The road less traveled , often too bumpy with an ox and cart …….

The road less traveled , often too bumpy with an ox and cart …….

The MLB postseason is now at its penultimate stage, before it enters the final phase with the World Series . With four teams vying for the two remaining berths available for the game’s biggest showcase . In the ALCS , we have the Boston Red Sox matched up against the Detroit Tigers , with the winner looking to be the AL representative . In the NLCS , in what is now turning out to be somewhat of a thrilling contest with the Los Angeles Dodgers and their $215 million payroll , as they now find themselves on the brink of elimination in their series against the St Louis Cardinals .


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Slideshow .

Now while fans would obviously suggest that the Dodgers’ season was a successful one , in the aftermath of what appears to be an inspired move by Don Mattingly with the introduction of Yasiel Puig into the Dodgers’ lineup . It has to be said that, that in this series , in spite of Puig’s presence , the team simply has not fared as well , as many had expected . Down 3-2 against a Cardinals’ team , who in game five came up with an inept performance . It has to be said, that with the two final games of the series returning to Busch Stadium in St Louis Missouri, it is difficult to envisage how the Dodgers will seek to erase this deficit and then take this contest outright.

If the Los Angeles Dodgers were to fail at this juncture, I cannot help but wonder how the front office will view the season overall in the advent of such a series’ defeat. Clearly, for the owners, specifically lead partners , Magic Johnson , Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Peter Guber , a number of decisions are likely to be made in conjunction with team President Stan Kasten and GM Ned Colletti , concerning the current makeup of this team .

Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers are proving to be a very resilient team throughout this postseason . The team’s pitching and offense has remained consistent, with Jhonny Peralta , Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez leading the way for the ball-club. The Tigers are on a mission this postseason , seeking redemption after their dismal display in the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants , where the exploits of slugger Pablo Sandoval were made to look all the more astonishing against what was meant to be an outstanding pitching lineup. Not to be outdone by this all, John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox showed the baseball world why this team why the won the AL East with a great deal of ease , while the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles were bemoaning their problems . To put it politely , the Orioles relied primarily on a player whose exploits this season will come under a great deal of suspicion in the coming years . Chris Davis hit fifty home runs in a season for the first time in his career and here, we had idiots lauding the feat , especially in light of the numerous suspensions rendered by baseball’s hierarchy in 2013 . Beyond that, there was not much more about Baltimore’s season to admire beyond Davis’ exploits and that of Manny Machado . For the Tampa Bay Rays , it was simply the optimism of their fans and their short run in the postseason , as the team simply was not good enough , once they made it into the divisional round of the postseason .

This series between the Red Sox and Tigers , has become an all-out assault on the fans’ senses , in terms of the productivity shown by the two teams in this ALCS contest . And with Detroit, now squared at two games apiece (2-2) , it will now become a test of will between the both teams and which shows the desire to take the “spoils of war ” .

Away from the postseason , beyond the ongoing idiocy of New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez seeking to sue just about anyone , whom he feels , may well have slighted him and impugned his reputation. It appears that saga will be ongoing for the foreseeable future .

The list of eligible candidates in 2014 for Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame , now seems endless . We have repeat aspirants, many of whom are being nominated for the process, for at least the fourteenth time . As to what this might suggest about the BBWAA and their issues over the careers of Jack Morris , Don Mattingly , Alan Trammell and Lee Smith , I believe has more to do with the lack of credibility amongst the adjudicators of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) !. These are the very same individuals who cover the sport and who simply turned a blind eye to the steroid era , yet now we are to believe , that they bring with them, the utmost integrity, in terms of their judgment and who ought to be eligible for the game’s highest honor, outside of winning a league MVP award or a World Series’ ring ?



Picture gallery .

I have always felt that the game of baseball has been replete with utter incompetence and stupidity on so many levels , that you can no longer take the sport seriously on its merits ! Purists might try and suggest the contrary , but simply look at the two decade long tenure of Bud Selig , and then try to make a case where he has added to the integrity of the game ? The clock is ticking folks , have at it, and come hard or come soft , but at least try to come up with something relevant if you can, and then we can perhaps have something of a debate on the facts, as we know them to be.


Picture gallery for your perusal .


(1) Yasiel Puig (66) of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides back safely into first base in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Harry How ….

(2) (L-R) Mark Ellis (14) of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate scoring a run in the fourth inning with Andre Ethier (16) against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 14, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How / Getty Images …

(3) Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers hits a single in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 16, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Getty Images / Ronald Martinez …..

(4) The Detroit Tigers Jack Morris pitches in the 1984 World Series Game 4 vs. San Diego Padres at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, MI . Morris will induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame , on his fourteenth attempt since becoming eligible . 10/84 Credit: John Iacono ….

