner Michael Jordan , might not be buying into the hype concerning LaMelo Ball , but he obviously knows that something needed to be done if he is to persuade the front office and coaching staff that the franchise is heading in the right direction.

Having signed his rookie contract LaMelo Ball will be looking to start real fast right out of the gate, looking to impress his new teammates , coaching staff and the entire front office and Hornets’ fans. For Michael Jordan this might the biggest gamble of his life since he tried his hand at playing Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Sox . That short-lived career did not amount to much as a player for the American League ball club. Fans are not so sure whether or not this season will be one of an eighty two game season or a reduced one of 60 to 65 games ?

One thing is becoming abundantly clear James Harden might well be one of the moist talented players in the NBA , but in terms of his being able to get along with his teammates , there has been continuous problems with Harden when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder and now with the Houston Rockets . Harden couldn’t be the second wheel Kevin Durant as the franchise chased glory seeking to win an NBA title . His departure from the Thunder to join the Rockets didn’t come as a major surprise. Yet what we know now , Harden couldn’t seem to get along with Chris Paul and now he can’t seem to get along with Russell Westbrook . The prolific point guard has been traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall .

The Los Angeles Dodgers triumphed in winning their first World Series title in just over thirty years having defeated the Tamp Bay Rays , winning the series 4-2 . Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts managed to do what his predecessors had not been able to do since 1988 . That triumph has now taken away a giant shadow which had been cast over the organization for more than three decades . Corey Seager managed to have an extraordinary postseason , having won World Series MVP in the Dodgers’ triumph. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see if the front office of the ball-club will offer the player a long-term contract before he’s due to become a free agent. At $12 million a year Corey Seager is very much undervalued given his status and productivity for the Dodgers’ franchise .

No one can deny that Mike Trout might just be the best player in baseball at this moment in time , His career resume’ to date says it all alongside his multiple wins of the AL League MVP . The one thing missing from Trout’s personal file , a World Series’ ring and World Series MVP accolade. His sojourn in the postseason with the Los Angeles Angels continues to come up short.

If the Los Angeles Angels are to compete in 2021 , then this team has to play with a more competitive drive to their all-round game . If nothing else several of Trouts’ teammates will also have to step up to the plate including seasoned veteran Albert Pujols . The team might not be seen as a favorite within the AL West , but given the play around the American League , just about anything can happen . The Angels if nothing else will have to play at a much higher level and this will be very much predicated upon the managerial acumen of the team’s manager Joe Maddon . The manager for his part has seen a great deal of success in his role and whether or not he can regain that type of success remains to be seen.

I’d like to think Mike Trout can have another great season. If Mike can simply have his teammates play at his level. then it could provide a great deal of excitement for the Angels’ fans.

Another year of lean disappointment for the New York Yankees and their litany of stars , one has to now wonder where the front office now goes from here after their season of woes. Gerrit Cole was brought in with a high price contract to add some stellar pitching to a staff that might be seen as suspect . This past season within the MLB Postseason this Brett Boone roster of players didn’t meet the expectations of a deep postseason run . The off-season for the Yankees could lead to some major changes within the roster lineup by way of deals being made for free agents . It will be interesting to see if the Yankees will seek to pare down their payroll or seek to increase it substantially while also incurring the payroll luxury tax.

As the reigning World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers will head into next season looking to see if they can repeat as champions . Something which has not been done in several years , with the last back to back champions taking place in 1999 and then in 2000 with the New York Yankees triumphing both times . Dave Roberts as the Dodgers’ team manager will be glad to know that in all likelihood the core of this roster will be back in 2021 to pursue their challenge of seeking to make it a reality of repeating as champions . One thing is certain this Dodgers’ lineup if it continues with their consistency , then they will have to be considered favorites not just within the NL , but throughout MLB for this upcoming year and the World Series .

This past weekend welterweight champion Errol, Spence Jr made his long awaited turn to a boxing ring when he faced challenger Danny Garcia . Spence having been involved in single vehicle accident came within inches of losing his life and what would have been a abrupt end to his career. The bout itself between these two welterweight stars didn’t meet all of the expectations , but Spence proved his durability with a unanimous verdict decision over Garcia .

Tophatal ……

USA Today Sports

Takeaway,Breakways & Leave Just Leave It Up To Beaver

Things which we’re now learning, LeBron James is the best players of his generation in the NBA and he now has to be considered among the top-fifteen players in NBA history , having led led three different franchises to an NBA championship , with James having won his fourth Finals’ MVP Award along the way.

LeBron James is seen here during the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat during which the Los Angeles Lakers went on to win the series by four games to two (4-2) to secure their 17th NBA championship tying them with the Boston Celtics for the most titles.

James’s most recent triumph came by way the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Miami Heat for the Lakers’ seventeenth championship tying them with the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history . The Los Angeles Lakers could very well surpass that total in making a successful defense during the upcoming NBA season (2020-21). If they keep their current roster in tact or even with their core group of LeBron James , Anthony Davis and Kentavious Cladwell-Pope , the Lakers are certainly going to be odds on favorites for the title next season .

Granted , Caldwell-Pope has already opted out of the final year of his contract , but I’m sure that Rob Pekinka will be looking to convince the player to remain with the franchise and there’s likely to be input from both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the matter .

With the NBA salary cap likely to ostensibly lower coming at around $115 million in comparison to this past season’s figure of $125 million , it will be interesting to see what type of moves are made with several players likely to be traded or be re-signed by their respective teams. Also with the NBA Draft not far off on the horizon certain franchises might just be looking to make certain deals seeking to position themselves for the drafting of a player that best suits their needs.

Three time champions the Golden State Warriors might we’ll seek to pursue two-time League MVP and current Milwaukee Bucks’ forward Giannis Antetokounmpo . The Greek player is due to become a free agent this upcoming season , though he seek to opt out and seek to re-sign a max contract over five years equating to $205 million .

For GM Bob Myers , and the front office of the Golden State Warriors this off-season will be unlike any other over the past five seasons at least. For much of last season , the roster was without Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for prolonged spells of the their schedule leading to their poor record over this past season and clearly one of their worst over the last decade.

Say what you will , but after two games of the MLB World Series , everyone is beginning to see why Major League Baseball was in need of a great deal of excitement with the two teams in the postseason finale being the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays . With the first two games having been split at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles California . Game three will revert to Tropicana Field home of the Rays where the starting pitchers for that game will be Walker Buehler of the Dodgers against Charlie Morton of the Rays . The difference between these two teams can be best summed up by the divergence in their respective payrolls . Dodgers’ fans are hoping that the ball-club will be able to secure their first title since 1988 .

Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys with their current 2-4 record currently lead the NFC East division and it’s my humble belief that at least another two losses on their schedule could lead to the firing of Head Coach Mike McCarthy . To say that the Cowboys have under-performed would be putting things mildly. This team has not met expectations at all and that is even with the loss of starting quarterback Dak Prescott for quite possibly the rest of the season. In their next game in week seven the Dallas will meet the Washington Football Team on the road . If the Cowboys should end up with another loss , then their season could very well go up in smoke .

Several other teams within the league are having what one could describe as disastrous seasons given their present predicament. The Seattle Seahawks (5-0) with their unbeaten record are among the best teams in the NFL at this point of the season . Led by Russell Wilson , this team is expected to be as competitive as ever , leading many to believe they’re among the best teams in the NFC and clearly a presumptive favorite for the Superbowl this season . Wilson and the Seahawks will be facing the Arizona Cardinals in their week seven game which is a divisional rivalry .

Week eight of the College Football Season and the games should prove to be very competitive . Top ranked Clemson will be in action as they face Syracuse in what should prove to be a very entertaining match-up between the two teams . Perennial powerhouse Alabama will also be taking to the field when they’re matched up against Tennessee (Volunteers) . There will be several more games of heightened interest to the fans nationwide as the programs are moving headlong in to their respective seasons with their being so much at stake .

There’s a great deal to look forward to over this sporting weekend beginning as of today and it will be interesting to see what will pan out over the next three days commencing today , Friday, 23rd October, 2020. .

Tophatal …

NBA news .

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NFL news and week seven schedule

Things Will Never Be The Same ….

Things Will Never Be The Same ….

College Football is now in a state of disarray with the possibility of their season being completely shuttered . The Big Ten Conference considered one of the top-tier conferences has made the formal announcement to shutter the entire season. Where this now leaves College Seniors on those programs remains to be seen and whether or not they will be granted another year of eligibility . The Coronavirus will cut a swath not just through Collegiate Athletics but also throughout professional sports in general . Billions of dollars are at stake and it remains to be seen how the issue will be addressed by the conference as they undertake the decision as to whether not to curtail their season in other sports also .

NCAA President Mark Emmert and fellow members of the NCAA hierarchy will now have to take a long and hard look at the landscape of Collegiate Athletics and how the NCAA moves forward . From my own perspective, I believe it prudent for the NCAA to take a look at the well-being of the college athlete than simply take to the field purely out of greed with revenue for all of college sports runs into tens of billions of dollars annually , with the top-two revenue driven sports being College Football and College Basketball .

It now remains to be seen what other actions will be put in place by the NCAA and respective sports’ conference concerning this collegiate season of sports. Never has the NCAA itself have to deal with a crisis of this nature.

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The Life You Lead and the Road Less Traveled

The Life You Lead and The Road Less Traveled ….

With the NFL Postseason having come to an and with it being a glorious celebration with the Kansas City Chiefs wining Superbowl LIV . Patrick Mahomes joined a select group of players to have won the Superbowl MVP and League MVP , though not in the same season within a three-year span of having entered the league. Mahomes excelled during the regular season with his play and he truly stepped up to the plate during the postseason .

