Being, self-absorbed doesn’t offer dignity, it simply proves you are an ass

Being, self-absorbed doesn’t offer dignity, it simply proves you are an ass

By Tophatal

Well, after a rather meaningless gathering, the less than flattering body of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) more commonly known in my circle as the Baseball Writers Association of A$sholes , came to a decision that the 34 players on the 2013 the Hall of Fame ballot was not worthy of being inductees in this celebratory ceremony . Now as many of you may know, that among the list of candidates were, three of the most prominent players associated with the “steroid era “ of baseball.

Roger Clemens , Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa were part of that list of players , where the adjudicators would have to make the decision to vote those candidates in , by a margin of no less than 75% of the tallied votes .

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Not wanting to make light of this all , but celebrated columnist and journalist , Bob Nightengale of USA Today , wrote a <a href=”http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/01/07/barry-bonds-roger-clemens-hall-of-fame-fred-mcgriff-steroids-sammy-sosa/1812111/”&gt; column stating why he would in all likelihood vote for all three of the aforementioned players to be enshrined . Nightengale suggests that on pure stats alone , the triumvirate were worthy of that accolade . It should be noted , the writer is also a voting member of the aforementioned BBWAA , a body , which I believe, no longer has any credibility or integrity ! Much of that is based on the non-committed stance of that group when the subject of “rampant steroid use” was prevalent within the game , and the very fact that this journalistic body , essentially chose to obfuscate their responsibilities as journalists , only seeking to write salacious tales or what was at the time , essentially the “ tainted feats “ of Bonds , Sosa and Mark McGwire . Needless , to say , legal actions , subpoenaed testimony in front of a congressional committee has done nothing to lift the credibility of the players involved , or raised the integrity of the BBWAA , altogether .

The BBWAA does not seem to possess the journalistic aptitude to even seek out the stories within the game that resonate with the fans and public at large , never mind the odious and often at times banal pieces that can be found within this forum on the subject matter of the illicit use of PED’s and other prohibitive substances within the game of baseball. However, it is simply not just the print media that should also bear responsibility for this apathy, because the sports’ broadcast outlets and the major television media, have essentially remained quiet on an ever </awide ranging list of topics associated with the </aseamier side of the game. Usually, it is not until a story has started to gather a great deal of steam that we tend to see all parts of the news’ media outlets start to scurry and give their perspective , one that is skewered uninformed and at times poorly written and without any real focal points, to that piece at all ! .

Courtesy of USA Today , Bob Nightengale

Barry Bonds was the first name I checked on my Hall of Fame ballot.

Roger Clemens was the second name I checked.

Sammy Sosa was the third.

There was no hesitation. No moment of wavering. Didn’t even blink.

Bonds, a seven-time MVP, might have been the greatest baseball player since Babe Ruth. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, was one of the most dominant pitchers of the last 50 years. Sosa, the only man to hit 60 or more homers in three seasons, was one of the most prolific home run hitters we’ve ever seen.

Oh, the steroids debate?

None ever failed a drug test after Major League Baseball implemented testing in 2004. They were never suspended by MLB for steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines or any other performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens was exonerated on perjury charges for lying about steroid use in federal court. Bonds also beat perjury charges and was convicted only on an obstruction-of-justice charge that he’s appealing.

Do I still believe they cheated? Absolutely.

Do I have proof? No.

Do I have strong suspicions that Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell cheated after witnessing their colossal changes in body type and performance? Absolutely.

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Thankfully, Bob Nightengale and his cabal of idiots for once , may well have done the right thing , in not voting anyone in , from among the list of candidate on the 2013 list of prospective inductees. Craig Biggio came the closest , garnering 68.3% of the necessary 75 % of the votes needed for enshrinement into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. However, he may well face an stiffer task in 2014 , when the list of candidates will include among those notables , Greg Maddux , Tom Glavine, Edgar Martinez , Frank Thomas , Mike Mussina , Luis Gonzalez , Kenny Rogers , and Hideo Nomo , among in the category of eligible first time candidates due for induction. And one would be hard pressed to state that neither Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine are not worthy for induction into the Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown, New York .

One of more patronizing side of the BBWAA is that self-righteous belief that is espoused is as such , as knowledgeable historians of the game , their “printed word” is sacrosanct. In all honesty , given the institution to simply sidestep controversy , merely to stay in the good graces of baseball’s hierarchy . I am beginning to wonder , whether or not it would simply be more beneficial to have a body of current and retired players along with managers and front office executive to be arbiters for a players’ induction into the Hall of Fame . Can anyone say that there is any real credence in the way the baseball writers conduct their voting process ? Who better than the players , managers and general managers to make such a decision , rather than a bunch of doe-eyed word and often times gregarious idiots be left to make such a decision. The purists and traditionalists out there may well think otherwise . Yet more often than not those are the very same imbeciles , who will make a case for the argument that the actions of Bonds , Sosa , Clemens , McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro did not do irreparable harm to the game. If they have profited financially from their actions while defrauding the fans and public alike , then off course irreparable damage has been done to the image of baseball . Only, an anally retentive asshole , would seek to suggest otherwise !

