We the people, deserve better !

We the people deserve better!

As an avowed fan of the game of baseball , albeit, that I still believe that the MLB hierarchy under the leadership of Bud Selig has been completely incompetent along with the lack of direction and integrity of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) . I do feel that with the recent voting and soon to be induction of into the Hall of Fame of former players Tom Glavine , Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas , quite possibly , the game itself might well be seeing light at the end of the tunnel , in terms of the fans’ acceptance of integrity returning to the sport. It must be said, with the still ongoing spectacle of baseball’s constant battle with the misuse and manipulation of its rules by players, such as Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and the litany of players who in 2013 were suspended by the league hierarchy for their use of a banned substance . The question that has to be asked by the fans, has to be, why the leniency of Bud Selig, when it is clear that the players and the union can simply confound the league and its ongoing incompetency with an appeals’ process, that simply makes a mockery of the system now in place and said to be part of the collective bargaining agreement between the union and Major League Baseball ?

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Baseball has yet to get its finances and house in order, in terms of the ongoing issues that it now faces , yet , the idiocy of Bud Selig ringing another rule change that will allow the use instant replay in 2014, simply addresses an issue that in reality, is meaningless , when the question ought to be, how qualified are the game’s officials and their actual knowledge of the sport they adjudicate ? Now while I do believe that in general, the vast majority of the umpires are quite capable , doubts do come in, when repeatedly , the same officials are making mistakes that in instances , have cost a team a result or that has led to a great deal of controversy, without their being response from Bud Selig’s office on the matter. Managers and players alike, must also bear a certain amount of the responsibility, in such instances and come to a consensus , as to how best address the issue of blown calls and seek to work in conjunction with the officials to deal with the matter succinctly.

Alongside the induction of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas , baseball will also welcome into its hallowed edifice in Cooperstown , New York, are former managers Bobby Cox , Tony La Russa and Joe Torre . That triumvirate of managers, between them have won a combined eight World Series , several AL , NL pennants and are considered to be amongst the finest managers ever to have been involved in the game at the managerial level. Away from it all, it should come as no surprise as to the obvious names, who were overlooked, in terms of the other nominees considered eligible for induction in 2014. Controversial as the names of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens , Mark McGwire , Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa are said to be . The very fact that their names were on the ballot, can either been seen as an affront to the game of baseball or the willingness in part of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) to let its members vote with their conscience, as to whether not these players are worthy of the game’s highest singular distinction , enshrinement and induction into the Hall of Fame.

One of the more seedier issues to come out of the voting for the class of 2014 , in terms of the players to be inducted in baseball’s Hall of Fame, was the very fact that one particular journalist was said to have offered his vote for sale. That journalist is now known to the public , and though Dan Le Batard has stepped forward and categorically stated that he did not sell his vote to Deadspin.com , but gave it to them free , explaining that his intent was to show how flawed the voting system was said to be and that his fellow members could be induced monetarily to sway their votes. Le Batard , is either that much of an idiot , or having been caught in an all too embarrassing situation , is now seeking to extricate himself from an incident of his own doing.

The sports’ website, still insists that they paid a member of the BBWAA for their vote and one now has to question not only that body’s integrity, but also that of Dan Le Batard and his own character , integrity and alleged honesty . As to what this might possibly mean as to his professional career , the columnist and sometime on air personality with cable sport’s network ESPN , may well have to offer up some type of apology for his actions. It is abundantly clear, Le Batard’s actions, were that of a self-ingratiating individual, simply seeking more notoriety, that he might not have gained elsewhere, unless through making some scandalous allegation. Not that , he has never been known to make such claims, yet in reality, the network and his primary employer , the Miami Herald , are unlikely to reprimand the journalist at this moment in time. Speaks volumes, as to the fact, that sports’ journalism and news’ gathering in general , continues to sink even lower levels, than ever before !

With the BBWAA now taking away Dan Le Batard’s rights to participate in any further Hall of Fame voting for nominated candidates . It begs the question , what will the institution itself seek to do , in addressing the issue of players associated in the steroids’ era that wreaked havoc in baseball , while at the same making a number of these players financially secure in their long-term future. The writers within this organization frowned upon these stories once they began to first surface, believing themselves above the fray and simply wanting to report on the events taking place within the game . At the same time , even the on air television personalities took a somewhat similar stance as their counterparts in the print media , perhaps not wanting to upset the apple cart and their paymasters , the MLB hierarchy. Little else needs to be said concerning the altruism of the BBWAA , their hypocrisy and that of the broadcast networks who cover the game of baseball.

The off-season in baseball , brought about the usual movement of players as a number of marquee free agents sought to move elsewhere , not necessarily for competitiveness’ sake, but more for the opportunity to pad their wallets, monetarily. From my own standpoint, I do believe that Robinson Cano’s departure from the New York Yankees for a move cross-country to join the Seattle Mariners , was actually one of idiocy, rather than a decision made prudently ! Cano, through his representatives at RocNation Sports , stated, that he was never given the respect due for a player of his status. Asking for a reputed $300 million multi-year deal , while also having your agent , Jay-z publicly taunting the New York Yankees as to their unwillingness to pay his client , may well have been the ultimate act of portrayal , as viewed by the Yankees’ organization and in particular by Brian Cashman as the general manager of the baseball club. Cano’s career began with the franchise and over the past three seasons, he has been by far , the Yankees’ best offensive weapon.