Patrick Mahomes and his teammates were truly invigorating in their defeat of the San Francisco 49ers . For Chiefs’ Head Coach Andy Reid , this was a tremendous achievement , after his years of trying to reach the pinnacle of the NFL. Reid has now taken two teams to the Superbowl , won two conference titles and multiple division titles with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. From my own perspective , Reid can now take this Chiefs’ franchise to even greater heights than any of his predecessors including the venerable Hank Stram .

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During this off-season , it will be interesting to see how the Kansas City Chiefs’ front office will deal with the free agents on the roster as well as positioning themselves with regard to the upcoming NFL Draft as well as their positioning with the salary cap . Leigh Steinberg , agent for Patrick Mahomes knows that he can negotiate a revamped deal for his budding NFL superstar , with the chance that Mahomes could very well become among
the highest paid players in the league.

There were several teams who failed miserably over the course of the NFL season , with perhaps none more so than the Cincinnati Bengals . Though some might say the Cleveland Browns were equally abysmal with Baker Mayfield proving how over-hyped the quarterback has been , albeit that he could share the same ignominy of Jamies Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with his erratic play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . One thing that is clear , several franchises will be in need of a quarterback for the upcoming season and the likelihood with several veteran free agents on the market , notably Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Philip Rivers , there could be some major changes on the way. Joe Burrow appears to be overall consensus number one overall pick in this upcoming Draft and I seriously doubt that the Bengals’ front office will pass on a player of his caliber , given his play on the national championship winning team of LSU (Tigers) .

In the aftermath of the fallout from the Houston Astros and their spectacular fall from grace , it has to be said that the MLB hierarchy’s handling of the situation was swift and exact . Furthermore , team owner Jim Crane immediately fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow . Crane has moved ahead with the hiring of Dusty Baker to succeed Hinch and the hire of James Click , a former front office executive with the Tampa Bay Rays to succeed Jeff Luhnow . It would appear that the Astros are now in a position to embark on a new chapter within the franchise’s history .

The world of baseball is still in shock , with some of the game’s most prominent players not said to be completely satisfied with the punishment meted out to the Houston Astros’ organization. From my own perspective , I feel that the steps taken by MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred , were more than justified and it sets an example for the rest of the teams within the league as to the dangers of cheating .

If you’ve provided a great deal of success for a team that you have played for ever since your very first game for the franchise , then you would expect to be compensated accordingly. That doesn’t appear to be the case for Mookie Betts , an All Star player for the Boston Red Sox and the ball-club’s most recent recipient of an ALMVP Award . Betts and the Red Sox front office seem to be miles apart in the renegotiation his existing contract which has a year to run and with the player due $27 million for the upcoming 2020 MLB season .

There are said to be at least two interested parties wishing to acquire Mookie Betts , with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres said to be those two leading ball-clubs vying for his services. The Dodgers for their part can offer up several players, while committing themselves to adding Betts’ final year to their already burgeoning payroll and likelihood of committing themselves of being penalized by way of the luxury tax threshold of $200 million if necessary. . It will be interested to see what the Dodgers can achieve with Mookie Betts and David Price , with the news now emanating that the Red Sox have relented and sent these two players westwards to Los Angeles . The Dodgers with these two acquisitions would have to be considered for the NLCS in 2020. with the depth of their roster overall .

With the Opening Day for the MLB season beginning on 26th March , 2020 and it will be interesting to see how the teams will fare through the first month of the season . The Los Angeles Dodgers’ regular season opener will see the team face the San Francisco Giants , their NL West divisional rivals .

It will be hard to suggest which team in the AL can be seen as a viable favorite for the ALCS in 2020. The New York Yankees , Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins were the only three teams to have notched over 100 wins this past season . All three were divisional champions and it will be interesting to see if either can repeat that feat , given the changes made to the respective rosters and payrolls . For the Yankees , their continued to pursuit of a twenty-eighth World Series’ title remains ever present in the minds of their fans as well as the Steinbrenner family as the owners of baseball’s most revered franchise . New York’s last victory in the World Series came by way of the managerial talents of Joe Girardi , as he led them to victory over the Philadelphia Phillies . New York’s manager Aaron Boone and this largely talented team will be looking to guide the franchise to another postseason berth with another title in mind. Their season will begin with a game the Baltimore Orioles , in a contest being played on the road against their AL East divisional rivals.

Aaron Boone will undoubtedly be tested over the course of the season , with the continued impatience among the fans of the New York Yankees. With the team having several All Stars on the roster , these players will have to play to the best of their abilities over the course of this season . The likes of Giancarlo Stanton , among the highest paid player on the team alongside Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge will be looking to have a great season in 2020. Gerrit Cole , the starting pitcher acquired during this off-season will debut for the Yankees , likely leading their starting roster of pitchers. . If Cole is the Opening Day Starter against the Orioles , it will be interesting to see how the player fares against Baltimore .

Is there any chance that Derek Jeter as the newest New York Yankees ‘ Hall of Fame inductee will be able to see the Miami Marlins actually compete this season within the NL East ? It has been several years since the ball-club last played in the postseason and several years since the finished either as a runner-up or division winner within the division.

The Miami Marlins have gone from being franchise with a great farm system to an after-thought and laughing stock around the game of baseball. Not even under the managerial acumen of Don Mattingly and his staff , has the ball-club to achieve anything of note. Suffice to say another sub-par year now awaits the Marlins after their 57-105 record of last season . . This season if nothing else , Jeter and team managing partner , Bruce Sherman will be expecting a great deal out of this team heading into the season. . On assessing the team’s roster and the fact the payroll is among the lowest in the league , something of a trait the ball-club has followed for a number of years . This continues to be the mantra that they’ve followed for several years heading into 2020 . The Marlins’ regular season opener will see the team face the Philadelphia Phillies at home .

We’re heading into the NBA All Star Game which takes place this upcoming week and with the teams having not fared too well at this juncture in the lead-up to this big mid-season event. The Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the league , and the team is the only franchise to have hit the forty victory mark . Current League MVP and captain of the World Stars , when they face the domestic NBA Stars of the league as Giannis Antetokoumnpou will lead that roster of World Stars . Antetokounmpou once again leads the Brewers in offense and has been the focal point of a franchise once again looking to meet expectations . Milwaukee has a mere handful games before the All Star Break , with their next game being against the Philadelphia 76ers , a team which is clearly over-matched in this contest to my mind with their players being nowhere as talented as the Bucks.

With the aftermath and the death of Kobe Bryant , there has been a giant shadow cast over the NBA and specifically the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise , with the organization as well as the fans players alike in a complete state of shock. For Lakers’ premiere players LeBron James and Anthony Davis , it has been a devastating for both All Stars. While I believe that the franchise can overcome this tragedy , it remains to be seen how the players will acquit themselves in the coming months . They are clearly the best team within the Western Conference by a wide margin , but the regular season being what it is . It’s a playoff run which really determines great champions and the players themselves . LeBron James knows this to be true given his playoff record in the NBA. Over their next ten games , it will be interesting to see how the Lakers will fare in those upcoming contests . Their upcoming game against the Golden State Warriors on the 8th February .

If the Los Angeles Lakers are said to be having problems, then one equate the continued problems of the New York Knicks as one of their very own making over the past ten years at least. . The fact that the franchise’s last appearance in the NBA Playoffs took place during the 2012-13 season should tell you all you need to know about the Knicks and their continued dire straits . The team’s roster as it now stands isn’t overly impressive and when compared to the other franchises in the conference and league overall , there’s the feeling that the front office under GM Scott Perry , team owner James L Dolan and the coaching staff of Mike Miller have completely lost their way . Up next for the New York Knicks will be a game against the Detroit Pistons on the road against an Eastern Conference rival . The New York Knicks remains the most valuable franchise in the NBA and among its most profitable , purely based from the fact they’re in the nation’s largest ad-market . Beyond that, there’s nothing remotely significant about the organization and its current destination at this juncture.

What if anything, would you like to see happen in the coming weeks within the world of sports and which recent stories have held your attention the most ?

Tophatal 02/07/2020………….

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Change Is Good, Being Willing To Adapt , Not Necessarily So …

Change Is Good, Being Willing To Adapt , Not Necessarily So …

There’s a growing suspicion within the NFL teams , that within the league this season have failed because of a wide variety of reasons . From my own perspective , it usually comes down the same things , injuries and the unwillingness of some coaches adapting to change and the changes which come with the game . In the end it tends to cost someone their job. Clearly, that was the case with the dismissal of Ron Rivera as the Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers . Several games this season were lost by a few meager points while their injury woes continued . The team has been without their starting quarterback of the past few seasons, Cam Newton. In his place, Kyle Allen has stepped up to the plate and played admirably in spells , but at the end of the day , when the team fails , someone had to be blamed and in this case the blame was placed on the shoulders of Ron Rivera . Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney and the team’s billionaire owner David A Tepper will undoubtedly have Norv Turner takeover as the Head Coach for the remainder of the Carolina Panthers’ regular season schedule .

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In week thirteen the Carolina Panthers will be in action against the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional match-up of two failing NFC conference teams. This game will take place on Sunday afternoon.

Ron Rivera might not be the only Head Coach to lose their job by season’s end and the clock is now ticking as to the fate of Dallas Cowboys’ Head Coach , Jason Garrett . If Garrett cannot lead this team to at least the NFC Championship Game , then in all likelihood Jerry Jones will call for his dismissal . Garrett and his game-time decision making has been an absolute nightmare for the Cowboys this season. Other than Dak Prescott , Ezekiel Elliott and a somewhat slower version of Jason Witten , this roster is simply not good enough to play consistent football at the highest levels expected. The NFC East division in which the Cowboys plays, remains the laughing stock of the NFL. A loss this weekend when the Dallas Cowboys are set to face the Chicago Bears , could set the tone for the calling of the head of Jason Garrett.

