Wah, Wah , Wah …… ! I Am Not Bitching , I Am Just Telling You Like It Is ……

Wah, Wah , Wah …… ! I Am Not Bitching , I Am Just Telling You Like It Is ……

By tophatal ………

Now that sanity has begun to set in due to the inane stupidity being shown not just the alumni of Penn State but also indirectly those specifically whose job it was to protect these victims at the heart of an unconscionable crimes perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky . I would like to think that the school can move ahead with some degree of certainty but when I thought that was about to happen it would appear that with firing of Joe Paterno , the resignation of Tim Curley and the administrative leave supposedly taken by Gary Schultz we now have the board of trustees of the of the university have decided that they will conduct their own in-house investigation. In reality given the cover up that took place with former university president Gary Spanier in conjunction with the campus police and Curley simply covering up the acts of Sandusky .


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It’s simply even more reprehensible that Jerry Sandusky used his position as a board member of the charitable foundation he started The Second Mile Group to procure his young victims for his perverted sexual acts ! Now when such former Penn State greats such as Franco Harris and Matt Millen come out in support of the now beleaguered Paterno , to my mind it smacks of incredulity and a lack of understanding as to the serious ramifications and the allegations against the university itself ! Millen as a board member of Sandusky’s foundation has yet to step down from his seat on the charitable organization but yet he is simply looking to deflect much of the controversy away from the foundation while at the same time trying to be respectful to the victims. If he had any decency he would simply announce that he is indeed resigning his position from the board. .

Meanwhile interim head coach Tom Bradley has been advised that he will not be retaining the position long term as the successor to Joe Paterno . Also Mike McQueary has informed the players that he will not be with them on when they face the Nebrask (Cornshuskers) this past Saturday at Beaver Stadium . Newly installed Penn State president Rodney Erickson made the decision that it would not be appropriate for Mike McQueary to be on the sidelines for the football team . Fred Frazier a lawyer and spokesman on behalf of the university formally announced the intent to have an in depth inquiry as to the events that have taken place and what actions if any must be taken so that such an incident or incidents are not repeated again.

It would appear that McQueary knows that his tenure may well be up with administration but for now only time will tell. Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett who also is a board of trustee member , can see that in order that if the school is to come out of this with some modicum of its image in tact , then any type of investigation has to show a great deal of transparency . Given the behavior shown by the school throughout this entire episode it would be in the school’s best interest if they actually bring in outside legal counsel to conduct the investigation . There is mounting evidence to suggest also that the State Attorney General’s Office headed by Linda Kelly working in conjunction with the state police under commissioner Frank Noonan may well obtain additional indictments against Sandusky . Scott Paterno the son of Joe Paterno has made the statement that his father sought legal counsel and has hired a criminal attorney. For now, let us hope that the transparency sought will be clear for all to see rather than the idiocy we have all witnessed .

The one thing that we do know that will happen concerning the football program as well as other athletic endeavors at the university is that it will have a profound and lasting effect as potential recruits shy away from their current or future commitment to the school. And from a purely academic standpoint it may well be the same for the none student athlete also . Thereby deepening the loss of revenue for Penn State . And one should also take into account the various corporate sponsors whose brand are tied in with the athletics program . Get the feeling that right about now they are not thinking cutting their ties with the school ? When there is said millions of dollars at stake you will either get to see the best or the very worst in people . So far we have seen the reprehensible and the nowhere near the best in what we ought to expect from an educational establishment those entrusted to be the custodians of the most vulnerable amongst us .

Well as far as I am concerned the off season of ( MLB) baseball involves a great deal of posturing by the agents , teams , general mangers and free agents as they seek the best terms available to them . With a number of players already on the move it should come as no surprise that the salaries being bandied about will exorbitant to say the very least. Johnathan Papelbon the former Boston Red Sox closer an unrestricted free agent signed a four year $50 milllion contract to succeed Brad Lidge as the Phillies’ closer for the 2012 season . Far be it for me to suggest that is not exactly money well spent but given the issues that the Philadelphia Phillies faced this past postseason I can only surmise that the team’s general manager Reuben Amaro feels that this was the best way to proceed for the organization as a whole .

As to the Boston Red Sox with the upheavals within the front office with the departure of Theo Epstein leaving to become the head of Baseball Operations with the Chicago Cubs , the former general manager was succeeded by Ben Cherington . His first priority will be to find a replacement for the now departed Terry Francona who was offered a contract extension in the aftermath of the team missing the postseason . The organization has interviewed a number of candidates for the vacant managerial position as well as interviewing several aspirees from within their own managerial staff . No decision as of yet has been made by Cherington and team president Larry Lucchino but I expect that the Boston Red Sox’s search will be very exhausting and thorough . For a team that was said to have underachieved a manager who is experienced , determined and prepared to light a fire under the ass of the players may well be what is needed for this organization.

Two of the most highly prized free agents this off-season are prospective NL MVP candidates Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes . Both players are coming off highly productive seasons for their respective teams and it will be very interesting to witness which of the two will end up with the game’s biggest individual prize. Pujols and the St Louis Cardinals won their second World Series title in the last six years and the organization’s fifth series overall over the course of its history. For Jose Reyes and the New York Mets this was simply another disappointing season for a beleaguered organization and team . On and off the field problems were simply too much to bear for the New York Mets as the year simply unraveled in front of their now weary fans , who attended the home games at Citi Field in Flushing , New York . That monstrosity was built at the cost of $775 million but was sparsely attended as the season progressed for the Mets and thing simply got from bad to worse , something that seemed to emblematic of the idiocy and stupidity exhibited the team’s joint owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon .

The New York Mets are on course to lose in excess of $200 million this season and given the fact that the organization and its two most prominent owners Katz and Wilpon are the defendants in a civil suit seeking to recoup monies received via the Bernard Madoff ” Ponzi Scheme . The lawyer representing the plaintiffs Irving Picard of the law firm Baker Hostetler LLC has steadfastly suggested that Fred Willpon , Saul Katz and senior executives within the Mets’ organization as well as senior executives of the duo’s investment company Sterling Equities Inc knew that the funds received over the course of almost a decade and a half were from a larcenous act. The case is currently being adjudicated in US Federal Court has yet to reach a verdict and baseball’s hierarchy we are informed is said to be closely monitoring those proceedings .

Well , if the league’s handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ” mea-culpa” is anything to go by we might just be in for an off season of some really epic and comedic proportions. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig simply lowered his head , buried it in the sand as Frank McCourt , his now ex wife Jamie McCourt simply plundered and raided the coffers of the organization , which is now in bankruptcy proceedings —- ___ with the now beleaguered owner , McCourt , reluctantly agreeing to sell the team. As to what the future now holds with the Los Angeles Dodgers now up for auction to the highest bidder it will be interesting to see which potential suitors are prepared to throw their hats into the ring . I can only hope that the company handling the auction on behalf the court in conjunction with the league hierarchy will use due diligence as they seek a potential new owner for the team . The experience of The Blackstone Group would suggest that they are capable of doing this in providing the league with a credible new owner , which is clearly something that wasn’t the case when Selig , the hierarchy and team owners first approved the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Frank McCourt.

With the Florida Marlins set to move into their new home (site of the Orange Bowl in downtown Miami) and be renamed the Miami Marlins you simply knew that the organization would want to make a really big splash. Having agreed in principle to hire Ozzie Guillen to succeed Frank McKeown the ownership group led by Jeffrey Loria have met privately with both Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes with a view to signing one , if not both players . Given the financial constraints placed on this team over the years I find it somewhat farcical Loria is now willing to dig deep into his pockets to acquire either player ! Both Pujols and Jose Reyes are likely to command a hefty premium in terms of the salaries sought .

Dan Lozano the agent for Albert Pujols is not likely to offer a hometown discount to the St Louis Cardinals and that clearly will not be the case with the Florida Marlins . Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak and the team’s front office will continue to deliberate inhouse and negotiate with the now unrestricted free agent as they seek to find some common ground . It is obvious that Pujols feels that he ought to be rewarded commensurate with his talent but also in comparison to the top salaried players in the game . And it will d no doubt be the same for Jose Reyes who with his agent Scott Boras casting his eye over the whole landscape as many of his clients seek new contracts . To my mind it has been Boras and the inane idiocy of the general managers , the MLBPA (union) in conjunction with the league hierarchy that has brought the game to this financial morass . Scott Boras has been the omnipresent factor over the last decade and a half as he and his fellow sports agents within the game have simply driven up the asking price for players looking to extend their contracts or be signed as a free agent . Simply look at the Boras’ most recent high profiled clients such as Mark Teixeira , C C Sabathia , Barry Zito and most recently Stephen Strasburg and the contracts signed by those individuals ? It is clear that this off season the agent is about to make great deal of money by way of his commission , as the players he is entrusted to represent will be signing lucrative contracts .

Publicity gimmick , merely to entice the Latin community within South Florida as the Marlins seek to sign two high profiled players ? I will let you be the judge of that ! Personally , given the connivance of Jeffrey Loria as he has finagled , spoon fed and bamboozled the city of Miami , the Miami Dade County government and the state of Florida , has me wondering who in essence will actually end up paying for the owner’s machinations ! Since his tenure as the principal partner of the ownership group , we have seen the payroll of the team pared down repeatedly each season , while he has pled poverty . And at the same time the Marlins as an organization has been one of the biggest recipients of the league hierarchy’s idiotic and odious tax sharing revenue scheme or more appropriately scam !