Beyond the rhetoric proffered up by baseball’s writers within their own little sphere of influence , and who have never really delved with any great depth into the financial imbalances within the game , other than to report who just happens to be the highest paid player in the game , or to remind us that the New York Yankees still carries the highest team payroll in baseball . It has been the very fact that they feel it obligatory , simply to not fall afoul of Bud Selig and his subordinates. And for the commissioner for his part , with his mind numbingly low IQ , simply offers up such banality , that is now hard to take him seriously as the game’s highest ranking executive . At $25 million a year , as a salary , I would have to say that Selig has done an extremely piss poor job through the majority of his tenure ! His handling of the “ steroid era” notwithstanding , it has been his lack of foresight and insight shown , along with not fully comprehending the malfeasance of Frank McCourt, in almost bringing about the ruination of the Los Angeles Dodgers ,

Needless to say , while Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz , fiddle , while the embers are still aglow around the New York Mets , Bud Selig will suggest to us, that there is due diligence and oversight being shown as to the franchise’s ongoing financial difficulties . Albeit , that a patron of my site has pointed out the fact , that the organization has been able to obtain financing from a number of financial institution, and that a glowing report has been written about the Mets’ “ alleged” improving financial status, by none other than Standard & Poors . Suffice to say , the once proud financial markets and investment research firm has about as much credibility as Lindsay Lohan’s acting career. These are the very same ,bumbling buffoons , who with their vast research resources were not able to spot the horrors on the horizon , short-term and long-term , when it came to the major financial institutions’ use of the derivatives’ ,markets to send not only banking sector into a downwards’ tailspin but also the vast majority of the residential mortgage industry as well. Yet because a patron points to a report , I should be assured that the Mets are heading in right direction from a financial standpoint ? This being the same baseball franchise that showed a $41 million loss , and is still projected to lose approximately $65 million for the upcoming fiscal year . But also , do bear in mind , Mets’ GM , Sandy Alderson , recently offered an exorbitant contract to David Wright , an eight-year deal worth approximately , $134 million .

Now I could go on to lambast Sandy Alderson for this apparent idiocy , but what good would it do ? I mean , given the Mets’ dreadful record last season , and their continued propensity for making such outlandish personnel moves , while considerably overpaying for moderate talent . .It is increasingly clear why the franchise has been such an incredible mess . COO & CFO , Jeff Wilpon , has taken to running and ruining the franchise , as if it were a child’s toy , that will soon outlive its’ usefulness !

The New York Mets may well have dodged a bullet when Irving H Picard , the plaintiffs’ lawyer, in a multibillion dollar lawsuit that sought the return of $1.225 billion in monies received by franchise and siphoned through another Wilpon family-controlled and owned business entity , Sterling Equities Inc . These funds were said to be the returns on the investments made, in the now infamous “Madoff Ponzi Scheme” over the past two decades , which saw in excess of 8,000 clients lose $57 billion , through the misdeeds of now incarcerated financier , Bernard “Bernie” Madoff . And for some inexplicable reason Irving Picard, would reach an out of court settlement the defendants , the New York Mets, that would see his clients receive a little over 16 cents on the dollar , netting the plaintiffs , slightly less than $100 million. Far be it , for me to suggest , but if I were one of the plaintiffs , and that agreement were reached , there would be no way in hell, that Irving Picard would still be alive today ! I would be on him “ like white on rice “ , beating his ass , to within an inch of his life ! Lawyers , just as disingenuous as a congressman , with perhaps, slightly less morals? I’ll leave it for you to be the judge of that !

If there were a team in baseball that needed to succeed , rather than being continually be looked upon as an “also ran” , then it would have to be the Los Angeles Angels . Team owner, Arte Moreno and GM , Jerry DiPoto made the “big splash” last season obtaining C J Wilson and Albert Pujols , while paying out the “big bucks” in terms of the contracts offered to both players . Yet , for all of that financial commitment , the “ best player “ on the Angels’ roster over the course of 2012 , was rookie sensation Mike Trout , who literally blew the “ door off its hinges “ , while seeking to keep pace with Miguel Cabrera as the most dominant offensive player in the AL during 2012.

And while from a competitive standpoint within AL West , the Angels simply were not up to scratch . Inconsistent pitching became just one of the many problems that Mike Scocsia and his staff had to face , as the team struggled to find their way throughout much of 2012 . A disappointing third place finish, behind the revelation of the season , the Oakland A’s , surprise winners of the division and a postseason entrant from the AL. This left Jerry DiPoto and Arte Moreno , asking , what else might be needed to bolster the team ? Money , off course was no object , given Moreno’s wealth and a financially viable franchise in the nation’s second largest ad market bodes well for the organization . Yet , having to play “ second fiddle” to the Texas Rangers for divisional supremacy over the last few years has proven to be arduous .