With the off-season of Major League Baseball now not quite in full swing , the teams are now lining up to ink the names of the marquee free agents now on the market, signing them to new big-time deals . Zack Wheeler was let go by the New York Mets , as the starting pitcher joined the Philadelphia Phillies , whose 2019 season was one of sheer woes all along the way. It will be interesting to see what Wheeler can provide for the Phillies this upcoming season. Seasoned veteran pitcher Cole Hamels is now off to pastures new , having joined the Atlanta Braves after his spell with the Chicago Cubs . Atlanta having won the NL East this past season and advancing the MLB Postseason , where they fell to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLDS , brought about an abrupt end to their postseason foray . This will be the season where the Atlanta Braves are to be judged by the team assembled under the managerial staff of Brian Snitker .

It has been over a decade since the New York Yankees last won the World Series and with the likely induction of Derek Jeter as the latest Yankee into the Hall of Fame in 2020. You would have to believe that the front office and owners would like to see this team succeed once again. . With a team payroll just shy of $200 million , principal owner Hal Steinbrenner is looking to keep that figure below MLB’s luxury tax threshold . . Aaron Boone as the team manager has yet to make any major personnel decisions adding to the player-roster to date . Their Spring Training Schedule will likely provide the managerial staff time to assess some players who will be invitees and those newly acquired.

The failure of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB Postseason signifies that you can’t continue to over spend and then have nothing to show for it by way of anything tangible. . It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers enter what could turn out to be a wild free agency market of available players. . With Gerrit Cole being among the biggest of the free agents still available , the Dodgers could make a play for the AL starting pitcher who still remains an interesting option for his current team the Houston Astros . It has been over three decades since the Dodgers won the World Series and their postseason sojourns since then have been abysmal . . This year will tell us a great deal about this team it’s mindset as well as that of the managerial staff .

Veteran forward Carmelo Anthony who’s return to the NBA , saw him joining the Portland Trailblazers , where he has been one of the major highlights of the team’s season to date . Over his last six games Anthony is proving that his sea-legs still have a long way to go. As a member of the 2003 NBA Draft Class , considered to be one of the best over the past two decades. It’s still hard to imagine that this player has never won an NBA title . It will be interesting to see how the Trailblazers fare through the month of December and over the rest of their regular season schedule. Their next two games , will see the Blazers in action against the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma Thunder in two consecutive home games at the Moda Center in Portland Oregon.

As the season enters it’s Christmas Schedule , the teams vying for the best records will undoubtedly be looking to prove a point. . There will be five games being played, highlighted by the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Los Angeles Clippers , as two of the league’s best players face off against each other with LeBron James of the Lakers facing Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers.

Well , so much for the New York Knicks and their season to date , with the team among the worst in the league and their record being so bad . It is hard to find a compliment that befits the Knicks , other than to suggest they have some real issues. There is nothing to suggest the Knicks can win their division much less compete within the Eastern Conference. Up next for the Knicks will be a game against the Indiana Pacers at their home court of Madison Square Gardens , New York City , New York.. The team’s Head Coach David Fizdale has struggled to get the best out of his players while the front office is clearly already bereft of ideas. There are rumors now amidst that Fizdale will be fired after the Knicks’ dreadful start . His replacement is likely to someone currently on the coaching staff or Knicks’ President Steve Mills may well seek to hire a former coach, who’s now currently on the staff of another NBA team .

It was meant to be a rematch, with the fans there in attendance for the Heavyweight Title bout between Anthony Joshua and champion Andy Ruiz was meant to be something competitive , Instead , the defending champion , Ruiz put up a poor display , losing the title he won convincingly in their first fight . With Joshua reclaiming the belts , he can now look forward to a possible about against the winner of the upcoming bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder . If the anticipation is what it is , then the potential unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder could be the biggest fight in recent boxing Heavyweight history. I fully expect Wilder to get the better of Tyson Fury in their rematch which is scheduled for the 22nd February , 2020 , though the venue has yet to be set. . In all likelihood the venue could very well be the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vega, Nevada,.

Chime in with your thoughts concerning the subject matter raised.

Tophatal …. 12/06/2019

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Make Up To Break Up ….

Make Up To Break Up …

So to round out week seven of the NFL regular season the New England Patriots faced their AFC East divisional rivals the New York Jets. It was a master-class as these two teams were divergent with regard to their aspirations for the season.

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Adam Gase the current Jets’ Head Coach is a former assistant with Bill Belichcik , Head Coach of the Patriots for the last twenty-three years during which he’s coached the franchise to eight
Superbowl
appearances, winning on six occasions with the Patriots . Tom Brady , the quarterback for New England during each of those triumphs, continues to be as consistent as ever. Last night’s performance by the player was once again a work of art , where he clearly outplayed his Jets’ counterpart Sam Darnold , a first-round pick among the quarterbacks from the 2018 NFL Draft . This game was a complete rout with the Patriots’ defense coming away with several interceptions and the sacking of Darnold on multiple occasions. Patriots’ defensive player Devin McCourty , a seasoned veteran might well be having his best year ever as a player with New England . With the result being a 33-0 beating of the New York Jets and New England now moving to 7-0 . The question now being asked is there a team within the AFC capable of beating the New England Patriots at this juncture ?

With the New England Patriots now having acquired Mohammed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons for a future second-round draft pick , this bolsters the receiving corps of the Patriots and provides them with additional depth on their roster . In week eight , the half-way mark of the regular season the New England Patriots are set to meet the Cleveland Browns in a conference road game .

Say what you will , but injuries have begun to plague the teams around the NFL , causing dire situations for many of them. The Carolina Panthers remain without Cam Newton , albeit , that his back-up , Kyle Allen has shown a great deal of maturity, as the Panthers continue to surprise many in the absence of Newton being on the field. Kyle Allen has proven to be an exceptional understudy , while leading the Panthers to a very good start to their season in 2019. Up next for Allen and the Carolina Panthers will be a game against the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers in an NFC conference match-up . If will be interesting to see how both of these opposing quarterbacks will fare in this contest.

Tuesday, 22nd October and it is the Opening Night for the NBA regular season schedule. Defending NBA champions , the Toronto Raptors will begin defense of their title , which they won convincingly, defeating the Golden State Warriors last season. Toronto will tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans , who will be without their rookie sensation Zion Williamson . The former Duke star will be sidelined for the next six to eight weeks as he recuperates from surgery, having torn his meniscus. In his absence, it is expected that Lonzo Ball will be expected to lead this team alongside veteran player JJ Redick . Though they’re not expected to be in contention within their division , it will be interested to see how the Pelicans will fare through their regular season schedule and especially within their conference . . Williamson’s first game back, if everything goes to schedule , his first professional season game will see the player and his teammates face the Detroit Pistons on the 9th December .

Anthony Davis has found a new home having left the New Orleans Pelicans to join LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers . The trade which brought Davis to the franchise , saw Lonzo Ball and players superfluous to the Lakers’ needs head East to the Pelicans. Davis was seen as one of the marquee players moved during the off-season , and the one who’s expected to have the greatest impact of all. Yet to mind , that will not be the case , as I expect both Kawhi Leonard with having joined the Los Angeles Clippers and Russell Westbrook , whose departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to play alongside James Harden of the Houston Rockets , could very well prove to be major factors, as to who poses the biggest threat within the Western Conference and in all likelihood be seen as the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this season.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will meet on Opening Night and their regular season series over the course of this season should prove to be very interesting if last season is anything to go by.

There is no denying in my mind , that the New York Knicks are likely to be once again among the worst teams in the league this upcoming season. Team owner James L Dolan and the entire front office remain completely bereft of intelligence in terms of knowing what it takes in building a successful NBA franchise. David Fizdale , Head Coach enters another season with a roster , that will be hard pressed to succeed within the Eastern Conference this season. The opening month will see the Knicks play five games against varied opponents . Fizdale and the team open up their schedule with a match-up against the San Antonio Spurs and it will be a marked surprise by way of the expected match-ups. It will be interesting to see which player steps up to the plate for the Knicks this season, whereas last season it was Tim Hardaway Jr , who this season will be with the Dallas Mavericks .

Jose Altuve once again proved why he’s been so invaluable to the Houston Astros , as his postseason heroics continued apace for the ball-club. Altuve sealed the Astros’ postseason performance in the ALCS against the New York Yankees , guiding the team to their second World Series’ appearance since 2017 .

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Carlos Correa , left is seen here with his Houston Astros’ teammate Jose Altuve .

Tonight , Tuesday, 22nd October will be the opening game of the World Series with the Houston Astros playing in front of their home crowd at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas as they face the Washington Nationals . Opposing pitchers for this game will be Max Scherzer of the Nationals facing Gerrit Cole of the Astros . Cole for his part will be a highly desired free agent , this off-season with his being viewed as the marquee player among the crop of free agent starting pitchers.

Gerrit Cole is a native of California and with the Los Angeles Angels , having acquired Joe Maddon as their manager. It is widely believed that GM Billy Eppler and owner Arte Moreno will seek to acquire the player and likely make him the highest paid starting pitcher in baseball , by way of base salary.

This series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals could very well be the most anticipated Fall Classic in recent history, with two teams, with pitching staffs considered to be among the best in baseball .

The world of sports has it’s many issues and the stories as they unfold will make for an interesting spectacle for the consumers and fans alike.

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel ….