The Florida Marlins as an organization may well be back on the way to seeking a modicum of respectability but given the fact that Jeffrey Loria’s actions have always been viewed of a a surreptitious nature. Granted, he has sought to bring in Ozzie Guillen as Jack McKeon’s successor , is a doubt in anyone’s mind that should things start to go South” between the animated manager and the ownership ____ we are likely to see the volatile relationship that he had with his former managerial team the Chicago White Sox and in particular with GM Kenny Wiliams .

I will continue to contend that the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme has done little to level the playing field concerning the game ! Not when many of the owners within the baseball would rather redirect those fundse elsewhere rather than bolstering their rosters . Bob Nutting , Lewis Wolff , David Glass , Jeffrey Loria and Drayton McClane . At some point the league hierarchy , team owners and the and union will begin to realize the template that for the league’s business plan just isn’t working.

So Thursday night’s 24-17 loss by the San Diego Chargers (4-4) to the Oakland Raiders (5-4) may well have been the team’s last ditched effort to turn their season around . At this point I have to believe that the Chargers’ front office led by GM AJ Smith who will have to assess Norv Turner and his entire coaching staff . Repeatedly over the past four seasons the coach and this team have come up short and this season fighting for their very existence it seems to be deja-vu all over again.

The struggles for the Chargers this season has come down to the fact that the defense has struggled and at the same time their Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers does seem to be having a down year even by his own lofty standards . And as Rivers struggles then so does this team in all aspects of their game .

If doubts are coming into question concerning Philip Rivers then also those very same questions have to arise concerning the decisions made by Norv Turner concerning the team’s draft selections and their free agency acquisitions . The loss of such stalwarts as Darren Sproles , Shawne Merriman and LaDainian Tomlinson may not have seemed acute at the time but their departure has changed this team adversely.

Vincent Jackson , Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews are viewed as the only potent weapons beyond the team’s quarterback . It is hard to envisage how the San Chargers turn their season around given the morass they now find themselves in. The AFC West finds itself with the Oakland Raiders (5-4) leading the San Diego Chargers (4-4) , who are then followed by the Kansas City Chiefs (4-4) and the Denver Broncos (2-6) . Such has been the banality of the play within the division that you cannot deny the fact the AFC West has to be one of the worst in all of the NFL !

I may well be wrong in my assumption but it may be time for Dean Spanos as owner of the San Diego Chargers to begin to weigh his option concerning the team’s head coach . Either he pulls the trigger by jettisoning Norv Turner at the end of the year or he chooses to retain the the coach. Obviously the premise behind this has to be whether not the Chargers making the postseason , either way something has to be done if only for the future of the franchise.



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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do take time to proffer up a comment and as always thanks for the continued support.




Contact : tophatal e-mail address ….. rapptu@gmail.com . Any suggestions that you might have with regard to the content matter or topics you would like to discuss.

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(1) In this photo provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky, center, is placed in a police car in Bellefonte, Pa., to be taken to the office of Centre County Magisterial District Judge Leslie A. Dutchcot on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight young men. Also, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and Penn State vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, 62, are expected to turn themselves in on Monday in Harrisburg, Pa., on charges of perjury and failure to report under Pennsylvania’s child protective services law in connection with the investigation into the abuse allegations against Sandusky. AP Photo/Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services ….

(2) In his Nov. 12, 2011 file photo, Penn State tight end Andrew Szczerba takes a knee after the team’s 17-14 loss to Nebraska in an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. Penn State played for the first time in decades without former head coach Joe Paterno, after he was fired in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant coach. As Penn State leaves a harrowing week behind and takes tentative steps toward a new normal, students and alumni alike wonder what exactly that means. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(3) Penn State running back Brandon Beachum (3) is tackled by Nebraska’s Lance Thorell (23) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Nebraska won 17-14 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puska ….

(4) Rapper Pitbull performs at the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, unveiling of their new uniforms, name and logo in Miami, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ….

(5) Previously the Florida Marlins, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria holds up a Florida Marlins cap to toss away before introducing the Marlins new uniform, name and logo during an unveiling in Miami, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Alan Diaz …

(6) FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2011 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols prepares for Game 4 of baseball’s World Series , against the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. Pujols’ first free-agent tour is off to a surprising start: The three-time NL MVP is visiting the Florida Marlins, Friday Nov. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(7) FILE – In this July 16, 2011, file photo, New York Mets’ Jose Reyes jokes with teammates in the dugout during the seventh inning of baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field in New York. Reyes is being courted by the Florida Marlins, who treated the All-Star shortstop to a tour of their new ballpark and lunch on South Beach. Reyes was in Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, team president David Samson said on his weekly radio show on WAXY-AM. AP. Photo/Paul J. Bereswill ….

(8) San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes (98) sacks Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) and causes a fumble during the third quarter of an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. The Chargers recovered the fumble. The Raiders won 24-17 . AP Photo/Denis Poroy …

(9) SAN DIEGO, CA – NOVEMBER 10: Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers leaves the field after throwing an interception to Matt Giordano (27) of the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Raiders won 24-17. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …

(10) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers reacts to a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders as he leaves the field at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(11) San Diego Chargers cornerback Quintin Jammer (23) walks past as Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) celebrates his third-quarter touchdown catch with teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh (84) in an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull ……
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Lauryn Hill ………. “Lost Ones ”

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Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Not A Moment Too Soon …… If You’re A Sport’s Fan !

Well not enough can be said as we have all yearned to see the arrival of the NFL regular season and the beginning of play within the league . Thursday night we get to witness the last two Superbowl champions open the season with the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints laying the groundwork for the NFL calendar year.. Clearly after the league hierarchy and NFLPA , seemingly now having reached an accord , the fans may well be quite happy to see the resumption of the NFL . Most certainly on 11th September when the season really gets into full swing with a full schedule of games that will also commemorate the the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of the terrorist attacks of “9/11” . That if anything , will be a somber moment not only for the fans but also for the entire nation as well as the NFL as the nation remembers those lost on that most solemn of days .


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Beyond those events which will do doubt be commemorated by MLB , WNBA and NASCAR the country can take pride that it has remained steadfast in its resolve as it seeks to defeat an enemy who sought bring down this nation and all that it stands for.

During this off-season the Green Bay Packers celebrated their victory with gusto and the fans were vibrant in their celebration of the team’s accomplishment. Coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff can be commended on a job well done and now comes the hard part in trying to make a successful run as they seek to defend their title. Certainly for Superbowl MVP Aaron Rodgers having erased the memories of his predecessor Brett Favre , the young quarterback now commands the respect of the Packers’ fans as well as his teammates . I certainly believe that the Green Bay Packers alongside the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints are amongst the favorites within the NFC who can be legitimately viewed as favorites for the Superbowl. That picture however is liable to change over the course of the season , given the uncertainties that do tend to arise such as injuries to key players and that of the consistency of the teams as schedule progresses.

In large part the Packers’ core remains intact from last season but the the team has made those perfunctory off season moves as well as taking the best talent available in the NFL Draft . Certainly , for Aaron Rodgers , Greg Jennings , Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews this could well prove to be something fortuitous given the team’s play last season and the consistency shown during the playoffs . If the Green Bay Packers can continue to show that same type of consistency then they could very well make a successful defense of their Superbowl title.

Is it me but there seems to be a degree of hypocrisy within the NFL that is often overlooked ? With Terrelle Pryor being asked to sit out the first games of his professional career within the league with the Oakland Raiders . Initially after his hiring by the Indianapolis Colts as a consultant Jim Tressel’s it appears was initially set . Colts’ GM Bill Polian in particular may well have felt that the hiring would be of benefit to the organization and a way of the former Buckeyes’ coach to seek redemption. But herein lies the caveat to this all, the NFL in conjunction with the NCAA has sought to distance itself from the wrongdoing of an athlete or coach at the collegiate level by instigating a form of punishment . It would appear that upon his hiring Polian felt that Jim Tressel would not only be a welcome hire but also not having to face any form of punishment . Less we forget , when Tressel allegedly left Ohio State there was little if any real form of punishment levied against the coach . An apology from Jim Tressel that was as meaningless and if anything an insult to the fans of the program from a man whose character , integrity and honesty were less forthright. Anyone who’s of the opinion that a $250,000 fine is a harsh enough penalty and somehow having to miss coaching a number of coaching duties clearly is either an idiot or simply doesn’t care as to the acts perpetrated by the former college coach .

With the NFL hierarchy having sought in-house legal counsel , a formal statement has been issued by both the league and from the Colts’ front office stating that Jim Tressel would have to forfeit the first six games of the team’s regular season before he can begin his tenure as a special consultant for the organization. Too harsh or simply not harsh enough ? It is at times like this I have to question not only the priorities of the NFL which seems seem to be intent on creating an image that’s surreal and going to almost any length to making a quick buck at the expense of the fans as needs be ! While I detest the actions of Tressel and that of his players I feel that before we can indict the coach the feeling has to be that the league hierarchy and team owners have to be held to a higher standard. It’s complete idiocy to think that the Indianapolis Colts would consider to hire the coach and then feel that there would not be any form of blowback ! Jim Irsay and Bill Polian are either that naive or they simply just couldn’t give a damn as to what allegations were levied against Jim Tressel. I wonder if they would have been such staunch advocates of the hire had this been anyone else but the former Buckeyes’ coach ? Think about it before giving an answer .