The Mariners may well feel, that they have obtained a player capable of making them a far more competitive ball-club in 2014, than they were last season , during which they were fell off the map, in terms of their final divisional standing within the AL West . It will be interesting to see whether not Robinson Cano can provide the sort of impact sought , in order for the Seattle Mariners to challenge the likes of the Houston Astros , Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers this upcoming season. The fans will be able to get a first look of the newly revamped Mariners’ roster during their Spring Training ….. schedule and then when the team kicks off their regular season schedule with a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim Stadium , in Anaheim , California on the 1st April , 2014.

No doubt, there was a great deal of disappointment amongst a number of teams last season , who were thought to be legitimate contenders for the World Series . It would be fair to suggest, that even with the late spirited run of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their winning of the NL West, comfortably. The team’s failure in making a deep postseason run and gaining what many felt would be an inevitable World Series’ berth , was all to no avail , as they succumbed to a very lopsided defeat in the NLCS in a 4-2 series’ defeat . The final game of that pennant series simply summed up in many respects how conceited that Dodgers’ team and managerial staff were said to be, as the St Louis Cardinals romped to a 9-0 victory .

While the Los Angeles Dodgers were left to wonder what might have been , Mike Matheny and the Cardinals would prove to be no match for the Boston Red Sox in baseball’s showcase finale for the postseason . John Farrell and the Red Sox, strolled to the franchise’s third World Series’ title in the span of nine years, which would be ball-club’s eighth title overall. For Dodgers’ senior managing partners , Todd Boehly, Mark Walter , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , for all of the money spent assembling a roster of All Stars , under the watchful eye of manager Don Mattingly and his staff . The extraordinary fashion under which that team wilted, either says more to the lack of intestinal fortitude as to the makeup of the team , or the very fact that the players themselves were simply not that concerned and just wanted to rest on their laurels of the regular season. It would be fair to suggest that there will be moves afoot to bolster the roster and undoubtedly an increase in the Dodgers’ already considerable payroll , well above the existing $220 million , as it currently stands .

Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti is under no misconception, as to what is expected of this Dodgers’ team in 2014 . Anything short of a World Series’ title and the fans and pundits in general , will begin to question the mindset of a franchise , still waiting twenty-five years later , after their last triumph in a postseason finale contest.

Say what you will about the New York Yankees , but a postseason without most successful franchise tends to push the ratings down for the a television broadcast of game’s most celebrated event. That being said, the travails of the franchise this past season , have been well chronicled , from the on field woes, to off-field controversies and the ball-club’s inept handling of issues surrounding Alex Rodriguez . The team’s late owner, George Steinbrenner III , must be rolling around in his grave, while viewing the haphazard handling of this fiasco by Hal and Hank Steinbrenner as well as Brian Cashman. As the franchise’s general manager, Cashman has been lauded for a great deal of the Yankees’ success over the past twelve years . Inasmuch, as that may well be the case, this past season , the general manager has shown himself to be completely out of touch on a wide variety of issues concerning the team and the organization in general.

To suggest merely, that the New York Yankees failed miserably in 2013 , would be an understatement. Joe Girardi and the managerial staff , in having to deal with a litany of injuries over the course of the season, but the real issue he faced , was the fact that without team captain Derek Jeter on the field to lead by example , there was simply nothing shown by this team. In the midst of it all, there was Girardi throwing his support behind the beleaguered Rodriguez, whose ongoing litigation case against the league hierarchy (MLB) , also had a the player and his legal representatives seeking to sue the team’s personal physician , but not the ball-club itself .

Alex Rodriguez, has subsequently walked out of the arbitration hearing, covering, his seeking the rescinding of his two-hundred and elven game suspension , rendered by Bud Selig, for what the commissioner believes to be the player’s known association with Biogenesis and that supplement company’s distribution of performance enhancing drugs to several players within the game. Rodriguez , continues to maintain his innocence, calling the league’s case against him a witch-hunt and the gathering of the evidence used against him , as ill-gotten and underhanded. However, under subpoena , Biogenesis ‘ founder Anthony “Tony” Bosch , has continued to maintain that the Yankees’ slugger purchased many of the company’s products knowingly, having them sent to several addresses under assumed aliases. When pressed, to answer those allegations, Alex Rodriguez has proceeded to brush those claims aside and pointing to his legal representatives, Joe Tacopina and David Cornwell to provide the answers. I can only surmise, that the player has no wish to once again be caught in lie , while further embarrassing a ball-club that knows only too well , they have placed themselves in a situation of their own making. Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner failed to heed the advice provided to them in April 2013, by the Yankees’ Chief Legal Counsel and SVP Lonn A Trost that the franchise would be well within their right to terminate the player’s contract and the $43 million still owed to the team’s highest paid player . Take into account the third baseman’s lackluster season and you can simply see why this ball-club failed ,miserably in a so many areas of the game .