 The Light at the End of the Tunnel …

Well the NBA season is still several weeks away and the league itself will have a great deal to offer us this upcoming season. Star players have found new homes and the salary scales for those players are now at an all-time high along with the team payrolls . Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will have a great deal to think about , along with the NBPA (union) seeking to rework their current collective bargaining agreement. On the court it will be interesting to see which of the Los Angeles’ based franchises will be viewed as the best team in the league this season. Both have made big splashes, with the acquisition of key players , likely to add to the efficiency and productivity of both teams.. Who would have guessed that Finals MVP , Kawhi Leonard would have left the Toronto Raptors to join the Los Angeles Clippers , with the franchise also adding Paul George into the mix on the team’s roster that’ll be coached by Doc Rivers ? GM Lawrence Frank and Rivers were able to work wonders in getting both players to make the Clippers their destination. Countering that move the Los Angeles Lakers got their man when Anthony Davis was acquired in exchange for Lonzo Ball and a bunch bye products no longer wanted by the franchise. Los Angeles also saw the departure of Luke Walton as the team’s Head Coach , with his being replaced by Frank Vogel . From my own perspective , I do not believe that Vogel will be able to put enough wins to actually seal the deal, where the Lakers are considered a top contender for the NBA title .

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Opening night of the NBA regular season will tip off on October 22nd with the opening games being the Toronto Raptors facing the New Orleans Pelicans as the Raptors begin the defense of their NBA title won last season. The other opening night game features the Los Angeles Lakers facing the Los Angeles Clippers.

LeBron James continues to chase history, with the four-time League MVP seeking to surpass the legacy of his idol Michael Jordan as a player . There are some who now believe James to be the equal Jordan, albeit that James has yet to beat Jordan’s feat of six championship winning NBA Finals and six Finals’ MVP Awards. I think that sums up every reason , why LeBron James will never been seen as Michael Jordan’s equal.

There are a number of teams that I feel can compete for the NBA title this season, with everything being equal . The team likely to have the most difficult task could very well be the Houston Rockets , whose window of opportunity becomes more difficult with each passing season. Having n James Harden team up with Russell Westbrook makes this roster a formidable one , but it remains to be seen whether or not they have what it takes to derail the hopes of their opponents during this upcoming season. Houston will begin their preseason with a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on the 4th October .Their regular season opener will see the Rockets tip off against the Milwaukee Bucks , in a game where Harden will match wits with Giannis Antetokounmpou , the reigning League MVP .

Dave Dombrowski was summarily fired by the Boston Red Sox , with the team having failed to seal a berth for the postseason . Such was the failure of this team , that there’s a growing feeling that a number of their high-priced players could very well be on the move at the end of this season. Much of the blame for the Red Sox’s malaise can be laid firmly on the shoulders of Dombrowski, who felt it was best to overpay for a number of stars whose best years might well be behind them. Boston and team manager Alex Cora will have the rest of September to prove to their fans that the team can still play with pride. In their next game the Red Sox will be on the mound to face the Toronto Blue Jays on the road. It will be interesting to see how they will fare against their divisional rivals in this contest.

Zack Scott is likely to take over the duties relinquished by Dave Dombrowski after his firing and it will be interesting to see the moves that Scott could very well make , which will likely determine the future of this ball-club .

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Zack Scott , front office executive with the Boston Red Sox

Throughout the history of the New England Patriots , team Head Coach Bill Belichick has never been afraid to take a chance on a player , from Corey Dillon to Randy Moss , to Donte’ Stallworth and now Antonio Brown . The wide receiver was signed by the Patriots after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders , The Players Union are now in the midst of filing a grievance , concerning Brown’s dismissal by the Raiders. Having been signed to a one-year , $15 million deal of which $9 million is guaranteed money. It will be interesting to see what the Patriots will be able to get out of Antonio Brown over the course of this season. One thing for sure , this Patriots ‘ offense is a hell of a lot more potent than any of their rivals within their division , the AFC as well as the rest of the league. Having demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3 in their regular season opener , the New England Patriots will line up in week two to meet the Miami Dolphins . . Antonio Brown is likely to be in the team’s lineup with the Patriots’ coaching staff looking to assess the player’s worth to the team .

One looming issue which could threaten Antonio Brown’s time with the Patriots this season , is that of a possible lawsuit being filed against him by Jon Gruden , Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. This stems from the player having recorded a private conversation between himself and his former coach. Under California state law , a private telephone conversation between two private parties , cannot be deemed legal unless consent is given by both parties. How this is viewed by the courts has yet to be played out , while it’s unclear that Gruden as such, can claim that if this was actually a conversation where he was representing the interests of the Raiders , or that it was solely one of privacy . Brown also faces claims of sexual assault by a former personal trainer , Britney Taylor , hired by the player. Taylor claims that she was sexually assaulted by Brown on three separate occasions , but at no time had she made those assertions public , having informed law enforcement of these three incidents. I can only surmise that Taylor having seen that Brown signed his deal , is now seeking some form of compensation from Antonio Bryant.

As optimistic as it was thought that this season was going to be for the Jacksonville Jaguars . The loss of the team’s starting quarterback Nick Foles has led to an even bigger dilemma for the coaching staff and front office , is whether not they should now acquire a free agent quarterback currently on the market , or call up one of Foles’ backup on the Jaguars’ depth chart. Gardner Minshew and Joshna Dobbs are two players with minimal experience on the team’s roster at the quarterback position .

Heading into week two the Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Houston Texans on the road in an AFC match-up . All signs point to the fact that this could be a very entertaining game, with the Jaguars being definitely in need of a victory .

Far be it for me to suggest , but it is becoming abundantly clear that the window of opportunity for Jameis Winston to prove himself as a leader for the Tampa Buccaneers closing extremely fast . Ever since being drafted by the franchise in 2015, Winston has continually struggled in his role as a starting quarterback. Week one saw an abysmal performance by Jameis Winston as the Buccaneers succumbed to the San Francisco 49ers , with the Bucs’ starting quarterback being hit and throwing interceptions unwantedly . With their next game being a divisional contest , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jameis Winston are going to be tested when they face the Carolina Panthers on Thursday evening , 12th September, 2019. Bruce Arians might well feel it prudent not to start Winston given his record against the Panthers since his becoming a starter for the franchise. For the Panthers they are likely to be without their starting quarterback Cam Newton for this contest. Newton for his part would like nothing better than to be on the field for this game as he seeks to regain the form that made him a League MVP in 2015. For both teams a win is of vital importance moving forward.

Jameis Winston having recently being given a contract extension , must now know that he’s playing for his long-term future and that of the Buccaneers’ own livelihood, as they can ill-afford to start off their season on a two-game losing streak. . Becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020 , the veteran quarterback has to be looking to commensurate a deal that would provide for his long-term future , but given his inconsistency , I seriously doubt that the front office of the Buccaneers will be so forthcoming.

Since his acquisition of the Miami Dolphins , current team owner , Stephen M Ross , has seen the ongoing demise of a franchise that hasn’t seen any semblance of real success in over a decade. Their last postseason appearance came in 2016 , and prior to that it was in 2009 , when Ross finally took control of the Dolphins from previous owner H D Wayne Huizenga . Miami’s season opening loss might well have been the franchise’s worst defeat of regular season football over the last ten years. The performance of this team was in deed an embarrassment for first year Head Coach Brian Flores and his coaching staff . The Baltimore Ravens led by their quarterback Lamar Jackson laid waste to a Dolphins’ defense which so was brutal in their lack of execution and play , with their offense being equally inept . Things won’t be getting any easier as the Dolphins will have to face a red-hot New England Patriots’ team looking to improve off their season opening win when these two AFC East rivals meet in week two of the regular season.

When pressure is being brought to bear on an NFL rookie , especially one who is a Heisman Trophy winner . The expectations continue to be high through much of their career with few of those aspirants really ever being able to live up to or meet those expectations. Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals , now finds himself in such surroundings , with the fans and front office
expecting a great deal from the rookie quarterback this season . . Murray and the Cardinals in their week one opener tied with the Detroit Lions , 27-27 , in a game which went into overtime. . With the rookie and sophomore quarterbacks’ Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson meeting for the very first time, these two players should bring out the best in each other.

What story of late within the world sports has you riveted by way of its unfolding ?

Tophatal ……… 09/11/2019 …

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Fortune Favors The Brave …………

Fortune Favors The Brave ……

With a little over three weeks before the start of the NFL regular season for 2019 , the league’s teams will embrace their preseason schedule with added interest. Newly acquired rookies will be out to prove themselves while seasoned veterans will still be looking to show the fans , that they’re still able to perform at the highest levels possible. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will seek to win an unprecedented seventh Superbowl , all under the helm of their Head Coach Bill Belichick , whose coaching resume’ remains unparalleled .


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With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski from the New England Patriots , there is the common belief that this franchise could very well suffer without the tight end’s presence on the roster. Yet repeatedly , we have seen that the Patriots have always been able to overcome real adversity by simply going about things in their very own way. I have no doubt in mind that Bill Belichick and his
coaching staff
will make all of the right moves necessary to make this team truly competitive during the regular season. With a fresh group of rookies , drafted during the 2019 NFL Draft along with their customary upgrades by way of acquisitions , this should prove to be the team to beat not just in the AFC , but also within the league as a whole.

The New England Patriots will open their preseason schedule with a game against the Detroit Lions on the road. This will be part of a four game preseason schedule for the team as well as the rest of the NFL franchises. For Tom Brady and his further pursuit of NFL excellence speaks volumes as to the determination of this franchise and the success attained over the past decade and a half. A seventh Superbowl victory would be an unprecedented feat for the Patriots as an organization . Brady and his teammates will enter the regular season looking to win the AFC East for a record twentieth time . New England will enter their regular season looking to separate themselves from their divisional rivals , of whom their biggest opponent for this season could very well be the New York Jets , if their quarterback Sam Darnold lives up to expectations. The New England Patriots will open their regular season schedule with a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home , with their two regular season meetings against Darnold and the New York Jets taking place in week’s three and seven of their sixteen-game regular season schedule .