(5) Lee Smith seen here meets with members of the press in Midland Texas at a public function to honor the former baseball big league player . Cindeka Nealy / copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ….



tophatal …………………


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We’re Getting There …… !

We’re Getting There ….

Well the ALCS and NLCS are in full swing and baseball’s hierarchy looks for some resonance by way of the broadcast by TNT and TBS before the World Series is scheduled to be televised by Fox Sports . With the viewership down by some 25% from last years’s NLCS and some 43% from the ALCS of 2009 between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Now one could contend that with the current series having very little drama at present it would be easy to conclude that the quartet of teams now involved in the ALCS and NLCS not having a fervent fan following . Perhaps of the four teams in question the greatest following might be with the supporters of the St Louis Cardinals . With a long established history , success and well respected Hall of Famers it has to be said that it should not come as any great surprise the organization has such a following. The Cardinals skippered by manager Tony La Russa the team now finds itself in a very competitive series against their divisional rivals the Milwaukee Brewers . There’s a great deal at stake for both teams given the fact there seems to be a cloud of controversy hanging over both organizations concerning two of the game’s biggest names and their long term future. The common thread and thought concerning Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols is that should their respective teams fail to make the World Series , then in all likelihood they each will have played their last seasons with Brewers and Cardinals , respectively.

Currently tied at one game apiece (1-1) the series between the two NL teams will resume on Wednesday with the St Louis Cardinals hosting the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri , . Scheduled to start for the Cardinals is Yovani Gallardo with Chris Carpenter starting for the Cardinals . Both teams have proven to be competitive over the course of the postseason. And it is clear that Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke would like nothing better than his team taking two of the three games to played in front of a Cardinals’ fan base to take an overwhelming advantage in this best of seven game series .

Carpenter coming off a stellar performance against the Philadelphia Phillies on his way to leading the Cardinals to the NLCS in an exhilarating game five win. That loss seems to sent the Phillies organization into a tailspin of unimaginable proportions . GM Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel will to have to assess the needs of this team and make the necessary changes during the off-season if the team is to have any chance of success this upcoming season.

Now while I am not willing to make any pronouncements as to which of the two NLCS teams I favor in this series , I do feel that the advantage will come by way of the advantage will now come astuteness of the managers . That undoubted experience belongs with La Russa given his tenure within the game. And given the proclivity of the manager’s team and their tenacity there is a clear chance that Pujols , Matt Holliday , Rafael Furcal and Lance Berkman will be looking to give clear indication that this series is far from over and that the players on the St Louis Cardinals team will be looking to upstage their divisional rivals .

Big money teams with big ideas but that clearly wouldn’t be the case for describing the way that the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers . GM Dave Dombrowski and team owner Michael Ilitch who along with Jim Leyland assembled a team which if anything has proven to be one of the pleasant surprises of the season . The Detroit Tigers won the AL Central with a certain amount of ease then with a little more than breaking any sweat they also took care of the mighty New York Yankees in the ALDS .

The defeat left the Yankees reeling with there being excuses from the most unlikely of sources in team president Randy Levine . The executive not wanting to apportion the blame where it needs to be placed , has stated that the team simply will reassert itself and come back better than ever. Given the the poor displays from key members on this team it easy to understand why executives within the organization would seek not to be overly critical of some of the game’s highest paid players .

This off-season the New York Yankees will certainly have to reassess the team and if anything simply jettison the ” dead weight” on the roster . GM Brian Cashman and the coaching staff will painstakingly look to the free agency market rather than its farm system for the answers.

Ron Washington , Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels of the Texas Rangers will have the benefit of knowing that last year’s postseason experience will stand them in good stead in their series against the Detroit Tigers . Though having lost to the San Francisco Giants in somewhat of an uneventful 2010 World Series , it has to be said that the team was more shell-shocked by their foray , rather than actually being overpowered by Bruce Bochy’s Giants’ team .

The Texas Rangers seem to be well on their way to making their way to a second consecutive World Series appearance having taken a 2-0 lead in their ALCS match-up. Game three at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan with Colby Lewis and Doug Fister taking the mound for the Rangers and Tigers, respectively.

If the Detroit Tigers are to have any chance resurrecting this series then we will have to see a great deal more consistency coming from Miguel Cabrebra , Ryan Raburn and their teammates . And though in reality I haven’t been completely drawn to any of the series from my own perspective is that with the draw of perhaps the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees the postseason becomes something of anathema to me . Try as Bud Selig and the team owners seek to prolong the postseason with an additional two teams per league to wildcard format , the real underlying issue is that the commissioner and general managers clearly do not understand this simply does nothing for the game other than to prolong the season itself. If Selig really had the business acumen as his supporters claim , then they would simply realize that what is needed is a fair an equitable way for the teams to share the revenues derived from their business operations , rather than it simply being everyman for himself and the survival of the fittest.