With a revamped lineup for 2014 , the Yankees will enter the season , with a number of doubts ,concerning its their pitching and whether or not their latest acquisitions, such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann with their sizable deals can gel with what is already an aging roster. Derek Jeter, while providing a great deal of the leadership sought by Joe Girardi, Jeter’s athleticism and productivity is no longer what it once was , when he first came into the game as a short-stop for the ball-club. The team’s season, will be measured by the success they are able to attain , by way of making at least the postseason. In what, is sure to be a tough AL East division, the Yankees might not be even the second or third best team within the division by way of the make-up of their roster, when adjudged against that of the Baltimore Orioles , Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays .

New York’s opening schedule for 2014, will begin with a three game series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, with the opening game on the 1st April, 2014. One down, one hundred and sixty-one to go and therein, lies what is head for the New York Yankees over an arduous schedule .

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Picture gallery .

In 2013 the MLB season reached some great highs and plummeted to some extremely low depths of ineptitude , both on and off the field of play. Yet, it would appear that purists still believe, that there still remains something to be relished about the game of baseball. The MLBPA (union) remains distrustful of the league hierarchy and Bud Selig’s tenure , soon to come to an end, has been an unmitigated disaster as the game’s highest ranking executive . As to the team owners and general managers. Well, their idea of fiscal restraint seems to be very much in line with the continued idiocy of this Presidential administration and both legislative chambers of the US Congress. Unfortunately, with idiots, championing the merits of fiscal hawks, such as Rand Paul , Paul Ryan and Max Baucus . It is easy to understand why the country still remains on a precipice, as it relates to its financial health , along with MLB itself . Surely, the fans and the nation deserves a great deal better from both entities, than we have witnessed at present ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below.

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(1) Greg Maddux (left), of the Atlanta Braves baseball club and Tom Glavine , right, are two of the former players who will be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame this year . Glavine and Maddux will join a list of illustrious list of Braves’ players enshrined in Cooperstown, New York . The third player joining the pair of Braves’ pitchers will be former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas . @ copyrighted material … Barbara Germano

(2)KANSAS CITY, MO – APRIL 7: Frank Thomas (35) of the Chicago White Sox bats during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 7, 2004 in Kansas City, Missouri. The White Sox won 4-3 . Photo by Dave Kaup/Getty Images …

(3) From left to right , Tony La Russa , Joe Torre and Bobby Cox . All three former Major League Baseball managers will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, as part of the 2014 induction class in Cooperstown , New York . AP Photo/ Gail Marshall …

(4) Dan Le Batard, a columnist with the Miami Herald , an on air radio personality in the local sports’ media market , and sometime analyst and provider of content for sports’ cable broadcast outlet ESPN. Le Batard embroiled in a controversy , in which he acknowledges having given his Hall of Fame vote to website Deadspin.com . As a member of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) the columnist confirmed his actions , but has reiterated that he did so without any monetary gain. Deadspin however , states that money exchanged hands and that the vote took place as part of the 2014 vote process. Getty Images North America/ Paul Harris …

From left to right , Sammy Sosa , Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds . All three players having been on the ballot of the 2014 class of eligible nominees for the Hall of Fame ,but failed to garner enough votes to be inducted into the institution . The trio will once again be up again for the ballot in 2015 along with several other eligible candidates looking to be inducted in Cooperstown . Getty Images / Phil Townsend …..

(6) Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners is seen here with the team’s general manager Jack Zduriencik after the franchise’s high-priced acquisition was formally introduced to the convened press at Safeco Field , in Seattle , Washington ,. Cano signed a ten-year $240 million deal with the Mariners , having been rebuffed by the New York Yankees , in terms of resigning with the New York based franchise. Mark Potter/ UPI Universal ……….

(7) New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi is seen here with GM Brian Cashman as the duo take a moment to peruse a play at the team’s training complex at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida . After a disappointing season in 2013 , the ball-club made several off-season moves seeking to improve the roster . An aging core of players and with the managerial staff not seemingly having enough faith with the players within their farm system . It would appear that the franchise will going to this upcoming season with a group of high-priced staff , as they seek to win their twenty-eighth World Series’ title. Getty Images / Jason Wilson ….

(8) Peter Guber , Stan Kasten , Mark Walter and Magic Johnson of the Los Angles Dodgers . Having purchased the team for a reputed $2.156 billion in 2013 , the ownership group saw the team make the NLCS only for the club fail in their quest to make it to the 2013 World Series . The Dodgers will enter the 2014 season with a high-priced roster and a managerial staff headed by Don Mattingly . Fans and the organization, alike are hoping to succeed in bringing a title back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1988 , when the Dodgers defeated the Oakland A’s in the World Series that year . Getty Images North America / Rafael Fuentes …..
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tophatal …… 2014/01/09

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