If there is anything that can be said as the baseball season now begins to wind down it has to said that the teams vying for the divisional leads as well as the wildcard berths are simply looking to play themselves into contention with a view to the divisional series and beyond .

It’s pretty much safe to say that both Roy Halladay and Justin Verlander are having extraordinary season’s for their respective teams . And it would be pretty much safe to say that bar the shouting , both the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers are well on the way to winning their respective divisions (NL East & AL Central) with a certain amount of ease . The divisional leads that they seemingly command over their closest rivals do appear to be insurmountable and unless both the Phillies and Tigers self implode , then I would find it hard to believe that either the Atlanta Braves or the Cleveland Indians can find a way to topple either of the teams in question !

I don’t know that a manager can take any type of pride in seeing their team be routed by a divisional rival but somehow the Chicago White Sox’s Ozzie Guillen was all smiles as the team were soundly beaten (18-2) and given an ass whupping of the highest order by the Detroit Tigers, who played host to their divisional rivals at Comerica Park , in Detroit , Michigan. Far be it for me to suggest that Guillen can take pride in this performance by his players but I do believe that it sends the wrong message to the fans of the White Sox who witnessed the team put up such a mediocre display against Jim Leyland’s team . And if the rumors are to be believed then this may well be the last season that we may well Ozzie Guillen as manager of the Chicago White Sox , as it is being widely reported that Florida Marlins’ team President David Sansom will be gauging the manager’s interest in succeeding interim coach Jack McKeon . From a personal standpoint having once been a staunch supporter of the team I feel for one that it would be a good hire should the premise actually begin to take shape but until the end of the season we are not going to made aware as to where Guillen’s professional future may well lay .

White Sox GM Kenny Williams as well as team owner Jerry Reinsdorf have yet to issue a public statement on the matter but it is clear that the executives have come to question their manager’s handling of the team over the course of the season . Ozzie Guillen , could never be accused of being shy to show his emotions but it has become increasingly clear that as much as he has the respect of his players , he can at times be viewed as something of an ingrate and condescending towards the game day officials as well the fans. But what cannot be denied is having led the organization to their most recent triumph in the World Series , he has done little to suggest that he’s about to lead them there again anytime soon .

With the Florida Marlins set to move into their new ball-park in 2012 it was felt that an experienced and high profiled manager would be best to lead this young Marlins’ team as they seek to reinvigorate the interest of the fans within the area . It is becoming increasingly clear with average attendance of a meager 16,000 fans currently attending the Marlins’ home games , it has to be said that anything that can be done to peak the interest of the fans must be done quickly and with a great deal of resolve . There has been very little for the Marlins’ fans to be extremely excited about over the course of this season . The team itself has never been in serious contention within the NL East , much less for the wildcard berth within the NL .The team appears to have the talent but there’s little if any real leadership forthcoming from the presumed veterans or for that matter from the coaching staff , themselves . The productivity from the Florida Marlins as a whole can best be described as nonchalant or mediocre !

Having been privileged to witness the highs and lows of the Florida Marlins from their inception to their two World Series triumphs , to the political intrigue associated with team owner Jeffrey Loria and the entire front office somehow beguiling the Miami city commission and Mayor Thomas Regalado . What took place with the city commission somehow having agreed to finance the building of a $450 million state of the art venue for the organization all at the expense of the city of Miami. The stories of the decision and much of deception that has taken place concerning this episode has been well chronicled , as too were the clandestine meetings arranged between Regalado , the Marlins’ ownership and in particular senior members of the MLB hierarchy under the leadership of Commissioner Bud Selig .

If the commissioner can take such a proactive position in aiding the Marlins then how is it that he can be so reluctant to deal with similar issues concerning both the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays ? Oh, never mind as that would be expecting far too much from the game’s highest ranked official as we have all witnessed his sheer stupidity in the handling of the malfeasance of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the gross negligence of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as the owners of the New York Mets . I have come not to expect too much from the game of baseball other than what is actually witnessed on the field of play, because to expect anything else from the league hierarchy by way of leadership would be to expect the current members of both the House of Representatives and Senate to show some form bi-partisanship. That certainly isn’t about to happen at this juncture or at any time in the immediate future ! Simply put , the federal government much like baseball’s hierarchy are completely devoid of any form of intelligence !

So it appears out of the wood-works comes a white knight hoping to rescue from the rubble the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers. Dr William Burke co-founder and director of the Los Angeles Marathon leads a consortium that has lodge a formal bid with the US Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware , looking to purchase the organization. What makes this bid all the more interesting is the mere fact that the bidding consortium has the backing of the Chinese government through one of China’s most prominent financial institutions. This would be the first time that an governmental agency should this bid prove to be successful , that such an entity would become a stake holder in a North American professional sports’ franchise.

Certainly with the MLB hierarchy would have give its blessing and final approval on such a deal . Much of this also would be predicated upon Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt initially agreeing to sell the ball club but this would also be based on the presiding judge overseeing the case would also have approve such a deal as the bankruptcy proceedings have yet to be finalized . At this juncture , given the fact that McCourt has always maintained that it is not his intent to sell the team , this could lead to a long protracted issue regarding the very existence of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has become even more clear that although McCourt was able to obtain additional financing ($150 million loan from JP Morgan Chase ) to meet the team’s budgetary expenses until the end of the season , beyond that there’s no certainty that the beleaguered owner knows where any additional will actually be coming from .

Beyond the idiocy of this whole debacle it has become abundantly clear for all to see that Bud Selig’s handling of this matter can best be described as a complete sham ! The commissioner and the entire hierarchy have behaved been like bumbling oafs from the silent movie era. The Keystone Cops would certainly be proud of the performances and actions of the hierarchy . Were it not for the gross stupidity of Frank McCourt and the Dodgers’ front office executives perhaps this situation would not have become so grave. At this point it is hard to view how this situation can either get much better or for that matter simply get much worse . Frank McCourt has proven as owner that he has never had the best interests of this team and their financial well being at hand. If anything he and his now ex wife , Jamie McCourt merely viewed this organization as their personal ATM . But yet somehow in the midst of this all Bud Selig has used about as much intelligence to be found in a lump of fecal matter ! .



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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

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(1) FILE- This Aug. 12, 2011 file photo shows Atlanta Falcons quarterback John Parker Wilson, left, fumbling as he is hit by Miami Dolphins cornerback Jimmy Wilson in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Atlanta. Even during the longest, hottest, most grueling practice, A Miami Dolphins rookie, Wilson wears a smile from ear hole to ear hole. Wilson’s perspective is a little different from most players because of his peculiar path to the NFL. He spent two years in jail on a murder charge before winning acquittal in July 2009. AP Photo/David Manning …..

(2) GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 1: Vic So’oto (97) of the Green Bay Packers runs for a touchdown on an interception during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……

(3) Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers argues a call with field judge Mike Weir (50) during a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on September 1, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …….

(4) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton , left, talks with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak at an NFL preseason football game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. The Titans won 32-9 . AP Photo/Bill Haber ….

(5) New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, left, and quarterback Drew Brees (9) watch from the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……

(6) FILE: In this Oct. 23, 2010 file photo, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Columbus, Ohio. Tressel was hired Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, by the Indianapolis Colts as a game-day consultant to help determine when the team should challenge plays. However in light of the hiring the NFL has imposed a six game ban upon the former Buckeyes’ coach that forbids Tressel from joining the Colts’ staff in his capacity as a gameday consultant . Personally my question for the Colts’ front office , is it there wish to reward the coach for his infamy while at Ohio State when one bears in mind his actions there prior to his leaving the program ? Photo/Tony Dejak ….

(7) Colts’ GM Bill Polian (left) is seen here with team owner Jim Irsay along the sidelines during a Indianapolis Colts’ game. Polian is said to be the primary protagonist behind Tressel’s hiring having been in consultation with the franchise owner . Indianapolis Star /Sam Riche …..

(8) Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (13) spits some sunflower seeds as he watches the action from the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers, after the Tigers scored 16 runs on 22 hits in the first sixth innings of the game at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeted the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images…

(9) Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers looks to Andy Dirks (12) after hitting a two-run home run to center-field in the sixth inning during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on September 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 18-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….

(10) (L-R) Florida Marlins team President David Samsom, now former City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Florida Marlins baseball team’s new stadium on July 18, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The park is scheduled to open in 2012 and the team intends to change its name to the Miami Marlins prior to the completion of the ballpark. Marc Serota/Getty Images North America ……

(11) City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado (R) listens as police Chief Miguel A. Exposito speaks during a press conference to announce “Operation Take Back Our Streets”‘ on August 10, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Miami Police Department launched the operation in response to recent shootings in the Model City and Little Haiti communities of Miami. The city has seen a number of shootings recently using high powered assault weapons. Esposito has recently been suspended by the City Manager Johnny Martinez on the recommendation of the city commission . Joe Raedle / Getty Images …….


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Had Your Dose Of Sports Over The Weekend ?

Had Your Dose Of Sports Over The Weekend ?

Well for myself the sporting weekend transitioned itself around Rory McIlroy simply decimating a world class field at the US Open at Congressional Golf Club in Bethesda , Maryland . The margin of victory not withstanding a resounding 8 stroke victory by McIlroy over his closest rival Jason Day . Now the whole world will want to know what awaits McIlroy and how would he have fared had Tiger Woods been in the field ? From my own perspective given Woods’ recent run of form I doubt that the result would have been any different ! Suffice to say while Woods remains the yardstick against which the current contemporaries are to be adjudged , in reality the Tiger of old isn’t currently around .


