Money ? We make it , we spend it , so what’s your beef ?

Money ? We make it , we spend it , so what’s your beef ?

By Tophatal

Well , with teams , now beginning to report for Spring Training and their schedules , it seems that baseball, and specifically the team owners and general managers will start as they mean to go on. With team payrolls being pared down in a number of cases , others have chosen to set themselves apart by seemingly agreeing to some of the most outrageous and ridiculous demands of the players and their agents. Nowhere, has this been highlighted more, than with the recent news of the signing of Felix Hernandez to a seven-year $175 million contract by the Seattle Mariners , that will make the Mariners’ starting pitcher , one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball , as well of the highest paid players in the game.

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Slideshow .

The Seattle Mariners remain an enigma and a conundrum all rolled up into one , as they have been an omnipresent franchise , that seemingly wants to compete , but then shows no wish to do so , for one reason or another .

Mariners’ EVP & General ManagerJack Zduriencik , may well have felt that the franchise could not afford to have Hernandez test the free agent market , given the pitcher’s productivity over the past four years, but specifically, as he was one of the most productive starting pitchers in 2012 . What might be even more exacerbating, is the very fact with all of the resources at the Mariners’ disposal, it is now that they seek to offer Hernandez , such an exorbitant contract , while the team itself remains uncompetitive and ineffective .

While I believe Felix Hernandez to be one of the top line starting pitchers within the game today , I do believe that with the escalating salaries , the game is now at a point where the failure of the league hierarchy , and the failure of the team owners and general managers to rein in their costs, will bring about a financial catastrophe, that it will simply will never recover from. Bud Selig and his union counterpart , Michael Weiner of the MLBPA continue to dance their merry dance around this particular topic without achieving or suggesting how there can be a level playing field and economic competitiveness amongst the teams. The Mariners as a franchise , barely broke even , having earned profits of $2.2 million on revenues of $225 million. And for the franchise’s managing partner, Howard Lincoln and the front office executives who preside over this franchise , have done so ineffectually without having achieved anything of not over the past decade. All of the goodwill that could have been sustained within the community has been eschewed for incompetence and excuses from the executives, right down to the coaching staff of manager , Eric Wedge . Wedge’s managerial career is not overly impressive but , he seems to fit the model sought by Jack Zduriencik, and the Mariners ambitions to be viewed as a success. Somehow , I find it fitting that a franchise as unambitious as the Mariners should now find themselves in such a predicament !

The pitching staff , led by Hernandez , Hisashi Iwakuma , Blake Bevan , Erasmo Ramirez, Hector Noesi and a bullpen made up of relievers , Stephen Pryor ,Charlie Furbush, Oliver Perez , Lucas Luetge , Carter Capps , Josh Kinney and closer , Tom Wilhelmsen . Pitching was not a real forte of the Mariners in 2012, albeit , that Hernandez was the lone standout from a rather mediocre staff .

And while Eric Wedge could attest to the fact that he had a young team, to work with 2012 , what could not be hidden , was the mere fact that his players performed poorly, while never being contention within the AL West at any point of the season. From an offensive standpoint, with a team ERA of .234 , the Seattle Mariners , were at the bottom end of the baseball’s thirty teams . Behind , Dustin Ackley, John Jaso, Kyle Seager , Casper Wells , Jesus Montero and Michael Saunders , this team simply struggled throughout much of the season. It should come as no surprise, in light of this all ,Safeco Field , in Seattle , Washington , saw an average attendance of just over 21,000 per home game ,which was amongst the lowest in all of Major League Baseball (MLB) , in 2012.

As to what this season may well hold for the Seattle Mariners , could very well be determined by team’s showing , when they open their regular season schedule , which begins , with a four game series against the Oakland Athletics at the O Coliseum , in Oakland California , on the 1st April, 2013. In the franchise’s recent history , postseason appearances have been few and far between , with the Mariner’s last such appearance coming in the 2001 postseason , with Seattle reaching the ALCS , where they would fall in five games to the New York Yankees . It is highly debatable that the team can mount a formidable enough challenge within the AL West , given the strength of the Oakland A’s , Los Angeles Angels , Texas Rangers , and that is with due respect to the division’s newest member , which will be the Houston Astros .

In terms of the team’s off-season transactions , the franchise did nothing major , but history tells us they have prudent in a number of their trades while not seeking to overpay for the talent in question. Financially prudent , or simply a franchise being far too cheap , while making themselves available as a recipient of the league’s luxury tax sharing revenue scheme ? All of this while the Mariners are still in part , owned by the Japanese games’ manufacturer Nintendo . Beyond that , is there anything else that needs to be said ?