Within the NFC , I would like to think that the New York Giants can rise to the expectations where Eli Manning led the franchise to two Superbowl victories during Manning’s reign with the Giants. In recent years the veteran quarterback has failed to lead the team to once lofty heights. With New York having drafted a quarterback among their crop of rookies , it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff believe that Daniel Jones can be the heir-apparent to Eli Manning. Jones is likely to get some playing time as the Giants begin their preseason , with their opener being against the New York Jets . The New York Giants will begin their regular season with a match-up against the Dallas Cowboys on the road.

Jerry Jones the de-facto GM and owner of the Dallas Cowboys enters the preseason without the team’s running back Ezekiel Elliot , as the player sits out what could be a frustrating preseason , seeking to have his contract renegotiated. Jones for his part seems to be playing coy concerning the current problems with the player, as well as the possible difficulties this team is likely to have within their midst. Starting quarterback Dak Prescott fell off the map last year and the team in it’s current guise is far from impressive. While Prescott looks to regain his form of old , Jerry Jones will be looking to parlay a contract for a player in Ezekiel Elliot that he knows will be vital to the team’s success for this upcoming season. Jason Garrett the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys , has been the entrusted protege of Jerry Jones , but there appears to be a growing belief that if Garrett cannot take this team into a long postseason run, with the ambition of a Superbowl appearance, then his days could be numbered in his present role.

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Eli Manning (10) , foreground is seen here with his New York Giants’ teammate Daniel Jacobs .

The NFC East has always been viewed as one of the most competitive divisions within the NFL, because of the class of the divisional occupants , but in recent years other than the success of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 , there has been little to justify the status of the division as being among the elite. Jason Witten whose retirement from the Dallas Cowboys was short-lived has returned to the franchise , where he will likely add to his already well-chronicled accomplishments as being one of the Cowboys’ best receivers in franchise history. He will undoubtedly add to the team’s offensive potential and presence if Dak Prescott also has a very good season. With four customary preseason games on their schedule before embarking on their regular season opener against the New York Giants, it will be interesting to see how this contest will turn out .

MLB’s season is fast approaching the end of the regular season foray, with the Los Angeles Angels having once again under-performed . The team’s best player as well as being whom many consider to be the best player in all of baseball ; Mike Trout is again putting up spectacular numbers, to justify his status as a Hall of Fame bound player once his career comes to a close. The only personal and team accomplishment missing from Trout’s resume’ is that of a World Series’ ring and World Series’ MVP Award . With the Angels not remotely in contention for the AL West divisional title or that of an AL Wildcard Berth , it has to be said this has been another season of missed opportunities. Mike Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols is winding down another on what one might consider to be an illustrious career . Unfortunately, for Pujols , since joining the Angels, he has not been able to lead the ball-club to a postseason appearance. For GM Billy Eppler and team owner Arturo ‘Arte’ Moreno , the justification in having signed Albert Pujols to his contract now seems somewhat perplexing to say the very least. Many may well feel that money could have been better spent elsewhere , but from my own perspective. Albert Pujols has proven to be the consummate leader and a player whose presence has been an invaluable asset in seeing the growth Mike Trout as a player , a two-time ALMVP..

With barely six weeks left in the regular season , it will be interesting to see if the Los Angeles Angels can possibly play themselves into contention for a possible postseason berth within the AL. The team has a plethora of games against divisional opponent and league opponents to round out their regular season schedule, which comes to a culmination at the end of September. Mike Trout is not due to become a free agent until 2031 and it is highly unlikely that the front office will seek to trade the player , while not seeking to gain optimum pieces to build for the ball-club’s long-term future. The farm system of the Angels is highly thought of but the potential for a player to provide immediate impact with the potential of Mike Trout is not likely . The Houston Astros have a healthy lead within the AL West and they are poised to win the division outright while having the best record in the AL, while making another postseason appearance. One of the team’s strengths remains it’s pitching which is among the best within all of baseball , but one should not discount their offense or defensive prowess at all. Those very facets have played a part in the Astros’ success , whereas , we have seen those traits to be among the problems for the Los Angeles Angels over the course of this season. These two teams will face each other as the season winds down, encompassing their regular season schedule of games. The next scheduled meeting between these two teams will take place on the 20th September , 2019

Rich Paul just happens to be one of the most powerful agents in all of professional sports , but it is in the area of the NBA , where his power can be really felt. Paul is the current agent of NBA stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis , the newly acquired teammate of James , who’s currently with the Los Angeles Lakers . The agent’s tentacles are now coming under the microscope of the NCAA , who believe that he might be a threat to the body which encompasses collegiate athletics. It has been the league
itself which played it’s part in the muddying of the waters, as it sought to dictate the terms under which a collegiate basketball player could seek to make himself eligible for the NBA and the NBA Draft .

The triumph of the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals , set about a chain of events leading to trades , new contracts being afforded to players, with their salaries escalating to unprecedented levels , not seen in the NBA , never-mind the cap implications for the NBA’s teams . It would be remiss to suggest that because of the acquisition of Anthony Davis , this now makes the Los Angeles Lakers the best team in the NBA . The Lakers’ divisional rivals the Los Angeles Clippers managed to pull off a coup-de-gras with their pair of signings by inking Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to big deals. Not to be left out of the equation were the Houston Rockets who traded for point guard Russell Westbrook , but the biggest surprise of all was the departure of Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors, as he joined the Brooklyn Nets , where he will also play alongside Kyrie Irving . Durant is likely to miss a large portion of the 2019 regular season , as he continues his recuperation process from injury. The team led by Kyrie Irving should be competitive enough to be a legitimate contender within the Eastern Conference for this upcoming season.

This season within the NBA should be one of the more eventful in recent years , with the teams all vying for that title of being called NBA champions .

Within the world of sports there will be some interesting stories coming into focus within the coming weeks and months . What if anything are you most looking forward to seeing as things begin to unfold ?

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And We’re Back With and Into the Silly Season

  And We’re Back With and Into the Silly Season ….

It’s that time of the year again where the world of sports comes into something of a lull. The NBA has seen their NBA Playoffs and postseason come to an end and a new champion has been crowned with the Toronto Raptors (4-2) having overcome the Golden State Warriors (2-4) to win their very first NBA title. Raptors’ player Kawhi Leonard won his second title of his career and along with it his second Finals’ MVP Award . Now if the rumors are to be believed , Leonard will decline the player option of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent , which is likely to trigger a plethora of teams likely to be interested in his services . Kawhi Leonard will likely join players such as Kyrie Irving , Al Horford and several others on the NBA free agents’ market. At this point last season , the list of players who had declined their player option was quite staggering also .

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The common belief also is that the Los Angeles Lakers having made a big splash with their acquisition of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Lonzo Ball , Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram . How this trade will play out and impact the Lakers and their other needs remains to be seen , as their cap base is not what GM Rob Pelinka might deem fit at this present moment in time. The fans of the Lakers may well feel the acquisition of Davis now makes them a legitimate contender , but in reality they still remain no better than the fifth best team in the Western Conference and hardly likely to challenge their top-tier contenders within their division much less the conference .

The NBA Draft itself proved to be an eventful one with several teams looking to fulfill their needs from among the crop of prospects who’d declared themselves eligible for the Draft. Zion Williamson was taken was the number one overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans and it remains to be seen how this revamped roster will seek to make itself competitive for the upcoming NBA season. The Los Angeles Lakers for their part sought to fill the holes where needed on the roster, but as alluded to before , this is a franchise which I believe is still a long way off from where they need to be and I certainly don’t believe that their new Head Coach Frank Vogel and his staff will be bringing anything new to the table. Vogel’s career with the Indiana Pacers can be best described as being moderately successful . Moderately successful will not cut it for the Lakers’ fans who are long-starved of success , considering their last NBA triumph of the franchise winning an NBA title took place more than a decade ago. Since then the pickings for the Lakers have been mundane.

Having been dethroned as two-time NBA champions , it could be said that the off-season for the Golden State Warriors could be a troubling one , with several players becoming free agents and their being the likelihood at least one or two stars from the roster leaving. Fans watching the Finals , witnessed the recurrence of the injury suffered by Kevin Durant and then in game six , after a spectacular performance , Klay Thompson had to withdraw from the contest , having suffered a leg injury. If nothing else, what was proven to the fans, the bench of the Warriors was not as strong as many believed it to be. Head Coach Steve Kerr and team general manager Bob Myers will be figuring out a way to bolster the roster ,by way of the Draft as well as through free agency and perhaps re-signing one or two of their free agents.

This past weekend within the world of Major League Baseball , there were several games of interest for the fans. The series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees proved to be an eventful one and once again the fans got to see the Astros’ young phenom Yordan Alvarez prove that his introduction as a rookie on the team’s roster was no fluke. Alvarez through twelve games for the for Astros has powered his way to some spectacular statistics , something not seen in the game for several decades. While the Astros look to maintain their position at the top of the AL West , it will be interesting to see how they fare over the rest of the month of June in the lead-up to the MLB All Star Game.

The next game up for Yordan Alvarez and his teammates will see the Astros face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home on Monday, 24th June , 2019. Meanwhile, for the New York Yankees their next scheduled game will see them face the Toronto Blue Jays at home in an AL East divisional match-up . On the mound for the Yankees will be their veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia as he takes on Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays . The team with the best record over their last ten games just happens to be the New York Yankees who also share a similar mark of 8-2 with the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers .

With so much at stake at this point of the season , speculation has begun to arise that a number of teams will be movers and shakers in the lead-up to the trade deadline and once again it looks as if the New York Yankees will be players in that scenario. It is widely known that GM Brian Cashman is looking to bolster the team’s roster with a starting pitcher, to create more depth among the pitching lineup. Two names said to be at the top Cashman’s desired list , are Max Scherzer , currently with the Washington Nationals and Madison Bumgarner with the San Francisco Giants . Cashman and the Yankees’ managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner are not averse to pushing the team’s payroll, well above the current mark of roughly $218 million . Either way, no matter who they obtain , it is becoming increasingly clear that the front office and managerial staff of the Yankees , believe that the team’s strength will be their pitching , rather than relying on their offense .

Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers is just one of a handful of players in the Majors this season who could be on route to hit at least fifty home runs for the year. Yelich along with Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be the runaway leaders for the NL League MVP . It could prove to be an interesting second half to this season if both players are able to keep their current pace. With both teams riding high within their respective divisions , the second half of this season could prove to be very competitive.

If the Baltimore Orioles continue at their present pace the ball-club could end up winning less than fifty games for the season. The team has been less than competitive and it’s hard to see how the managerial staff of Brandon Hyde cannot be blamed for the Orioles’ woes this season. Poor play all-round has been the one evident thing from the players and it’s telling that even with the idiocy of the MLB hierarchy believing every ball-club should have at least one representative on the All Star Ballot. It’s hard to justify any player from the Orioles be included , based on the mediocre play seen this season. The team will be in action today when they face the San Diego Padres at home in a game between two ball-clubs struggling to find some semblance of success this season. Opposing pitchers in this contest are Logan Allen of the Padres against Jimmy Yacabonis of the Orioles.

We know the NFL season , by way of its news’ cycle ; it tends to be year-round and in the aftermath of another tremendous season which saw the New England Patriots triumph on their way to a historical sixth Superbowl victory; the most in NFL history by a modern-day franchise. Coming off that season , the Patriots will now seek to regroup, make their customary off-season acquisitions , re-signings where necessary and also make themselves a cap-friendly franchise within the league.

Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick and his staff , along with team GM Nick Caserio will certainly be synced on the direction of the franchise will proceed in. Tom Brady still remains pivotal to the team’s success and many of the players on the roster are keenly aware of the position. Brady for his part has made it clear that he wants to player for at least another three years, but it’s clear that the front office must be weary that a contingency plan has to be in place with their being a back-up for veteran star. It will be interesting to see how the New England Patriots proceed and which of Brady’s understudies are seen as his possible successor. Jarrett Stidham and Danny Etling are the players in that somewhat unenviable position. Brian Hoyer the holdover from the roster of a year ago, is seen as the primary backup to Tom Brady and his experience will be an invaluable asset to Stidham and Etling, as well as the franchise overall. New England will invariably begin their preseason schedule as befitting the reigning Superbowl champions. The Patriots’ preseason opener will see them face the Detroit Lions in a road game. Their regular season opener , will be a match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough Massachusetts on the 8th September , 2019 .

The NFL player I believe with the biggest mountain to climb and prove that he remains among the elite at his position, Then a case can be made for Atlanta Falcons’ starting quarterback Matt Ryan . The player whose guaranteed money will be among the highest in the league for the upcoming season has to prove that the money he’s being paid is more than justified. . Ryan’s lone Superbowl appearance for the Falcons saw the team succumb to the New England Patriots , in a game where the Falcons had the upper hand for much of the contest. His inexperience and that of his teammates , led to their demise .

It will be interesting to see how Matt Ryan fares this upcoming season where the Atlanta Falcons’ regular season schedule is an undoubted tough one.

What if anything, do you hope to see in the upcoming weeks within the world of sports by way of a good story ?

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Don’t Call It A Comeback …..

 

Don’t Call It  A Comeback  …….

Well,  the big  sports’  story  in the world  of  sports   of this  past weekend  was that of  Tiger  Woods  capturing the 2019  US  Masters  Title  in  Augusta ,  Georgia ,   his  fifth  Green  Jacket  and the  fifteenth  Grand Slam  Major title  of his career.  Woods’  last  major title  win  came  in   2005  and  during  that time  the player  has  suffered  through  personal  as well  as  physical   injuries  as well as  a well-chronicled  divorce. During the  2018 regular  season  of  the  PGA Tour there  was  signs  that  Tiger Woods  was on the  way  back when  he  won  the  Tour Championship, signaling his long-awaited return, but his  triumph  in  The  Masters   has to be  considered  his  biggest  victory  to  date.

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Tiger   Woods  wasn’t  seen as a  favorite to  win  this  Major  ,  but  it was    his  consistency  seen  on the  greens  through the  first two  rounds  that  provided  a  cautionary  note  of  how great  a player  he just  happens to be.  He was  never  really  out  of  the  running  and  as the  third  round  of this   tournament was under way  there   was  a  feeling  that  something  special  could  be  in the  offing. This victory pushes Woods up the Fedex Cup Standings as well as the World Rankings and will undoubtedly place him among the favorites for each of the three remaining Grand Slam Majors still on the PGA Tour schedule . Woods’ next scheduled appearance on the Tour could very well be either of the four following tournaments , RBC Heritage , Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Wells Fargo Championship and AT& T Byron Nelson Classic , which will be the lead-up to the second Major of the season, the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black , Bethpage , in New York . That particular event will take place between the May23rd and May26th , 2019. It will be interesting to see how Tiger Woods will fare in that tournament and whether or not he can add to his tally of Grand Slam Major wins , as he seeks to close in on Jack Nicklaus’ record of eighteen Grand Slam Major victories.

There’s something to be said for the NBA Playoffs and all that it brings but at present while the opening round of the Playoffs , have begun, but the biggest story of the moment, has to be the resignation of Luke Walton as the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers . With the summary abrupt walkout by former front office executive Magic Johnson . It now leaves this franchise in complete disarray with no Head Coach and the likelihood of real turmoil within the front office and the entire Lakers’ franchise. Having missed the NBA Playoffs with an abysmal record and LeBron James having missed the end of the team’s regular season due to injury, it remains to be seen how they will deal with this off-season. It’s abundantly clear that team owner Jeanie Buss will advise GM Rob Pelinka to come up with a suitable replacement for Luke Walton , someone with a proven track record.

This Los Angeles Lakers ‘ roster has been abysmal throughout much of the season and their record was reflective of that very fact . Much of the Laker’s malaise was self-inflicted , due to the complacency shown by the players and front office staff.

The Opening Round of the NBA Playoffs began on Saturday night , where a number of results were a real surprise. The Philadelphia 76ers somehow fell apart in their opening game as they succumbed to the Brooklyn Nets in what turned out to be a very exciting game . Game two of their series will resume on Monday night . While the Sixers were falling apart , the Denver Nuggets as the number two seeds within the Western Conference , somehow managed to be outshone by the San Antonio Spurs in a totally unexpected loss . The Nuggets can ill-afford to go down 0-2 in this best of seven-game series between these two conference rivals .

With the second set of games resuming as of Monday and Tuesday night , it will be extremely interesting to see if the teams seeking to make up their deficits can actually play with a great deal more zeal .

Well, the MLB season has started off with a
splash and though it’s still early in the season , there have been one or two bright surprises among some of the teams and the players themselves .The ball-club with the best record in the Majors just happens to be the Tampa Bay Rays (12-4) percentage wise , with a very good start under manager Kevin Cash , who has the team playing with a great deal of confidence at this juncture. . Next up for the Rays will be a home game as they face off against AL East divisional rivals the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday , 16th April. Tyler Glasnow of the Rays will be on the mound as he faces off against Dylan Bundy of the Orioles .

While I believe that the Tampa Bay Rays are a good team , I certainly believe that by mid-June, they are likely to fall back within the AL and the division . With erstwhile rivals such as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees likely to put up a spirited challenge this could be a very interesting season for all of the teams within the AL East.

I would like to think that the Atlanta Braves are capable of winning the NL East and making a return to the MLB Postseason . Team manager Brian Snitker and his players certainly seem to be doing all of the right things , but with a young team , with few veteran leaders , it has to be said that they’re likely to be in for a long hard struggle this season. It certainly hasn’t been made any easier with the Philadelphia Phillies having been able to add both Jake Arrietta and Bryce Harper in the last two seasons, with Harper having been signed to one of the biggest contracts in recent league history. The player himself has certainly begun to live up to the hype , having been productive for his new team . Harper and the Phillies will be in action as they take on the New York Mets in a home game on Monday evening . Aaron Nola of the Phillies will be on the mound to face Noah Syndergaard of the Mets .

Big time players, be they pitchers or hitters , know that they’ve got to prove themselves consistently if they’re to make the big money within the game of baseball. Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger are certainly living that dream this season , albeit that Bellinger , remains a novice , in comparison to Trout , who’s considered to be the best player in the game, , Both of these young players are on their way to having what one can only hope will be truly successful careers.

We are now less than a week away from the NFL Draft and by now general managers are around the league are no doubt hedging their bets as to which teams are likely to stay pat in the draft’s pecking order and which are likely to move up as there could be some very interesting draft-day trades possibly taking place. With the Draft Order having been established, it will be the Arizona Cardinals having the first pick in this upcoming Draft and their likelihood of taking Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray as the number one overall pick and the first quarterback taken in this Draft. There is no denying the Cardinals need someone adept at the position , because last season , it was one deemed one of the poorer aspects of the team’s play overall. If Kyler Murray can prove to be great as the statistics suggest he was for the Oklahoma Sooners , then the Arizona Cardinals’ future seems secure.