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Things are now beginning to look rather bleak for the Florida Marlins . In the month of June this team has won only one of their last eighteen games and the fact that manager Edwin Rodriguez simply walked away from the organization and team having tendered his resignation simply indicates how dire things had become for the NL East franchise . Now with eighty year old Jack McKeon being asked by GM Larry Beinfest to assume control of this beleaguered team I am not so sure that things can be drastically turned around .

Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress soon have his freedom having been incarcerated at the taxpayers’ expense . And for the player who now looks to resurrect his NFL career it will be interesting to see what teams if any take an open interest in the former Pro Bowl wideout . Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has made it his desire to have Burress become a teammate of his with the Eagles . But I doubt that either team coach Andy Reid or GM Joe Banner are seeking to make another reclamation project out of another troubled NFL player . Vick in spite of his successes last season still has a long way to go to prove to everyone that he’s actually back to his very best as a player but even more so as a leader .

There’s no doubt in my mind that Burress still has something to offer to a team but given the player’s predilection to self implode , if I were a general manager much less an NFL team owner his joining my organization would have to be based upon his demeanor and actual acknowledgement that he has now changed for the better as a human being . Beyond that not much else would really matter other than him being productive on the field of play .

There’s no doubt in my mind that the rules of the NFL are there for a reason especially where it involves the players concerning gambling. It is now being widely reported that as many twenty five NFL players are known to be investors in a gaming concern in Alabama . The owner of the casino Country Crossing —- Ron Gilley is under indictment by the Justice Department along with two lobbyists for offering state legislator millions of dollars in bribes in order to facilitate the approval and building of the casino in Dothan , Alabama .

The NFL’s rules are very clear on this matter wherein it states that current NFL players are barred from being involved in any type of gaming concern from a business standpoint . In doing so it creates the perception that in some way that there could be a conflict of interest and any type of impropriety that a player or players whilst on the field of play could effect the outcome of game . Well given the fact that the league as such welcomes to the actions of gamblers betting on their games I can’t see how they feel that an NFL player hasn’t been wagering on the games where they are already participants ! It would be naïve to think otherwise , albeit that no one has been caught but I think it is pretty safe to say that the players around the NFL have their own proclivities when it comes to games of chance . Tens of millions of dollars are wagered each year on the Superbowl and I am quite sure that there have been a number of players around the NFL that have profited directly or indirectly from placing a bet on the game . The NFL hierarchy if they do decide to conduct an investigation into this matter than the ramifications could well be very serious for the players involved at the center of this drama .

I’ve never been one to get completely enamored over the glare of the limelight or the very fact that some athletes tend to think of themselves as being bigger than the game. But in light of the recent meltdown of the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and the mere fact that the team’s All Star LeBron James has began to chastise the fans for his and his team’s own shortcoming has me now believing more so than ever before that this is the monster that David Stern has created ! Instead of the NBA being a team sport it has now become a heartless ego driven endeavor where upon it is the stars/ marquee players that we are meant to be enthralled by rather than the teams themselves .

If James’ behavior and that of his teammate Dwyane Wade wasn’t enough of an indicator of that then I for one don’t know what is ! ! Self aggrandizement and the mocking of an opponent who at the time was said to be ill shows the lack of class in the two aforementioned players . But yet team President Pat Riley continued to bitch and whine when any criticism was being leveled at the team or his famous duo of stars . In the end nothing could have been much sweeter than seeing the Miami Heat juggernaut being derailed by the Dallas Mavericks and Finals’ MVP Dirk Nowitzki . When all said and done the better and far more deserving team proved to be victorious and laying to rest the myth that having a trio of superstars elicits a win of a title . Teams win titles , where the endeavor is meant to about showing cohesiveness and a genuine will to win and nothing resembling that was ever on display by the Miami Heat throughout the NBA Finals and their series loss to the Dallas Mavericks !

I was never enamored with the NHL and I don’t think I ever will be ! In light of the Boston Bruins having won the Stanley Cup in defeating the Vancouver Canucks . The display by Canucks’ fans in the aftermath of the team’s game seven loss was enough of an indicator that it simply doesn’t matter where the fans are from their baser instincts are always the same ! Act like a Neanderthal and you’ll viewed as such ! The fans went on a postgame riot , looting , burning cars and damaging businesses in the city of Vancouver that in the could run into several million dollars worth of damages . But what might be even more ludicrous may well have been the public statement issued by the city’s police chief , Jim Chu in stating that the incidents and acts of violence resulting in over 100 arrests and 150 people injured were merely the acts of the criminal element with nothing better to do . I wonder if Chu’s mindset would still have been the same had there been far more serious injuries resulting with someone’s death ? Isn’t it bad enough that his city was shown in a thoroughly bad light after these riots , never mind the fact that the game’s image has been tarnished by the events that took place ?

Granted, no sport is ever without its bad elements but the mere fact that Chu chooses to write this off as a criminal element choosing to take advantage of a sporting events smacks of sheer stupidity on his part . If anything it furthermore paints a poor picture of his city and the fact that those involved are nothing more than a marauding bunch of hooligans . That asides , if the hockey fan out there becomes this disgruntled because their team loses in the game’s showcase event then it simply shows another reason why the game continues to flounder in more ways than one from a commercial and professional endeavor .


By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .


Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as your thoughts .

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

Picture and slide show details below .

(1) U.S. Open golf championship winner Rory McIlroy, or Northern Ireland, right, is handed his U.S. Open trophy by Francois-Henry Bennahmias, left, president and CEO of Audemars Piguet (North America) Inc., during an event at the Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee, Mass., Monday, June 20, 2011. AP Photo/The Cape Cod Times, Merrily Cassidy …

(2) Bethseda, Maryland: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and his father Gerry McIlroy pose with the trophy after his eight-stroke victory during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images …

(3) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland speaks with the media after his eight-stroke during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images …

(4) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks onto the eightenth green before winning the 111th US Open by eight strokes over Jason Day with a record 268 at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON …..

(5) Florida Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest, left, talks to reporters as interim manager Jack McKeon looks on during a news conference in Miami, Monday, June 20, 2011. Beinfest announced McKeon’s second term as manager of the Marlins. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ……

(6) Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields , right, is congratulated by catcher Kelly Shoppach after throwing a four-hitter in the Rays’ 2-1 victory over the Florida Marlins in a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, June 19, 2011.

(7) Former New York Giants wide receiver, Plaxico Burress is seen holding onto a cup of coffee and wearing a Philadelphia Phillies hat while out in New York City. On June 6th, Burress was released from prison after nearly spending two years behind bars on gun charges. Courtesy of Pacific coast news.com ….

(8) Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress attends a press conference at National Urban League on June 13, 2011 in New York City. Getty Images North America / Joe Corrigan ……

(9) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles takes the field before playing against the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Getty Images /Al Bello ….

(10) Michael Vick (7) of the Philadelphia Eagles walks of the field after losing to the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles would lose to the Packers 21-16 Getty Images / Al Bello ….

(11) FILE – This June 1, 2011 file photo shows Miami Heat President Pat Riley talking to reporters in Miami. Riley says he will not return to coaching, and says the team has a strong leader in Erik Spoelstra . Riley spoke Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at his annual end-of-season wrap-up and touched on several topics including the disappointment of Miami’s loss in the NBA finals to the Dallas Mavericks. AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File …

(12) Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, fights back tears as fans cheer following his introduction during a celebration following the team’s victory parade, Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks earned their first NBA basketball championship by defeating the Miami Heat. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ……

(13) MIAMI, FL – JUNE 12: LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat walks into the interview room to answer questions after the Heat were defeated 105-95 by the Dallas Mavericks in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

(14) Riot police walk in the street on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images …..

(15) Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron carries the Stanley Cup aloft as he walks through a crowd of onlookers from Tia’s Restaurant in Boston on Thursday, June 16, 2011, one day after the Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals. AP Photo/Elise Amendola ….

(16) Police on horseback move down a street during a riot following the Vancouver Canucks being defeated by the Boston Bruins in the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Angry, drunken revelers ran wild Wednesday night after the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz ….

(17) Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu seen here speaking with the convened press . copyrighted material @ All rights reserved Post Media News / Ethan Baron ……


Who’s Minding The Store ………….. ?

Who’s Minding The Store ?

I really like to understand how it is that with the financial uncertainty that still swirls around the Los Angeles Dodgers that Newscorp through its Fox subsidiary would see fit to loan Fank McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers $30 million to meet the organization’s expenses in terms of paying the team’s salary and that of the other anciliary employees . With the league hierarchy of baseball having brought in C Thomas Schieffer a former Texas Rangers executive as well as being the former US ambassador to Japan to oversee the day to day operations of the Dodgers I would be under the impression that given the Dodgers’ ongoing financial difficulties the league would want to make sure that McCourt would be able to guarantee the repayment of any loan taken out by him to meet the team’s expenses. Not only that but given the fact that Frank McCourt and his now ex wife Jamie McCourt between 2004 through to 2009 had borrowed in excess of $100 million from the team without there being any record to indicate that this sum had been repaid . Now should he be unable to meet the team’s payroll over the coming month there is an even greater chance in all likelihood that the league may well have no other option but to seek the sale of of the Los Angeles Dodgers but first they would have ask McCourt to completely relinquish control of the team.


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Clearly there’s something still amiss concerning the Dodgers , their finances and the mere fact that it has taken MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and his associates within the league hierarchy to even intervene in this situation leads me to believe that their business acumen and what we’re told are sound business practices are complete and sheer utter stupidity . From business standpoint I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of the owners around the league as well as the general managers would know the actual difference between a baking sheet and a balance sheet !