It seems somewhat ironic former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling would now come forward suggesting , that the team’s medical staff was encouraged by management , for he and other teammates to use illicit substances, specifically to aid him , in his recovery from injuries suffered while a player for the franchise . These claims, date back to 2008 , when Schilling was a starting pitcher , on the roster of the ball-club. Now, what might see somewhat exacerbating is the very fact that this is the first time we have heard these claims from the former pitcher and baseball television pundit , because earlier statements forthcoming from Schilling , would suggest that he has never witnessed or heard a player use any illicit substance , be it PED’s or any other prohibited substances that have been banned by baseball.

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Curt Schilling says Sox medical staffer suggested he use HGH in 2008

By Peter Abraham , Boston Globe
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was standing in the clubhouse at Fenway Park early in the 2008 season when a member of the team’s medical staff suggested he try human growth hormone to help overcome a shoulder injury.

“There were a few people around and I was shocked,” Schilling said Thursday. “After this person left, I turned to a teammate and said, ‘Can you believe that?’ It came out of nowhere.”

Schilling reported the incident to Theo Epstein, then the team’s general manager. Epstein was required to inform Major League Baseball, and an investigation subsequently took place.

“Our office was notified,” said MLB vice president Pat Courtney. “We take any report like this seriously and there was an investigation.”

Courtney would not say what the results of that inquiry were because it was a personnel matter between a team and its employee.

Schilling said the person no longer works for the Red Sox, something that two baseball sources confirmed. The team has made a number of changes in its medical staff in recent years, but none apparently was a direct result of the 2008 investigation.

Schilling said “two or three” investigators from MLB came to Boston to speak to him.

“I don’t remember who they were,” said Schilling. “I was trying to downplay the whole thing because I wasn’t playing at the time and I didn’t want to cause any problems in the clubhouse.

“Had I known Theo was going to report it to MLB, I would have never said anything. I was kind of mad that he had to do that.”

Schilling did not identify the person who suggested HGH to him, telling the Globe only that it was not former medical director Thomas Gill, former head athletic trainer Paul Lessard, or former strength and conditioning coach Dave Page.

Schilling responded to a Twitter user who asked why he wouldn’t expose somebody who suggested he use a substance that is banned by Major League Baseball.

“Because outing the person would not do anything for anyone,” Schilling wrote. “It wasn’t anyone in uniform, nor the baseball ops group.”

Schilling said he was taken aback by the suggestion, and that it was not made in a joking manner.

“It was right out in the open, it was sort of a conversation between 1½ people,” he said. “There were people listening. It was the last thing I expected.”

Schilling initially spoke about the incident Thursday morning during an appearance on ESPN Radio. Shortly thereafter, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he was surprised by the news.

“Certainly this is something to look into, but it came from out of left field, to use a baseball cliché,” Lucchino told reporters at a Jimmy Fund event in Boston.

Later in the day, Lucchino said he did recall the incident and that the investigation by MLB was conducted “in a timely manner.”

Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million contract before the 2008 season and passed a physical. But he never pitched because of a torn rotator cuff and a biceps injury.

There was a dispute at the time about what course of action to take with Schilling. Gill advised a course of rest and rehabilitation. Dr. Craig Morgan, who had twice operated on Schilling’s shoulder, suggested another surgery.

A third-party, Mets team physician David Altchek, agreed with Gill. Because Schilling was 41, the thought was that surgery would mean the end of his career.

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At this point I truly believe that Curt Schilling has a great credibility and integrity problem, with these latest claims. Five years after, he has retired , it is now, that he feels it appropriate to make these claims without providing any proof whatsoever to substantiate his statements . But herein, lies the conundrum for Schilling , he has been subject as to his own integrity , and the very fact that he and his former business partners in a games’ manufacturing venture filed for bankruptcy (debts incurred $165 million with assets of $15.6 million) , after his company 38 Studios Inc , which was clearly mismanaged by the partners , having received in excess of $100 million taxpayers’ monies from the state of Rhode Island , with their being little oversight coming from the state’s Department of the Treasury and Finance . Schilling has suggested that his creditors were overzealous in their actions seeking repayment , without ever wishing to work with his company’s executives in coming to an amicable solution in resolving the business’ financial woes . Financial mismanagement , and incompetence , is no excuse for repeatedly berating his creditors as well as the state of Rhode Island .