Though I won’t be taken aback by anything I am likely to witness over the remainder of the posteason , I do however feel that if the league hierarchy wants to induce more fan in response to year end finale . Then much of that will be dependent upon their scheduling of the games and a clear indication as to the needs of the fans. No amount of tinkering with the postseason format will change anything that Bud Selig desires to see within the game when he is simply to afraid to address the most acute of the issues that baseball now faces . Far too many of the purists in and outside of the prefer to give far too much credence as to his apparent insight rather than observing the inherent problems they currently face . His handling of the laughable situation concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers clearly shows that he and his conclave of buffoons are out of touch . If that were not bad enough , he has yet to offer up his own formal statement as to dire premise that the New York Mets and the ownership group now find themselves in . Beyond that , he has chosen to postpone the approval of the sale of the Houston Astros by current owner Drayton McClane to Houston businessman Jim Crane . Selig’s reason behind this all …… …. he is apparently unhappy with the prospective purchaser’s documentation concerning the the proposed bid ( $680 million ). Do bear in mind that the commissioner rushed through the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to now beleaguered owner Frank McCourt when the ball club was put up for sale by then owner Fox / News Corp International with there being very little if any due diligence was used by MLB. At the time it was common knowledge that McCourt had mounting financial and legal problems with several of his business partners who were seeking recourse through legal means. But yet somehow the league hierarchy and team owners somehow managed to approve that sale .

Courtesy of USA Today

Selig: No timetable for expanded postseason by 2012

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement have been very constructive, and he sees no reason to set a timetable for getting a deal done.

“I hope we’ll continue on that path,” Selig said of the positive talks Monday night before Game 2 of the NL Championship Series.

MLB’s agreement with the player’s union expires on Dec. 11.

Selig said the present discussions have been far different from labor battles in previous decades. The most recent labor peace began when the sides came to an agreement after the cancellation of the end of the 1994 season.

“The sport, I’ve often said, was stuck in neutral for 25 years. And that’s one of the reasons. It was brutal. It was really brutal. Every two or three years we went back to this,” Selig said. “The fans got tired of all that, got tired of hearing about it. And I don’t blame them. So, 16 years of labor peace has really, really helped us.”

Selig said he has told MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union head Michael Weiner not to set arbitrary time limits to try and finish a deal.


Click to read article in its entirety .


Crane has produced all of the viable documents and much needed added information as required but this may well be some sort of image and face saving exercise on the part of Bud Selig , which in part could prove to be his undoing. Jim Crane is now said to be thinking of withdrawing the his current offer of $680 million and completely walk away from the deal altogether in light of Bud Selig postponement of the vote seeking league approval. Whether or not the actual approved measure seems to be in doubt , given the fact the postseason is now in full swing and the commissioner not stating when and if there will be schedule set for league approval of the sale. Any further delays even if it now takes place in the off season is unlikely to sit well with either of the parties concerned. Current owner Drayton McClane seeks to divest himself of the team and that now leaves the front office , coaching staff and players with something of an uncertain future as to their immediacy. Why do I now get the impression that there seems to be no common sense being shown by the league hierarchy concerning this matter ? Oh I know it is because that body’s highest ranking executive is a damn moron and a fu_king as_hole !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

Of the quartet of teams now left in the postseason which duo would like to face off in the World Series ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning the now apparent stand-off that is now taking place between the league hierarchy and Jim Crane concerning his purchase of the Houston Astros ? Chime in with a comment and on anything else you believe to pertinent to the subject matter .

Alan aka tophatal …………….

Picture & slide show details below

(1) St. Louis Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso, left, laughs with manager Tony La Russa during baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in St. Louis. The Cardinals are scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of baseball’s National League championship series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(2) St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter walks out to the field for baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in St. Louis. Carpenter is scheduled to start when the Cardinals play the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of baseball’s National League championship series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …..

(3) Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 10, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Cardinals would go on to defeat the Brewers 12-3 .Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …..

(4) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals breaks his bat on a ground out in the top of the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 10, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……

(5) Fans look at a weather radar on a phone as rain falls prior to Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers on October 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(6) Michael Young (10) of the Texas Rangers catches a foul ball in Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(7) Jose Valverde (46) of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Rangers 5-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ……

(8) DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 11 : Colby Lewis (48) of the Texas Rangers stands on the mound as Victor Martinez (41) of the Detroit Tigers runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

(9) Detroit Tigers’ Brandon Inge , right, hugs teammate Miguel Cabrera after their 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of baseball’s American League championship series Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in Detroit. …….

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Milwaukee Brewers — ( Yovani Gallardo ) — @ St Louis Cardinals ( Chris Carpenter ) Busch Stadium St Louis , Missouri ,. 12th October 2011

MLB teams’ postseason stats pitching ERA

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