As this ongoing saga continues the less faith I have in the game’s integrity and that of the league hierarchy ! Bud Selig has become a clown of inconceivable magnitude and the fact that given the idiocy of the actions of the executives within the Dodgers’ organization most notably GM Ned Colletti , CFO Peter Wilhelm and Frank McCourt , whose own actions have been so egregious and clearly premeditated I cannot understand how it is that there seems to be no punishment of the owner for his misdeeds other than the mere fact that the league has essentially taken control of the organization. There is a great deal that McCourt has chosen not to be made public and at the same time it would appear that the league wants to cover up many of its own ineptitude in the handling of this situation. Frank McCourt states that the league hierarchy all along has had within their possession a $3 billion television contract deal that would supply the beleaguered organization with all the revenues needed to meet its financial obligations . However , in light of that all the Dodgers prior to this all Frank McCourt had stated that the Los Angeles Dodgers were never in any financial danger but records simply do not bear that out with there being multiple loans taken out by Frank McCourt using the team as collateral .

The league has a mandate that no team can have a debt ratio of more than 10 ten times its earnings but clearly with the Dodgers have contravened the rules in this instance. Bud Selig for his part has yet to make it fully public as to full extent of the problems of the Los Angeles Dodgers but clearly given the wide and varying reports by from various news sources the severity of the problems were so extensive that McCourt was simply being economical with the truth. Now it remains to be seen how long Schieffer will be overseeing the Dodgers’ operations and whether or not the team will in fact end up being sold. Frank McCourt’s ex wife Jamie McCourt has made a request of the judge who presided over her divorce proceedings to seek the court to enforce the sale of the organization . The judge may well not proceed with such an adjudication given the situation at present wherein the league has taken control over the organization. But it would not surprise me that the league’s own legal counsel could well seek out potential buyers for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However , with McCourt stating that he would fight tooth and nail to retain control of the team even if it meant taking legal action against MLB this situation could become a great deal more contentious were the two factions to enter into litigation.

At some point during the season we are liable to see several teams’ fortunes wane in terms of their performances .
Races within the divisions are steadily heating up but it’s still far too early to state what the outcomes will be with regard to where the teams will be at the culmination of the regular season .

Now as we enter the month of June and with the All Star Game set for 12th July to be hosted at Chase Field in Phoenix , Arizona it will be interesting to see what manner the protests will undoubtedly take in terms of the response to that state’s newly enacted law to enforce the state’s unpopular enforcement of the legal right of police officers to request a suspect to prove that they are a legal resident and not an illegal alien. As popular as this law may well be in the eyes of many it certainly has become very unpopular amongst many Latin American players within MLB. And the very fact that the ACLU and La Raza have chosen to closely monitor the actions as the state legislature and Gov Jan Brewer seeks its strict enforcement . I’ve no doubt that this issue as volatile as it has become should be dealt with at the Federal level of the government but given the inactivity and the partisanship within the Senate , Congress and the mere fact that no Presidential administration has seen fit to tackle this matter head on. I am really beginning to think that the mind numbing idiocy shown by the all levels of the government are completely at a loss to actually explain fully what their policy is with regard to illegal immigration !

DHS Chief Janet Napolitano who oversees the INS has been ambiguous at best in explaining the administration’s policy . Insofar as I think that the laws of the land have to be strictly adhered to , there has to be some latitude given to how a state can deal with problems that they deem acute within its own borders. I certainly don’t believe that Bud Selig ought to be forced to take a stance because a number of players oppose this statute no matter what their ethnicity. And even light of Carlos Santana making his outrageous statements at a ball game at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia , clearly shows how volatile this issue has become. However, someone ought to remind Santana that the state of Georgia has seen its own fair share of what he deems to be racial injustice as during the Civil Rights’ era within the state and in particular the city of Atlanta were one of the major epicenters of African American defiance as to the racial injustice that swept the South and across the nation at the time.

Given the history of the game and presumed journey that it has taken over the course of its history there’s no denying that baseball as far as it has come socially and economically there are still a number of issues that remain to be resolved. Jackie Robinson’s entry into the MLB opened up the game for all minorities but bear this in mind the game at the time though inclusive when Hank Aaron broke the alltime home run record he was being vilified the torrents of racial abuse , racial epithets death threats directed at the Hall of Famer would give the impression that in surpassing Babe Ruth’s feat was seen as an abomination by those who felt it beneath them to see an African American break one of sport’s most hallowed records. Now in this modern day and age it is not about the intolerance but what there is to be learned by all parties concerned.

It would appear in the aftermath of the game collision between Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins and the San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey . Giants’ GM Brian Sabean had a few choice words for the Marlins’ utility player and the fact that he felt that Cousins’ actions were unsportsmanlike . Many would disagree with Sabean’s view of the incident but when one takes into account what this loss means for the San Francisico Giants and their season then you can understand the general manager’s ire . Having lost Posey for the year and the players productivity it lessens the possible chance of the Giants quite possibly making the postseason either as a division winner or the wildcard entrant within the NL.

The Giants on a three game win streak but have lost 6 of their last 10 games over that span . For manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff the loss of Posey has to be a tremendous disappointment for the team . And it goes without saying for the fans they cannot be pleased with the loss of a fan favorite . While the debate goes on as to whether or not the league hierarchy needs to do more to protect catcher when at home plate protecting his position from a base runner heading home . I for one believe that the catcher knows of the imminent dangers that are presented in such a scenario . It has become one the traits of the game and there is not much that can be done to avoid such instances as both the catcher defending the plate and the player heading for home know of the prevailing dangers .

Collisions within baseball are part of the game just as much as fighting has become a part of an NHL . From my own perspective it would simply make no sense in changing the rules to supposedly make the game safe for its participants . What might need to be done is the for officials in such instances prior to the game to advise both coaching staffs that there is a need for their players to be aware that no unsportsmanlike conduct will be tolerated on the field . Safety has to be a priority which of course the players and managers are obviously aware of but with hindsight there becomes the issue if what we know to be right from wrong . The collision between Cousins and Posey wasn’t a premeditated act as both players were simply doing what would be normally asked of them . It goes without saying however that the game’s hierarchy may well now begin to monitor such instances to see if there is a flagrant act on the path of a player when such an instance arises between the catcher and an opponent at home plate.



Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Frank McCourt the beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers who could be close to losing control of the team either through its forced sale by the courts or from an unsolicited bid by a group of investors. courtesy of LA Dodgers . …

(2) Jamie McCourt arrives with her attorney, Dennis Wasser for a non-jury divorce trial at Los Angeles County Court August 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The trial, being presided over by Judge Scott M. Gordon in California Superior Court, is to decide whether Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team or his estranged wife and former Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt still has ownership stake in the team. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America ….

(3) Hall of Fame player Ernie Banks (left) is seen here with Carlos Santa (center) and Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia which commemorated the annual Civil Rights’ Game . The rocker would give a passionate but totally unwarranted speech that in part denigrated the state of Georgia with his insipid remarks calling the state and its occupants racists . AP Photo/ Chris Myles …

(4) Brian Sabean, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the San Francisco Giants, watches batting practice before Game Three of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs between the Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park on October 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

(5) Catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, the National League?s rookie of the year in 2010, suffered a leg fracture and torn ligaments when Florida’s Scott Cousins barreled into him at home plate in the 12th inning of the Marlins-Giants game May 25, 2011. Courtesy of ABC News ……


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NB : It is being reported that former MLB players Orel Hershiser and Steve Carlton have formed to a consortium in conjunction with billionaire Ron Burkle to make a formal offer to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers should the league see fit to put the organization up for sale.

Take Two …………. Say What ?

Take Two …………. Say What ?

Former NFL running back Robert Smith who’s now a college game day analyst for ESPN on the network’s show College Game Day was discussing the improprieties surrounding his alma-mater Ohio State . A running back for four years with the school the player excelled with the program before becoming a highly prized and productive player in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings .Now to my mind if there’s anyone who could provide the public with inner workings of that program then it would be Robert Smith . A highly intelligent individual who if he hadn’t become a player in the NFL I have no doubt that he would have become a medical professional , as the player studied medicine at Ohio State with a view to becoming a pediatrician specializing in neo natal medicine.


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Smith in his analysis suggested that as the NCAA is in effect powerless and has no legal powers to to negate the actions of the schools or players and that perhaps the best thing to do would be for the Federal government to be involved with the IRS being given additional powers to investigate any wrong doing where there is monetary gain that’s not reported as income by any students athletes at the collegiate level. He further suggested that state agencies as such could not be truly thought to be impartial in such an endeavor as there would most certainly be a conflict of interest were they placed in a position where they would have to conduct an investigation into a state ran university. Though I don’t fully agree with Smith’s premise I do fully understand that he too like many other fans of collegiate athletics are completely angered and dissatisfied with the malfeasance that is now rampant within collegiate athletics , seemingly at all levels. You have the ongoing situation with Ohio State itself , wherein the actions of Jim Tressel are merely written off as a mere child being caught with his hands in the cookie jar and the punishment exacted upon him by AD Gene Smith at the insistence of university President Dr E Gordon Gee comes across as nothing more than a slap on the wrist .