Curt Schilling, makes these allegations, as it relates to his career in 2008 , when he was a starting pitcher on the Red Sox’s roster , From my own standpoint has a credibility and integrity issue , as it relates to these claims , while at the same time the former pitcher and now tv analyst did suggest , that he at no time had ever witnessed a teammate or close personal friend use any illicit substance banned by MLB . Yet , he we are five years on from his retirement, and we now find Curt Schilling placing himself in the midst of another embarrassing episode for the game of baseball. As to a formal response from the Red Sox organization , I am pretty sure that the ball club’s legal counsel will have been consulted by team owner, John Henry and his partners as to any legal recourse that they can now seek to take against the former Red Sox player in the form of libel and slander . . It is at this point, I would like to know your opinions on Schilling’s statements and whether or not you are of the opinion they are valid and have any veracity to them at all ?

Well, with the New York Yankees’ third basemen , Alex Rodriguez quite possibly now being sidelined for the entire 2013 Yankees’ regular season schedule , the team’s senior managing partner Hal Steinbrenner is now voicing his concerns , over the player’s health and long-term future with the well-respected franchise. With Rodriguez’s name once again being associated in another steroid scandal , for which he maintains his complete innocence. One now has to wonder what the future now holds for the third baseman and his long-term aspirations .

Courtesy of NY Daily News

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner says Alex Rodriguez’s alleged ties to Miami lab ‘a concern’, says team will cooperate with MLB probe

Steinbrenner, who spoke to reporters outside the team’s minor-league complex Friday afternoon, also mentioned that the Yankees have had ‘one or two conversations’ with second baseman Robinson Cano about a contract extension.

By Anthony McCarron , New York Daily News

Hal Steinbrenner says there’s not much to say on A-Rod matter because ‘I know as much as you do.’

TAMPA — Alex Rodriguez’s link to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic is “a concern” for the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner admitted Friday.

But, the Yanks’ managing general partner added: “It’s out of our hands. We’ll cooperate with MLB in any way we can, any way we’re asked to. Other than that there’s not much to say. I know as much as you do.”

Rodriguez, who has admitted using PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas, was listed among records at Anthony Bosch’s now-shuttered clinic in Miami, according to a report in the Miami New Times. As the Daily News reported Jan. 26, Major League Baseball and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating Bosch, an A-Rod associate, for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs to players. Through a statement from his PR firm, Rodriguez denied being treated or advised by Bosch and claimed that the Biogenesis records are “not legitimate.”

However, Yankee teammate Francisco Cervelli’s admission via Twitter that he consulted with Biogenesis, along with Brewers slugger Ryan Braun’s confirmation in a statement that his name had indeed appeared on Bosch’s client list, would appear to undermine Rodriguez’s claim.

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It now seems mind-boggling and absolutely idiotic that Hal Steinbrenner insists on taking this stance in light of the ball club’s previous experience with the player and his admittance of guilt in his use of steroids , having previously denied any use on his part. With Rodriguez’s name now associated with failed Miami medical concern Biogenesis , along with that of Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers , Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez Yankees’ teammate,Francisco Cervelli. Either after the third baseman’s less than contrite public apology in February , 2009 , it were as if Hal Steinbrenner and the entire New York Yankees’ organization were satisfied with the apology and the actions or one should say lack of action taken by the ball club and league hierarchy.

It should be noted , that less than six months later, Rodriguez’s name would be linked with now incarcerated Orlando medical professional Dr. Anthony Galea , who treated several prominent athletes and celebrities ,but with the doctor’s incarceration , having been found guilty of distributing of narcotics , the sale a transportation of hallucinogens , steroids , Oxycontin , PED’s and other banned substances as constituted by the league hierarchy. Now comes this idiocy and the league and Yankees are now standing back seeking the wheels of the legal establishment to take its course before they deal with the player . However, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , as usual, has issued his latest statement which more often than not, has the commissioner simply making a complete ass of himself, as he has repeatedly done, more often than not , with such issues. Selig has stated that baseball will conduct their own in-depth investigation , but if it is anything like of the alleged investigation of the Miami Marlins and the “ fire sale” initiated by the ball club , has me wondering how competent is this hierarchy to begin with ? They are definitely not as meticulous or as prudent, as the commissioner would like to have us believe and boy , does Bud Selig like to blow smoke up everyone’s ass , more often than not !

For the past two seasons Alex Rodriguez’s contributions to the New York Yankees can be best described as being anemic , but his postseason foray of last season , clearly shows that the player’s skill-set has been steadily on the decline for several years . With the Yankees having to pay Alex Rodriguez in $28 million for this season, and with their being $114 million remaining on the player’s existing $275 million contract. The contract makes the third baseman the highest paid player in baseball. With resources to the New York Yankees and having baseball’s highest payroll , it has me wondering whether or not the franchise can still continue to squander their resources on a player whose best days are behind him and most certainly not ahead of him. With Rodriguez having to undergo hip surgery, and clearly the belief his use of steroids quite possibly playing into his health issues , something even beyond the naiveté of the Yankees has to be clearly amiss. As a replacement , the Yankees acquired free agent Kevin Youkilis , who should prove to be a more than worthy replacement for his sidelined colleague. And while it was wildly being speculated upon that Hal Steinbrenner might seek to void the Alex Rodriguez’s contract , any move initiated by ball club would be met with stern resistance by the players’ union headed by Executive Director Michael Weiner .