Adding into the frustration for the Angels, was seeing the sudden resurrection of the Los Angeles Dodgers , under the ownership of two financial “ big hitters “ and a Hollywood mogul . Throw in an NBA legend as part of ownership group that paid an astonishing $2.155 billion for beleaguered franchise , and with the ensuing talk by minority stakeholder and “ hype-man” , Magic Johnson “ that money would be of no object , in chasing after success” . And one could well understand why Moreno and company might feel like he is on the outside looking in , on a a party that he had been invited to , but somehow security will not relent , and allow him , to enter the party in question .

As I alluded to earlier , pitching was a problem for the Angels during 2012 , but it should also be noted , that a once potent offense suddenly started spluttering for all of the wrong reasons during the most untimely of situations , at times befuddling Mike Scocsia , drawing his ire. The decision was made to acquire free agent slugger , Josh Hamilton, whose final year with the Texas Rangers was filled with highs and lows through much of the season. Hamilton and his agent, Michael Moye, sought a long-term commitment from GM, Jon Daniels of the Rangers. But, team President, Nolan Ryan did not believe it prudent to acquiesce to the player and his agent’s demands, which is said to be a ten-year $275 million contract. Those demands , clearly, could only be met by a select few teams within baseball. DiPoto , at the behest of Arte Moreno swooped in , and a five-year $125 million offer was made to the slugger. Hamilton , will certainly add to the potency of this Angels’ offense, but the greatest concern , would have to be , Josh Hamilton’s health , but more importantly , his well- known sobriety problems. A recovering drug addict and alcoholic , Hamilton, has repeatedly “fallen off the wagon” , much to the angst of his family , but also drawing a certain level of criticism from the Rangers’ front office. I would certainly like to think that Josh Hamilton can keep his sobriety in check while contributing greatly to the aspirations of the Angels this upcoming season !

The Angels will open their regular season schedule with a three-game series against the Oakland A’s , beginning 9th April, 2013 , at Angel Stadium , in Anaheim , California ,.

The AL West will have a new addition to its stable with the relocation of the Houston Astros from the NL Central to its counterpart within the AL. Somehow, I do believe that Astros will be in for a long and arduous season , and for manager , Bo Porters , 2013 , might just be a year he would rather forget. Simply based on the Astros’ record (55-107) in 2012, this is not a team , that I believe will be able to compete their fellow cohabitants within the AL West , much less the rest of baseball ! Sound off , with your thoughts on this particular point raised.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the decision made by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to not have a 2013 candidate inducted in , for this year’s ceremony , do you believe it to be the right decision made ? Or are you of the opinion , that no matter who the nominee might happen to be , he should be voted in , based on the association’s criteria , whether or not they are tainted by the steroids era ? Chime in, with your thoughts on this and anything else you feel pertinent to this topic. Do you believe, that the Los Angeles Angels will be able to mountain substantive challenge within the AL West this season ? And finally, do you believe columnist Bob Nightengale’s article , gave you a much clearer picture as to the mindset of the other adjudicators within the BBWAA ?

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) USA Today columnist , Bob Nightengale, seen here being interviewed by veteran sports’ anchor Bob Costas of NBC Sports . Nightengale a featured with the national daily , is the paper’s featured writer on baseball along with Hal Bodley . Bob Nightengale’s most recent column for the paper, gives us his unique opinion , on why , he will vote for Roger Clemens , Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa to be enshrined from the class of 2013 into Baseball’s Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown , New York .

(2) From left to right , Barry Bonds , Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens . All three were part of the class of 2013 enlistees eligible for the adjudication process for Baseball’s Hall of Fame . The trio having been stained by “steroid era” within the game , failed to obtain the necessary warranted votes (75%) to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. AP Photo / Ellis Parsons ….

(3) MLB Commissioner , Bud Selig , left , is seen here , with now former Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner , Frank McCourt . The beleaguered businessman was forced to take the famed ball-club into bankruptcy proceedings whilst in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from ex-wife, Jamie McCourt. Bud Selig presided over this , but it was widely known that McCourt had been contravening the bye-laws of the game by using the franchise as business collateral for several of his surreptitious business deals . The league hierarchy was forced to send in an outside authority (C Thomas Schiffer) to preside over the ball-club on a day-to-day basis , much to the dislike of the owner , who stated that he was being a scapegoat for baseball’s own deficiencies . The Dodgers were auctioned off in what was said to be a sealed “bidding process” for the sum of $2.156 billion . However , a number of team owners were dissatisfied with the process , especially after it was revealed that Bud Selig interjected himself in the midst of the deliberations , and is said to have favored the winning consortium’s bid , prior to the whole endeavor’s commencement . AP/ Getty Images / Paul M . Metcalf …

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

(5) Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno joins free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, right, for photographs at a news conference, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. Hamilton, a five-time All-Star and l2010 AL MVP, joins the Angels MLB team after signing a $125 million, five-year contract . Clockwise from Moreno is his wife Carole, Hamilton’s wife Katie, holding daughter Stella, Hamilton; with daughters Sierra, Michaela, and Julie. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …

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