Another player on the 2010 team is wide receiver Ray Small who in a recent interview went so far as to suggest that a number of Buckeye players had been selling memorabilia and that the coaching staff were fully aware of their actions. However , Small would recant the statement saying that his statement had been in fact been misconstrued by the journalist conducting the interview. Small would state that he and no one else that he knew of had in fact sold their memorabilia for financial gain. I can well understand the change in the player’s statement after his statements had been reported in the college’s own in-house news publication , much to the annoyance of his former teammates . Smalls we would later be advised had failed a drug test and was thrown off the team in late 2010 causing him to make a none appearance in the Buckeyes’ postseason. Insomuch as this is nothing new, what we are finding out is the very fact that the actions of Small is very much widespread. The player himself stated that he knew his actions contravened NCAA rules but he simply didn’t care . And should anyone be surprised by the player’s claims at this juncture ?

My own view is that any form of intervention by the government never serves a real purpose merely because the government cannot be trusted to act with any expediency let alone with any real sign of competence. Be it the Justice Department , IRS or for that matter any a governmental committee which in this could be either the House Oversight Committee or Senate Judiciary Committee . The idiocy of this all however may well be a statement attributed to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe who suggests that the NCAA and the schools can adequately police themselves but the real problems stems from the actions of sports agents , boosters and other outside influences. Unfortunately Beebe completely ignores the actions of Tressel and the lies he told not only to the faculty but also to journalists and members of the public. And for certain ESPN analysts to suggest that Jim Tressel is still a man of honesty and integrity is akin to suggesting that the late Osama bin Laden would somehow seek a peaceful resolution in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jim Tressel is no more a man of integrity or honesty as his most actions all along have belied those statements . Tressel’s less than contrite apology and the idiocy of both Smith and Gee in not firing the coach smacks of their own and innate stupidity ! If anything, their actions have been simply about greed and the very fact that because of the financial gain because of the countless million brought into the football program by Tressel because of his notoriety over the course of his tenure and the team’s success derived thereof.

The chances are that we will never see any of the suggestions made by Smith could ever come to fruition merely because both the NCAA , BCS and major college conferences would rather keep the status quo as is !

Am I mistaken here in thinking that the unfortunate injury suffered by San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey in a collision with the Florida Marlins Scott Cousins during the game in which the Marlins would defeat the Giants 7-6 . That in ofitself isn’t the real story but the real issue is now the number of fans who are now stating that they feel that baseball’s hierarchy should be doing more to protect its catchers . Well considering that MLB simply has never done enough to protect the players in lieu of the steroid era . I mean, who here is of the opinion that during that period in which Commissioner Bud Selig the MLBPA knew of the inherent dangers from the abuse of steroids and the health concerns in the aftermath of its abuse . Cardiac problems , neurological disorders and the obvious harm to the reproductive system but somehow this isn’t something that the league hierarchy , union or the team owners would actually care to address. And we now have idiotic fans wanting to protect a catcher because of the inherent dangers posed to him during a game ? Granted the injury to Posey , a broken leg and the fact that he will be lost the team for the rest of the Giants’ season . But there are far more grave dangers that the players face during a game beyond a home plate collision . Anyone yet within baseball’s hierarchy care to address those issues as of yet ? I guess not !

The San Francisco Giants are on a three game losing streak and are 5-5 in their last 10 games but lead the NL West by two games over the Arizona Diamondbacks (25-24). Now it goes without saying that the loss of Posey to the Giants will be a tremendous to this team as he provides a great deal of offense . Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff will most certainly be looking to boost the moral of the team with the loss of their All Star catcher . Curiously enough with the loss of Posey I do feel that the Giants are still capable of winning their division but at the same time it will come down to how prepared they are in terms of their mindset.

The likes of Aubrey Huff and Aaron Rowand as seasoned veterans on the Giants will now have to assume the mantel of being the leaders for this team if they are to really fare well over the course of the season. If they can show the leadership which I believe that they can , then they they can claim the division outright . I certainly don’t believe that the wildcard entrant will come from the NL West or NL Central for that matter ! That scenario more likely than not will arise from the competitiveness within the NL East . That division with teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies viewed as the presumptive winners of the NL pennant as well as the division will be in a tight race with the Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves is liable to become highly contested three horse race. At present a mere 3 1/2 games separate those three teams atop of the division with the Phillies (31-19) holding a one game lead over the Marlins with the Braves in third place .

The month of June could very tell determine how these teams will fare. It promises to be a very exciting nonetheless.

On much more somber note I found it heartwarming to read that former Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds has made a magnanimous gesture in stating that he’s prepared to meet all future expenses in the education of Giants’ fan Brian Stow’s children. If you remember Stow was the victim of a heinous assault by three assailants at Dodgers Stadium in a game earlier this season between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants . One assailant is now in custody and the LAPD through Police Chief Charlie Beck
has asked for the public’s assistance with any information that will lead to the apprehension of the remaining suspecrs in this ongoing investigation. The three remaining suspects , two men and a female are believed to be of Hispanic origin. The suspect in custody is a known felon to the LAPD who also happens to be a member of one of the most prominent Hispanic gangs within the city of Los Angeles . Giorgio Ramirez a convicted felon has a long and varied arrest record . I’ve no doubt that the city Los Angeles DA’s office will prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law given the viciousness and barbarity of this crime .

Hopefully, this will be something of a wake up call to the league hierarchy , the team owners and in particular the fans . This sort of violence cannot be tolerated under any circumstance but that in ofitself might not be enough to deter a repeat action of this magnitude. The victim’s family has filed a lawsuit against the Dodgers’ organization seeking compensatory and punitive damages in light of the assault on Brian Stow. As to what course such a legal matter may well take remains to be seen given the present circumstances of the Dodgers and their financial well being. There are some fans in the game who feel that it would be in the team’s best interest to settle the matter out of court rather than there being a trial but as I alluded to earlier we can only speculate as to the outcome of this matter for now .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this matter as you would deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………..


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) ESPN College Football analyst Robert Smith seated right discusses the Big 12 with his co-host. ESPN/ABC …..copyrighted material all rights reserved ….

(2) University President E Gordon Gee, Jim Tressel (center) and AD Gene Smith (right) on the podium as they address and take questions from the convened press . It is now being reported that the once embattled coach has since resigned his position as coach of Buckeyes’ football team . AP Photo/Gene J Puskar ….

(3) Former Buckeyes’ wide receiver Ray Small discusses his own improprieties as a players with Ohio State . His interview with ESPN was conducted in conjunction with the network’s magazine program Outside The Lines . Small offered plenty of evidence of misdeeds but would not openly name names as to the cast of characters involved. However in light of an earlier interview given to a school campus journalist it’s hard to know what is in fact the truth and where the lies come into play. courtesy of ABC/ESPN …..

(4) Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe whose opinion it is that the NCAA and major conferences are quite capable of policing themselves without any outside intervention by the federal government or state governmental agency. Somehow Beebe has overlooked the actions Tressel and that of senior executives of the Fiesta Bowl . Political donations that have contravened state federal laws as well as in some cases payments made to a numerous escort agencies that were found to be the committee’s way of payment for the hiring of prostitutes allegedly for entertainment purposes. AP Photo/Chris Carlsson …..

(5) Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins, top, collides with San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) on a fly ball from Emilio Bonifacio during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Cousins was safe for the go ahead run and Florida won 7-6. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(6) San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) is carried off the field after a collision with Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Cousins scored the go-ahead run on the play as Florida won 7-6. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……….

(7) Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (23) leaps overt San Francisco Giants’ Pat Burrell (5) to turn a double play on a ball hit by Cody Ross during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Morry Gash …

(8) San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Milwaukee. AP Photo/Morry Gash ….. ……….


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Simply Follow The Money Honey

Simply Follow The Money Honey

Just as in the silly season with the PGA Tour where they have their non-sensical and end of season tournaments that’s merely another way for the Tour players to pad their already burgeoning bank accounts the same thing applies to MLB (baseball) as prospective restricted and free agents look to cement their bank accounts also. However whereas golf has a wealth of corporate sponsors eager to have their names associated with the sport although the game’s biggest draw _ Tiger Woods has fallen from grace somewhat ,the sport as such still resonates with the fans whenever he’s on the golf course wielding his clubs and not wielding it in the direction of some buxom nubile young female.


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Continue reading “Simply Follow The Money Honey”

Wall St , Main St Who The Fu_k Can Tell The Difference Nowadays ?

Wall St , Main St Who The Fu_k Can Tell The Difference Nowadays ?

It’s really asinine to hear these late sports’ radio talk show hosts regale us about how passionate they are abourt sports and how they view it as part of the fabric of society. Well if that means lying cheating and stealing then it now most certainly is . Nowhere perhaps more so than within the sport of MLB (baseball) where Bud Selig and his pals have simply shat upon the fans while trying to portray themselves as the paragons of virtue . And for the imbecile who has his own syndicated late night talk show on Fox Sports Radio please shut the fu_k up once and for all as you’re making a complete ass of yourself kissing and licking the ass of Selig as if it’s actually the nectar of the Gods ……………. for the unitiatated that’s wine.