Legal recourse, could be sought even with their being a moral’s clause written into the third baseman’s contract , but such a protracted legal case would turn the game on its ear , especially given the current weakness of baseball’s hierarchy under its commissioner, Bud Selig. . It is here where there seems to be a real divergence in the claims being made by Major League Baseball , and what we now know are the real facts , and that is , for all of claims in terms of the league’s ongoing success in the continued clamping down of the illicit use of steroids , players are still finding ways of “ cheating the system” , and they are being aided either by unscrupulous agents or “pill clinics” across the country , but it would now appear to centrally located within the state of Florida . Meanwhile the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney General’s Office has yet to arraign , indict or prosecute anyone successfully in this regard , leaving it instead in the hands of the US Justice Department to go after such individuals . Which begs the question, what is it that State Attorney General , Pam Bondi and FDLE Commissioner , Gerald M Bailey hope to achieve, when they seek to do very little within state of Florida , has become the epicenter for “steroid” , illegal sales, and distribution of such narcotics and steroids , specifically.

One should note, that over the past thirty months in excess of 156 players have engulfed by baseball’s testing policy , with the vast majority of those players being caught at the Minor League Level . The high-profiled stars at the major league level are seen for what they are , “ cheaters” , who have been able to use the law or in so many cases the incompetence of the league hierarchy , to simply outsmart the game’s custodians . And you wonder why , Bud Selig , still comes across , looking like the complete and pompous ass , that he is ? > A case can be made that baseball’s incompetence has really played in the news and the idiocy we now see encompassing the game , yet no mention has been made of this by the television analysts , who currently cover the game . I have never been an admirer of anyone of the baseball analysts or on air commentators who spend more time pontificating and speaking of a once glorious past within the game that was a complete fraud to begin with ! Make of it what you will , but let’s call it for what is really is , just goddamn apathy and not much else beyond that !

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Picture gallery .

Do you believe that the Seattle Mariners can justify their offering Felix Hernandez such an exorbitant contract given the team’s lack of competitiveness in recent years ? And do you believe that Curt Schilling’s statement can be taken at face value given his proclivity for sensationalism ? Furthermore , with the likelihood of Alex Rodriguez missing the Yankees’ entire regular season schedule in 2013 , do you believe that franchise would be within their right to “ void his contract” , even if it meant having to defend their action in a civil litigation ? Chime on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2012, file photo, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez reacts after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Seattle. Hernandez and the Mariners are working on a $175 million , seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball , according to a person with knowledge of the deal’s details. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren …..

(2) Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge reacts to a question from reporters, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the team’s annual media briefing prior to the start of baseball spring training . AP Photo/Ted S. Warren ….

(3) Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik talks to reporters, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the team’s annual media briefing prior to the start of spring training baseball. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren …

(4) David Reed, 7, of East Helena, Mont., pumps his fist as he pulls a Seattle Mariners baseball from a gift bag presented to him by Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush , left, and outfielder Casper Wells during the Seattle Mariners Caravan visit to Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Reed has been in the hospital battling T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia since October. AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Dan Pelle….

(5) FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona answers questions during a news conference at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. Owners of the Boston Red Sox thought the team wasn’t marketable after the season and needed to “sexy players”, former general manager Theo Epstein says in a new book co-written by former manager Terry Francona. “Francona: The Red Sox Years” is co-written by the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Jan. 22. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ….

(6) Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (38) throws out the first pitch after being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins during the game on August 3, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Schilling now claims that during the 2008 season he was encouraged by the team’s medical staff to used banned substances to aid him in his recuperative process having suffered a number of injuries during the season . The claims though unsubstantiated , have become something of water cooler subject of debate and conjecture . Getty Images North America / Jared Wickerham ….

(7) (L-R) Manager Joe Girardi , Mark Teixeira, Hal Steinbrenner and General Manager Brian Cashman pose for a photo during a press conference to announce Teixeira’s signing to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 6, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images …

(8) FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out during the second inning of Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in New York. When the Yankees re-signed Rodriguez in December 2007 , they expected him to set home run records . Now some in the team’s management hope he never plays again, so much of the $114 million he’s still due can be covered by insurance. Not only is he injured, he’s at the center of performance-enhancing drug use allegations. AP Photo/Paul Sancya, …..

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If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll.

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Another poll for you to participate in , should you wish to do so .
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