If the Arizona Cardinals are said to be in the state of rebuilding, the New York Giants have begun to down their entire roster almost down to the bare foundations. Eli Manning a sixteen year veteran with the Giants , is now in the waning years of a good career . Two Superbowl victories on his resume’ does create the perception of greatness , but when it’s all said done , Manning has not proven himself to be the consummate leader many believed him to be. This past season was simply further proof of that fact as the Giants fell apart during the regular season . Eli Manning is not due to become a free agent quarterback until available> 2020 , when he will be joining several other players in free agency that year, I believe that it might be in the New York Giants’ best interest to draft a quarterback in this class as well as acquiring a seasoned veteran free agent to back up Eli Manning for the upcoming season . New York does have a pick
in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft and it will be interesting to see if the front office led by Dave Gettleman and the coaching staff of Pat Shurmur will be asked to get the best possible players to put this team in a position to win this upcoming season .

With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski , the six-time winning Superbowl champions , the New England Patriots headed into the off-season , knowing that they will have to plan judiciously , just as they have done for the past eighteen years. We all know that on the date they secured Tom Brady , things were never going to be the same ever gain for perhaps the best ran franchise in all of football. Granted of late , with the legal troubles of team owner , Robert Kraft , the gloss from the Patriots has been less than amenable . With that being said , it’s back to business as usual for the front office and the coaching staff . Rob Gronkowski’s departure leaves something of a big hole in this team’s offensive capabilities, but I am sure that Head Coach Bill Belichick will be able to overcome those obstacles , as he’s often done before.

There is no doubt in my mind that the New England Patriots will be a prohibitive favorite for the Superbowl , but at the same time , I am also of the opinion the franchise must begin to plan for the future , should Tom Brady decide to hang it all up after the end of this upcoming season. He is definitely a Canton bound , Hall of Fame player and his indelible mark on the NFL has been there for all to see.

What do you feel will be the big highlight news story within with the world of sports during the coming weeks ? Also , do you believe that there’s a chance for a team or an athlete to completely reinvent themselves ?


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Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

In their frustration to get back to winning ways the Philadelphia Phillies , all but broke the bank in signing Bryce Harper to a thirteen year , $330 million contract . That deal certainly makes Harper the highest paid player on the Phillies’ roster as well as well as the highest paid player in all of baseball by way of a contract. His deal surpasses the one paid to Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees whose original contract was structured by the Miami Marlins . Many believe the game of baseball to be in a healthy financial state due to the continued profitability of the teams by way of revenues and their income. In reality however, with the salary cap in place instituted by the Major League Baseball hierarchy. It’s safe to say the level playing field envisaged by baseball’s s governing body has been anything but that.


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Major League Baseball , much like the NBA and NFL are continually looking for various ways to stream their content to an even wider audience by way of the internet , broadcast television and even on the international scale. The game itself remains popular in Latin America , the Caribbean and within certain Asian countries. Unfortunately, Bud Selig and his successor current MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred eschewed their chance to have baseball remain forefront on the international stage by failing to come to terms with the conditions laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) . With the sport no longer being part of the Summer Olympics , it’s now left with the less than celebrated World Baseball Classic to provide that international stage for the sport to be more widely recognized. To date, it would be fair to suggest that the WBC (World Baseball Classic) has been far from being a resounding success.

This upcoming season could be a very important one for the Philadelphia Phillies with both Bryce Harper and Pirates’ veteran Andrew McCutchen looking to place this ball-club back among the elite teams within the game. Within the National League , it’s going to be hard to suggest which of the teams will rise to the occasion while looking to usurp the dominance shown by the Boston Red Sox , who many now believe to be the best team in all of baseball. There is no doubt in my mind that they have the deepest roster in all of baseball , with several All Stars at various positions on the depth chart of the roster. The Phillies’ acquisition of Bryce Harper might well be one of the most active off-seasons in recent baseball history , with Manny Machado having been signed by the San Diego Padres to an extraordinary deal and then we had Nolan Arenado remaining with the Colorado Rockies , having been signed to another gargantuan deal.

We’re now just over three weeks away from the start of the regular season within baseball, but for the moment , the Spring Training schedule remains active. There are several games scheduled for Monday afternoon , 4th March as teams seek to find a rhythm before embarking on the Opening Day Schedule, 28th March , 2019. From my own perspective , I don’t believe the teams will actually find their full rhythm until mid-May , early June , with their having several games under their belts.

The NBA has entered the last month of the regular season and there are still a number of spots up for grabs , most notably , only one division appears to be all but decided , while conference berths for the NBA Playoffs are from being decided. It’s strange to see the Boston Celtics struggling along with fellow Eastern Conference representatives the Philadelphia 76ers . Inconsistency as well has injuries, have at some point plagued both teams. Boston for their part have played much of the season without the use of veteran point guard Kyrie Irving , and with their being continued speculation, that Irving might consider leaving the franchise to rejoin former teammate LeBron James who’s now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers . It remains to be seen, how that whole scenario will actually play itself.

The roster of the Boston Celtics was built to win now , with both Al Horford , Gordon Hayward and Irving being the seasoned veterans on the roster. GM Danny Ainge had the blessing of team owner Wyc Grousbeck to do whatever it takes to make the Celtics a competitive force within the league this season. Add in the coaching astuteness shown by Head Coach Brad Stevens and there can be no denying the team has not met expectations sought for this season. However, I do believe, if Irving is back in the lineup , given the team’s experience , they have to be considered among the favorites within the Eastern Conference to reach the Conference Finals for this season.

If there’s a question concerning the Philadelphia 76ers , then it comes down to the lack of coaching acumen of Brett Brown and the use of his players during games and their lineups at certain points during a contest. While point guard Ben Simmons has been lauded for his play there have been times where questions have arisen concerning his being unable to take over games and stamp his dominance in those contests. Joel Embiid , might well be considered the best all-round player on the roster, but again his inconsistency has continued to be questioned and the same can be said of
JJ Redick .

At this point last season , things were very contrived as the teams were seeking to parlay their season into something meaningful. Defending champions , the Golden State Warriors remain the team to beat and as a burgeoning dynasty , I seriously doubt they’re going to be overthrown anytime soon. Kevin Durant and fellow Warriors’ teammate Steph Curry might well be the best one-two combination in the league in terms of their combined offensive prowess.

Make no bones about it, Los Angeles Lakers’ fans might well have felt with LeBron James coming to the City of Angels , things were about to change , but the Los Angeles Lakers have been far from convincing this season. A sub .500 record was not expected of this team at this point of the season and it’s my own belief having not landed Anthony Davis at the trade deadline, has only further solidified the fact that the Lakers are from being the desirable destination , even with the four-time League MVP being there to attract a big name. Should the Lakers miss the NBA Playoffs, then the repercussions could very well be truly damaging and damning for the organization.. The remainder of the Lakers’ schedule is a very tough one and it will be interesting to see how the team fares as they wind down their regular season schedule. The team will be in action this week and their next game will be against the Denver Nuggets at home , a conference rival within the West.

Gonzaga are now back atop of the NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings and it will be interesting to see how this team will fare during their conference championship and in particular within the NCAA Tournament , which begins on the 19th March . While much of the talk in recent weeks has been the loss of Zion Williamson , the player many believe will be the consensus overall number one pick in the NBA Draft. Gonzaga now takes center stage as they seek to win a national title.

OK , with the NFL simply a year round news’ cycle within the North American sports’ market panacea . All eyes now will be set on the upcoming NFL Draft , with the New England Patriots having landed their sixth Superbowl victory within the last eighteen years. One now has to wonder what is now left for the coaching and player tandem of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady . Both are sure first ballot Hall of Fame bound for Canton , and I’d dare say that team owner Robert Kraft will likely join that illustrious duo , pending his current legal status. The Patriots are a dynasty in spite of what naysayers will have to say, Cheating asides, we all know that it’s something that is widespread within the NFL and professional sports in general.For the puritans out there , it’s time to just shut the fuck up and face facts, professional sports is no longer about playing fairly , but making sure you just don’t get caught.

The upcoming NFL Draft could prove to be very interesting along with the current batch of free agents likely to hit the market within the next few days. With teams having until the 9th March to put their affairs in order with regard to retaining players guaranteeing roster and incentive bonuses , this off-season could prove to be a very interesting one , just as it was at this point in 2018 in the lead-up to the 2018 NFL Draft. The consensus appears to be that either Nick Bosa or Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray will be one of the two players taken as the number one overall pick for this Draft. . There is a glutton of quarterbacks who have declared their intent , and it will be interesting to see if Murray’s name is announced as the number one overall pick, joining a long list of passers having been taken in the first round as the overall number one pick. As to the success the player is expected to have , it’s going to be dependent upon where he lands and the coaching acumen shown by the coaching staff involved. The Arizona Cardinals will be the team with that first pick and it’s my belief Kyler Murray will be that player taken by the franchise as their first overall pick .

It’s time for the New York Giants to move on from Eli Manning in spite of the player’s achievements for the franchise. In the last three years alone , Manning has proven his best years are now indeed behind him and that this present Giants’ roster is far from equipped to compete with the best that the NFC has to offer much less the rest of the NFL for that matter.

From my perspective , it’s not in the best interest for the New York Giants to seek a free agent quarterback when they have to their future on the line and to stick with Manning, would be absolutely nonsensical at this juncture. The veteran can best serve the franchise in nurturing the talent of his heir-apparent , rather than continuing not to be held accountable for his own poor play and the lack of real leadership on the field . Much of that blame also lays squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur . The coach will seek to put some resilience back into this lineup through the upcoming NFL and most likely through some worthwhile off-season acquisitions .

Eli Manning is not due to become a free agent until 2020 , but has a high cap value of over $23 million for 2019. Whatever the New York Giants now seek to do , it will be every interesting to see what transpires.

Jon Jones with his latest victory in the defense of his UFC Light Heavyweight Title , has now cemented his legacy within the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Many purists believe him to be, perhaps the greatest fighter the UFC has seen within its history . I think Jones is by far the best fighter of his generation within his weight class and among the top-five UFC fighters of all-time !!! Jones’ clinical dismantling of challenger Anthony Smith might well have been the best fight of the champion’s career in the last four years. Jon Jones to my mind can now name his own price , by way of his own destiny , because I firmly believe he is now the face of this sport and not an ass wipe such as Conor McGregor .