Within the past forty eight hours it’s come to the public’s notice what sort of fraud has been perpetrated upon the public and barely a damn thing will be done neither by the hierarchy of baseball , or for that matter the so called journalists who actually cover the sport in great detail. One thing I can assure you won’t hear anyone from within the so called hallowed halls of ESPN or Fox Sports question the actions of the teams and the office of Bud Selig as it has come to our notice the actions and antics of Bob Nutting ( Pittsburgh Pirates) , Jefrey Loria ( Florida Marlins) and to a lesser extent the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office in their business dealings . We’ve had Congress via the House Oversight & Reform Committee subpoaena Selig and slew of inidividuals within the game and representatives from the MLBPA in order to question them upon the actions that took place during the steroid era. Those hearings have turned out to be a farce and a complete waste of time as nothing has been resolved other than the idiotic claim by Selig that the game now has the most stringent testing policy of the four major sports . When Selig has the mind and wherewithal to blow smoke up someone’s ass he certainly doesn’t confine himself by doing it with half measures . He simply proceeds to commit you to bend over and drive that ramrod right up your rectum for good measure. In light of that I’m now beginning to wonder with the revelations that the profits earned by the Marlins , Pirates and Rays. And with them each having been in receipt of not only monies by way of MLB’s tax sharing revenues but also from the very fact that state governmental agencies as well as municipalities____ have gone out of their way to make sure that these teams have been given overly beneficial tax cuts and exemptions whilst little tangible has been recouped by those agencies in return.


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Slide-show for your perusal .

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear certain individuals state that there ought not to be any government intervention when it comes to sports. Well to hell with that when the federal government has seen fit to give their governing bodies of all four major sports anti-trust exemption and then sit idly by when those hierarchies simply defraud the public and fans alike without doing anything . I beg the question why then did they seek to throw their full wrath against the likes of Bernie Madoff and the entire board of Enron , WorldCom Inc. and a slew of corproate entities who in effect through creative accounting were allowed to get away with bleeding billions out of the pockets of hard working employees and their shareholders. Granted, the SEC couldn’t find its ass from a whole in the ground . Simply another government agency that is about as much use as a piece of fecal matter stuck on the sole of one’s shoes. But when will the members in particular of the House Oversight Committee wake the hell up and actually do their jobs . Because as of now Bud Selig and the team owners cannot be trusted at all tell the truth much less be completely transparent in their dealings. The actions of the team in question though on the surface may appear to be legal but in some respects I do believe that were the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) brought in to take a comprhensive look at the books of not only MLB but aslo each of the thirty ballclubs there would be some eyebrows raised as to what has gone on and what the heirarchy of the game has most certainly allowed them to get away with .

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Marlins’ profits came at taxpayer expense

By Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports

The swindlers who run the Florida Marlins got exposed Monday. They are as bad as anyone on Wall Street, scheming, misleading and ultimately sticking taxpayers with a multibillion-dollar tab. Corporate fraud is alive and well in Major League Baseball.

A look at the leak of the Marlins’ financial information to Deadspin confirmed the long-held belief that the team takes a healthy chunk of MLB-distributed money for profit. Owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson for years have contended the Marlins break even financially, the centerpiece fiscal argument that resulted in local governments gifting them a new stadium that will cost generations of taxpayers an estimated $2.4 billion . They said they had no money to do it alone and intimated they would have to move the team without public assistance.

In fact, documents show, the Marlins could have paid for a significant amount of the new stadium’s construction themselves and still turned an annual operating profit. Instead, they cried poor to con feckless politicians that sold out their constituents.

The ugliness of the Marlins’ ballpark situation is already apparent, and the building doesn’t open for another 18 months. Somehow a team that listed its operating income as a healthy $37.8 million in 2008 alone swung a deal in which it would pay only $155 million of the $634 million stadium complex. Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County agreed – without the consent of taxpayers – to take $409 million in loans loaded with balloon payments and long grace periods. By 2049, when the debt is due, the county will have paid billions.

Most harrowing is the takeaway that baseball’s biggest welfare case could have funded a much greater portion of the ballpark. In 2009, when the Marlins started spending some of their profits on their portion of the stadium, they still had an operating income of $11.1 million. The team fought to conceal the $48.9 million in profits over the last two years because the revelation would have prompted county commissioners to insist the team provide more funding. Loria, an art dealer with a net worth of hundreds of millions, wouldn’t stand for that. He wanted as much public funding as possible – money that could’ve gone toward education or to save some of the 1,200 jobs the county is cutting this year.

Surely Samson was joking when he called the leak of the Marlins documents and those of five other teams “a crime.” No, the real misdeed occurred when the head of a professional sports franchise misled the public in order to secure money that wasn’t his. When Forbes in 2007 reported the Marlins had the highest operating income in baseball, Samson denied the team profited, saying: “Very often the mistake that’s made is they look at revenue sharing numbers and the team’s payroll and take the difference and see profit without looking at our expenses.”

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

Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria and his stepson , team President David Sampson seems aggrieved that documentation has come out detailing the profits of the ballclub and the fact that they have misled the Miami Dade County Government as well as the city of Miami Government with regard to financial well being. And all of this was done during and prior the leadup of the vote that would clear the way for a new ballpark to be built for the team on the land where the Orange Bowl Stadium was situated in downtown Miami. Whilst this has gone we’ve also had the rancourings of Nutting whose simply tried to abate the growing resentment of his actions and that of the Pirates’ front office . Their lackadaisical approach to what Nutting believes is a step in the right direction as to the competitiveness of the team belies what has taken place since he took over the organization. He and his syndicate members have pocketed tens millions of dollars while the team still remains the laughing stock of baseball and around the entire league . As many of you will no doubt know the monies given to the teams via thei league’s tax sharing revenue scheme is meant for the organizations to bolster their rosters in order to place a competitive product on the field of play. In all honesty can anyone actually attest to that the fact that is what has been done by the Pirates who play their games at PNC Park ? In recent years the same could be said of the Marlins , albeit that they have won two World Series titles in the past fifteen years.

Now Bud Selig could well plead to the fact that he simply knew nothing of what has taken place and the actions of the teams therei . But given what we’ve seen from Selig and his handling of the steroid and the total intransigence shown by him and then union Executive Director Donald Fehr . Once again has to ask if he actually knew nothing then he should’ve made it his business to know . It’s not as if the actions of the owners have been completely above board and at the same time the naivete shown by the respective governmental agencies at all levels has to come into question. I mean who the hell nowadays simply takes the word of multi-millionaire or billionaire franchise owner as if their word is gospel ? Only a complete idiot one would hazard a guess but then again simply look at the actions of the present administration and that of both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ? Inaction on both their parts and that of what many believe be collusion on the part of Congress and the US Senate has led many to believe that the financial meltdown could have been avoided had both legislative chambers not been in the pockets of the lobbyists of Wall St and beyond. The same can be said of Selig and his interaction with the owners around baseball. How can anyone tell the difference anymore with regard to the actions of those on Wall Street and that of the actions of the owners within MLB ? Can you actually say that there’s no difference between the two given the most recent revelations made ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the revelations that are now coming to light as to how many of the teams within baseball big and small actually now derive their profits ? Do you believe that in any way the government ought to intervene ? Or do you believe that this is best handled by the hierarchy of baseball and the team owners themselves ? Simply chime on in with a comment as to your own thoughts on the matter either way .

Alan aka tophatal …….. 🙂

Sasha Alexander

Actress Sasha Alexander formerly of the CBS hit series “NCIS” and now can be seen on TNT’s new crime drama “Rizzoli & Isles” in which she co-stars alongside Angie Harmon formerly of NBC’s Law & Order

My Relationship With Teams I Support …..Ought They To Be As Impactful As Your Relationship With Your Spouse or Partner ? ……………….

My Relationship With Teams I Support …..Ought They To Be As Impactful As Your Relationship With Your Spouse or Partner ? ……………….

On Valentine’s Day the girlfriend bought me a young puppy , a male by the way. Which I decided to name ‘Buster’. Now one of my patrons who regularly chimes in with a comment on some of my blog pieces jokingly suggested that was one the first signs of the relationship getting a great deal more serious. Because first comes that gift of final approval and that ultimate sign of affection and then comes the ring ? Well , considering that our relationship has now ran over the course of seven years and the fact that I distinctly set the tone under which it would work (divorced-once). I think that marriage and kids will be definitely out of the question ! Anyhow, as I live vicariously through my nieces ad nephews as a surrogate parent , albeit that they’re on the other ‘side of the pond’ in the UK. My girlfriend who happens to be of Asian-American ethnicity and is also several years younger than I. She was ‘more the pursuer’ and I was the pursuee’. That being said, we both know the parameters of the relationship and what to expect out it , by means of those parameter set. With that in mind let’s discuss the type of relationship , we as a fan have with our sport’s teams -i.e the ones that we support ?

Now as many of you may already be aware , I’m an ex-pat Brit now residing in Central Florida for the past seventeen years. I was a former member of British armed forces , having served in the Royal Marines for 6 1/2 years. From there I went to work in city of London in the ‘Square Mile’ otherwise known as the financial center of London. I worked primarily in the areas of international banking , investment banking and also an economic analyst. My education was actually paid for by one of my former employers , as this was a way of retaining staff at that time. I graduated with degrees in Economics , International Finance and then pursued an M.B.A ,which I attained from one of London’s more prestigious educational establishments with a design on a business oriented concept of education. That education alongside my stint in the military has served me well and has given me a greater appreciation of life in general.

On to the teams I support and watch when I can , I’ll watch and support them voraciously ! In the NBA ,it is the San Antonio Spurs. For whom, I’m a great admirer of both the team’s coach Gregg Popovich and their almost certain to be ‘Hall of Fame’ bound center and ‘big man’ , Tim Duncan. What these two individuals have achieved within the NBA speaks volumes, as to the respect they both command from their peers and fans alike. And with it has come the well deserved respect and reverence only given to the truly ‘greats of the game’.

As a fan of the Spurs , it’s not always about following in line and not being critical of the team or the organization, as and when necessary. Because it would be none-sense not be openly critical if they were not playing up to par or if there were indeed doing something that’s not of benefit to the organization. Team owner Peter Holt and the team’s General Manager R. C. Burford have kept this vessel afloat, without there being ever a hint of controversy surrounding the team or organization over the years. And that’s not something that can be said about a number of the franchise within the NBA. The Spurs may well be one of ‘the model franchises’ of the NBA and perhaps one of the best ran within the entire NBA ?

This season, the ‘team’ has been quietly finding their rhythm and with the acquisition of Richard Jefferson and the play of ‘rookie’ DeJuan Blair and from off the bench George Hill . There seems to be a resiliency about the team that we’ve not seen in quite a while. But it’d be remiss not to mention also the duo that makes up perhaps one of the best ‘one-two-three punch’ in the entire league , in that of Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker . The two ably assist Duncan in making the Spurs one of the more formidable teams within the Western Conference . They at present sit just a game behind the Dallas Mavericks (33-21) within the Southwest Division, for the lead in the divisional standings.

And quite interestingly enough a fellow blogger was trying to make the case, where he now views the Dallas Mavericks as the ‘second best team’ within the Western Conference, merely because of the addition of Caron Butler to the team , in the recent trade by the Mavericks of the former Wizards’ player. That position currently belongs to the Northwest Division leading Denver Nuggets (36-18) . The team with the best record within the conference belongs to the ‘reigning NBA champions’, the Los Angeles Lakers (42-14). Regrettably,the individual who was trying to make this assertion, either knows nothing about the game of basketball or he has a chemical dependency problem that he’s trying to overcome ? I sometimes wonder what it is that a person observes for them to come up with such asinine notions or claims ?

With ‘Spring Training’ now upon us and with pitchers and some positional players already reporting for duty. It’s a sign that Major League Baseball (MLB) is set to start. And with both the ‘Grapefruit’ and ‘Cactus’ Leagues getting in motion. Baseball’s many fans will congregate within the states of Arizona and Florida to watch their teams throughout the Spring Training season and also gauge their team’s progress. And with things being so uncertain because of the current economic climate , it will be interesting to see what sort crowds are in attendance once the games get underway. That may well give us enough of an indication as to how much of an economic swoon there might be within the game when it comes to overall attendance , once the regular season begins.

These are dire times for the four major professional sports in North America. And the inherent problems that’s now being faced within the NBA , NFL and NHL is now being mirrored within baseball. Albeit, that Commissioner Bud Selig , the game’s hierarchy and some the owners would have you believe different. As to what that would indicate about Bud Selig and his perception of the game and its financial health is enough of an indication to tell you that for him reality is only something of a sense of perception to begin with. If the glass was half-empty, he’d be telling you that he’ll be able to go and find water in the middle of some arid land or in the midst of a dust-bowl. But then again , who thought that Bud Selig was ever intelligent to begin with ?

Because of work and the mere fact that for much of the time, my schedule is tied to what my colleagues are doing on behalf the firm’s clients. I won’t be able to attend as many games as I’d like to, in seeing the Florida Marlins play, during Spring Training. So granted, whilst in the office with any time on my hands that there might be possible. I’ll try to stream the games via my laptop or even listen to them on the radio. Chances are, it’ll be a little bit both . Productivity is the key as they say , when you’re at work.

With the Marlins playing at the Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, during this session. It will be very interesting to see how they acquit themselves during Spring Training and whether or not this will be enough of an indication as to how they will fare in the NL East against the likes of the Atlanta Braves , New York Mets and reigning the divisional champions and pennant holder, the Philadelphia Phillies .

Cautious as I am about the Marlins, I believe that the team is certainly heading in the right direction under their manager, Fredi Gonzalez. And with team ownership headed by billionaire owner and renowned art lover, Jeffrey Loria . The front office , GM Larry Beinfest and all of the vested parties all seem to be heading in unison, as to where they envisage the team needs to be. And it has helped the players and the fans are now beginning to buy into that very fact. Before there was far too much distrust between the ownership and the fans.

And on the political front, it certainly didn’t help that Loria and his front office were often at times somewhat ambivalent, in dealing with the city of Miami , Miami-Dade County and the state, when it came to stadium issue for the baseball team. Communications between the club and the respective government officials were on par with that of the peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli’s . It had begun to become an embarrassment for all of the parties concerned. Calmer head did however prevail in the end. But at the expense of the sheer idiocy of Jeffrey Loria and his associates. It is envisioned that a purpose built stadium for the organization will be ready for the team to commence playing in 2012. That will be the very first time that the team will have a venue to call their very own and to derive of the revenues from its existence to facilitate its own operation. That has never been the case, from the team’s inception , even when it was under the ownership of its very first owner, H. D. Wayne Huizenga . One wonders how it is that he was allowed to get away with such a maneuver by the game’s hierarchy ?

On the field of play, the team is led by All Star short-stop , Hanley Ramirez and he’s ably assisted by Dan Uggla , Cameron Maybin , Cody Ross , Jorge Cantu , Wes Helms , Gaby Sanchez and a pitching roster that is steadily growing in confidence. That primarily has been the Achilles’ heel for the team , the inconsistency of their pitching. And most certainly that hasn’t been lost on Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff . A good start to Spring Training and a great deal consistency will augur well for the team in the upcoming season. As they seek to challenge the Mets , Phillies and Braves for the supremacy within the AL East .

‘Spygate’ is over and done with but somehow fans simply just won’t let it go. My God, are people of the belief that the New England Patriots were the ‘only team’ doing this in the NFL ? Never mind the fact that the practice still goes on to this very day. It’s only that the NFL’s competition committee under the guidance of Commissioner Roger Goodell arbitrarily seeks out whom they want to punish, where , when and how . And the thinking was that the punishment meted out to Bill Belichick and the Patriots was deemed appropriate and enough of a deterrent ? Oh please , kids have been punished for doing far worse and more severely than the inane edict and fine handed down to the Patriots.

Now as a fan of the team , I felt that Belichick should’ve have been suspended for a year and a fine of not less than $2 million should’ve been levied against the organization !. Some may think that far too steep ? But I was always told ……. “if you want people to think about their actions, then hit ’em in their pockets where the most pain can be felt”. Perhaps then, everyone would’ve sat up and taken note ?

This past season the Patriots posted a regular season record of 10-6 and rode into the playoffs as AFC East divisional champions for a record seventh time. And the feeling was that the team could contend for the Superbowl this season and perhaps win it. But those thoughts were lost on me ! As I felt that ‘the team’ had been far too inconsistent throughout much of the regular season. Having posted a somewhat shoddy 10-6 record even by the Pats’ own lofty standards was to my mind something of a sense of foreboding. The team and its record reflected a unit that had under-achieved and were somewhat lucky to get by. Belichick and his coaching staff became too complacent and nonchalant , as the season wore on. And it would become their own undoing in the post-season.

And in the divisional round of the playoffs the inevitable happened as the Patriots would succumb to the Baltimore Ravens (35-14) . That ‘ungodly ass whupping’ was so severe , that even now, many of the Pats’ players probably still feel the pain to this day and the ignominy of defeat. And for myself , I didn’t relish watching one minute of that entire massacre. The team performed so badly on their home turf at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts , that in large part the home fans began to boo their players and cheer on the Ravens. One can’t but wonder how Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh must’ve felt on the day ? Suffice to say, it had to have been far much better than that of Bill Belichick and the entire Patriots’ organization and the fans. This works with the old adage ‘…nothing ventured nothing gained’. If the team and the organization haven’t learned anything from this loss. Then the next time around , things could get a whole lot starker for the them altogether.

This off-season a number of changes will have to made to the roster structurally. There’s a need for a player who can actually run the ball consistently and for a high average. Rather than just eking out little ‘hinky-dink runs’ of no more than two or three yards at a time. We know that Tom Brady can pass the ball with efficiency and the aerial attack of this team is as potent as they come. Given the fact that Brady has Randy Moss and Wes Welker to assist him in that pursuit. But beyond that the team’s running attack is anemic at best. And something definitely has to be done concerning the lack of willingness to negate the opposing team’s run offense. Far too often throughout much of the regular season and the divisional round playoff game itself , the team was exposed, warts and all. As to what this might suggest by Belichick and team’s lack of preparedness on the day , goes along way in indicating to me that the team and the coaching staff were not only complacent but also conceited ! And when that happens , you tend to have your ass handed to you on a silver platter. As the Patriots found out to their cost.

Now these have been just my thought on my teams and the avowed support that I have for them each. It’s not just about supporting a team but also being able to level criticism upon them when it is all too necessary. Many fans are too subservient and would rather take the easy way out and simply put up with the mediocrity of their teams. Think I’m wrong in my assessment ? Just look at the idiocy that now goes on within the Pirates’ organization , Clippers’ organization and that of their long suffering fans ? Most of them simply put up with the ‘sh_t’, rather than being vocal in calling out their respective organizations.

NB: Click here to read my bio.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………


Birdman ‘Number One Stunna’ feat’g Lil’ Wayne, Turk & Juvenile.


The rather ‘delectable’ Brittany Dailey ‘video vixen’ extraordinaire ! Say what you will but they don’t come any better than this ‘fine young’ “Nubian Princess” ! Click on any of the gallery photos to peruse ‘Brit-Brit’ more closely. You’ve got my permission to do so !