From my own standpoint the UFC is now at a crossroads as the President of the company , Dana White has to place more of an emphasis on the real stars within the sport, rather than his own personal choices as to whom, he best believes fits the bill to become the face of the UFC.

Which have been the main stories over the past few days within the sports’ that have you enthralled ?


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Walk It Like You Talk It ……

Walk It Like You Talk It ….

In the aftermath of the momentous joint victory for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid , there are now looming doubts about whether or not Roger Goodell as the NFL Commissioner can continue to be granted so much latitude with regard to his wide-ranging powers , as well as how the league hierarchy and team owners can now deal with such issues of player grievances in the future. This was an extremely costly loss the NFL , albeit, with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) being signed , we will never know the full extent of the compensatory figure paid out to both Kaepernick and Reid as part of their collusion grievance.

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While I believe this might provide some closure to the events surrounding the stance taken by Colin Kaepernick , there still leaves the fact that the former San Francisco Forty Niners’ starting quarterback is still unable to find a role on a team within the NFL. There are now rumors circulating that the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots are showing interest in signing the player whose last game in the NFL took place during the 2016 NFL season . I don’t believe the Patriots are a legitimate option , especially in light of both Tom Brady and the team owner Robert Kraft , being staunch supporters of Donald Trump , a President who was often critical of the NFL’s players and pointedly so towards Colin Kaepernick . It’s clear however, that could all change, in light of the judgment ruling against the league.

With the other alternative for Kaepernick being to sign with the Carolina Panthers, I am not so sure he would be welcomed with open arms by the coaching staff and front office of the organization . As to the current roster of Panthers’ players themselves , unless Cam Newton himself , steps up to the plate and were to make Colin Kaepernick feel welcomed. There again. I am not so sure he would be seen as an ideal fit for the team. The fans being what they are , and the fact that attendance within the NFL has ebbed and flowed since 2015 , and their being a marked decline with regard to an engaged television audience for regular season games . The NFL must now address this chapter once and for all , and bring it to a close. There were idiots, who believed that the NFL would suffer financially , but nothing could be further from the truth and among the league’s biggest corporate sponsors, Nike profited greatly from the exposure gained ,with Kaepernick being a client endorser .

The NBA’s mid-season showcase event was all the talk over the past weekend with the All Star Game taking place. This history of the event might well be the most fan-friendly of the four major professional sports’ events which take place. The NFL has it’s Pro-Bowl Game , but with each passing game, especially over the last decade , the game itself has become less and less popular for the fans and as a television spectacle. Major League Baseball places way too much emphasis on the players and the rather asinine way it has players nominated for an appearance in the MLB All Star Game , has the event seem something of a non-plus along with the Home Run Derby. Granted , the league that wins the All Star , their representative in the World Series is granted home-field advantage throughout the series. Yet, when it’s all said and done in spite of those incentives , the event itself remains something of a chore to watch. For the NHL , well let’s just say their All Star Game , ranks up there alongside watching paint dry or a Congressional Hearing in either the US House of Representatives or the US Senate .

Kevin Durant , already a two-time Finals’ MVP with the Golden State Warriors , might well have begun to ignite the debate as to whether he is now the best player in the NBA and what is with all due respect to four-time League MVP , LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers . James was an active participant in the All Star Game which was played on Monday Night . A high-scoring event where defense was not at an optimum , Durant put on a display of offensive prowess for the winning team and along the way he picked up his second All Star MVP Award.

The second-half of the season within the NBA will pick-up , with the teams looking to jockey themselves into position for the final games of the regular season . With things being what they are , the pressure is now on the Los Angeles Lakers to end their regular season run with a big bang. They’re not capable of winning their division and within the Western Conference , their remains a right race for the seeding’s, five ,
through eight
. LeBron James and his teammates will be on the court for their next game , when they face the Houston Rockets and James Harden at the Staples Center in Los Angeles , California , on Thursday, 21st February , 2019. That is the day, when the league resumes its regular season schedule . Meanwhile, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors will resume their regular season schedule with a contest against the Sacramento Kings .

In the Eastern Conference of the NBA , the Milwaukee Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpou , are looking to solidify their position as the best team in the conference. Antetokounmpou is proving to be one of the best offensive players in the entire NBA , in spite of his experience . All season long the Bucks have been extremely impressive , on the road or at home . Next up for this well-rounded team will be a game against the Boston Celtics , in a contest , which will provide the fans with a great deal more than just competitiveness and excitement .

If the rumors are to be believed , then James L Dolan might well be willing to listen to serious offers as he seeks to unload the New York Knicks . Dolan is not likely to sell the franchise at a bargain basement price , knowing that a $3,5 billion price tag is not out of the realms of possibility . The Knicks are no longer a viable competitive concern within the NBA , but they remain the most valuable franchise , because of their geographical and demo-graphical location. It’s hard to envisage who might willingly show interest in purchasing the New York Knicks and the possible price that’s likely to be above $4 billion , an exorbitant price to say the very least. The team’s season is in complete shambles and it’s my own belief , their coaching staff would like to ‘tank’ their season , which would provide them with a healthy chance of a Draft Lottery Pick in the first round of 2019 NBA Draft .

Courtesy of USA Today

Knicks shoot down report of James Dolan ‘courting offers’ to sell team

By Chris Iseman , USA Today , NBA Writer

Rumors that James Dolan is potentially interested in selling the New York Knicks have been circulating, and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons has now added more fuel to that fire. Citing people “who know things,” Simmons on his podcast said that he was told Dolan is courting offers. “It’s happening,” Simmons said. “It’s on. It’s go-time. He’s courting offers for the Knicks. That’s what I heard at All-Star weekend from people I trust.” Simmons believes Dolan is more interested in running the company’s entertainment division. But a statement released Monday by The Madison Square Garden Company, of which Dolan is chairman and CEO, denied all accounts of the report. “The story is 100% false,” the statement reads. “There has been nothing. No discussions. No plans to have discussions – nothing.” In an interview with ESPN’s Ian O’Connor in December, Dolan said he wouldn’t rule out selling the Knicks, mainly because he has a responsibility to his shareholders of the publicly traded company. “They’re not there because they’re fans,” Dolan said in the interview. “You don’t invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a stock because you’re a fan. You do it because you think that the business is going to increase in value, that the stock price is going to go up. You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks.”


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David Fizdale , current Head Coach of the New York Knicks presides over a team that is among the worst in all of the league’s vital statistical categories this season.. Over their last fifteen games the Knicks are a bewildering a 1-14 , which  is  among the  worst  in the  league . Next up  for  the  New  York  Knicks  will  be  a  game  against  the the Minnesota Timberwolves at home , where the Knicks are an abysmal 4-23 . It’s hard to envisage where the interest will come from concerning someone willing to buy the New York Knicks outright , but I am sure that the NBA hierarchy will find a way to make this franchise seem all the more alluring to a potential buyer.

So one of the two lynch-pins are down with GM AJ Preller having pulled off perhaps the biggest coup in San Diego Padres’ history with the team having agreed in principle to sign free agent Manny Machado to a ten-year , $300 million deal . It is by far the biggest free agent acquisition made in the Padres’ history and immediately makes Machado the highest paid player on the team’s roster . Machado who spent much of last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers , was by far in a way their best offensive player throughout the postseason , but somehow the Dodgers’ front office didn’t feel he would be a good fit for the team moving forward. I’m beginning to think that several of the front office executives within the Dodgers’ organization are not fully equipped to carry out their various duties along with the managerial staff of Dave Roberts . Where this now leaves Bryce Harper as a free agent and whether or not he’s in the driver’s seat to demand a similar type deal remains to be seen , but it is becoming abundantly clear , the player’s agent Scott Boras will demand something commensurate with his client’s abilities and standing as a former NL MVP and Rookie of The Year . There’s no denying that Bryce Harper is a five-tool player , capable of leading a team to a World Series’ title if the adequate pieces are around him, That was never the case while he was a player with the Washington Nationals .

There are likely to be at least three teams showing an interest in Bryce Harper , but I am not so all three are seen as outright favorites to sign the player. The ball-clubs, I believe still in the running for Harper, are the New York Yankees , Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox , all of whom would significantly increase their payroll in 2019 over last season . Scott Boras having seen Manny Machado signed to a $300 million contract , would clearly want a great deal more for Bryce Harper. The New York Yankees could easily afford to absorb such a deal, given their vast resources as a ball club and with the revenues of the organization alongside that of the YES Network . Capitalized at over $3.5 billion it is easy to understand why the Yankees remain profitable as well as the most valuable team in all of baseball and one of the most recognized professional sports clubs in the world .

The San Diego Padres will have will have several players reporting for Spring Training over the next few days along with non-roster invitees . Their exhibition season will begin in full earnest during March , with their first exhibition game being played against the Los Angeles Dodgers . Machado and his teammates should have a good workout against their divisional rivals in that game . San Diego will begin its regular season schedule with a game against the San Francisco Giants at home , PETCO Field , in San Diego , California on the 28th March , 2019 , Official Opening Day for Major League Baseball in 2019.

Time is running out for Scott Boras to get a deal done for his client and I do believe that the asking price might well be way too high. In this day and age , I don’t think that there is a team out there willing to commit $350 million , let alone $400 million to one player in a long-term contract , without any type of guarantee of success. One World Series’ title might well be good , but two or three would be better and I doubt that Bryce Harper , is worthy of that contract let alone be able to produce on such a grand scale for an organization .

In light of what’s now taking place in the world sports what are your expectations in the coming weeks and months ?

Tophatal …………


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