Pop The Corks …… All Is Well In Philly !

Pop The Corks …… All Is Well In Philly !

I’m not so sure that over the last 48 hours things could have gotten any better for the city of Philadelphia from a sporting standpoint . As baseball slowly approaches the trade deadline it was being widely reported that the Philadelphia Phillies under the direction of GM Reuben Amaro Jr had acquired Houston Astros’ outfielder Hunter Pense . The team’s needs were viewed that they needed some added offense beyond the arsenal within the organization at large .

======================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

======================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

With the Philadelphia Phillies amongst one of the more high salaried teams within baseball and the organization on the cusp of the league mandated luxury tax thresh-hold . The fact that the team was able to acquire Pense without having to give up that much in return , while adding to payroll makes their ambition all too clear and that is to place themselves amongst the favorites for the World Series . The Philadelphia Phillies now have what appears to be an insurmountable lead within the NL East over their closest rivals the Atlanta Braves .
In what now appears to be a race that all but theirs for the taking it’s clear to see that Charlie Manuel and his assistants along with Amaro felt that it was in the team’s best interests to prepare themselves for the postseason in terms of a roster fully capable of acquitting themselves down the line.

And amongst the NL representatives for the NLCS one would be remiss to deny the fact that the Phillies shouldn’t be viewed as the presumptive favorites . The team does stand head and shoulders above their peers within the NL and although the defending champions the San Francisco Giants made their very own pursuit into the free agent waiver deadline market with their acquisition of Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets it has to be said that the build up between the vying contenders in the months leading up to the end of the regular season should prove to be very interesting .

And while we can attest to the fact that the Philadelphia Phillies might just have the best pitching rotation in the game but that in of itself will not necessarily be the determining factor as to the fate of the team’s postseason ambitions. It is clear that Charlie Manuel and Reuben Amaro believe that if they are to be triumphant then this roster has to be one that is well balanced and with all of the prerequisites needed for success. I’ve no doubt that Hunter Pense will be a valuable asset to this team given his play and productivity and with the youthful zeal of the player one can only expect to see great things from him and this team.

Nnamdi Asomugha may well have been the most desirable free agent of the players in light of the NFL lockout and the league’s resumption of their operations. With the subsequent bloodletting and the mayhem we have all witnessed it was that the teams said to be gauging the interest in Asomugha ranged from the New York Jets , New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers but no one absolutely no one could have suspected that it would be the Philadelphia Eagles with Andy Reid , team President Joe Banner and GM Howie Roseman swooping down to acquire the player , signing him to a five year $60 million deal of which $25 million was guaranteed money . It had been thought that the Forty Niners may well have had the best hope of acquiring the player and keeping him in the Bay area given the fact that his career in the NFL had been with the Oakland Raiders .

Asomugha’s stellar credentials only adds to the luster of this Eagles’ team and it has to be said they now have to be seen as the favorites not just within the NFC East but also the entire conference . The Eagles depth and the fact that Andy Reid has a litany of offensive weapons at his disposal with the now resurgent Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson , Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy leading the charge has me believing they have to be considered amongst the favorites for the Superbowl .

The secondary of the Eagles with the cornerback tandem of Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel must rival if not surpass that of any duo in the league . And it is clear that Reid saw that the acquisition would immediately make this defense a great deal better from the get go.

There’s no denying that the Philadelphia Eagles as a team will flourish this upcoming season . From my own perspective I do believe that the likelihood of the New York Giants , Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins mounting a serious challenge within the division ( NFC East ) isn’t as great as one would presume. The Dallas Cowboys with Jason Garrett now firmly entrenched as the team’s coach now has to look over his shoulders each and every moment as Jerry Jones gauges his every move . With the fact that the team owner has seen fit to purge the roster of players such as Marion Barber and Roy Williams to name but a few the pressure still remains for the Dallas Cowboys to perform.

Now much has been made that Tony Romo is a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback but the issues for him has been that the Cowboys have never really surrounded him with the talent needed . Unless I’m mistaken but Jerry Jones has simply gone out and done whatever he felt necessary in bolstering the Cowboys , albeit that at times the players acquired simply have never measured up. Jones has finally admitted that mistakes were made last season but to my mind the one flaw in this remains and always has been the suspect play of Tony Romo. As good as many believe him to be there’s no denying that when placed under extreme pressure he tends to wilt when asked to go above and beyond what he’s been asked to do. For Jason Garrett and his coaching staff their task will be lead this team to some semblance of success and that has to viewed as the Dallas Cowboys making the postseason at a minimum.

The other residents within the NFC East ___ the New York Giants and Washington Redskins will vie for the task of trying to mount a serious challenge to the division’s prohibitive favorites the Philadelphia Eagles . It would be remiss to suggest that the Giants were not a monumental disappointment last season . The team simply underperformed and one has to now question the ability of the team’s quarterback Eli Manning . All this in the aftermath of having signed a bloated 6 year $96 million contract for which he’s failed to live up to even though he led the team to a Superbowl (SB XLII) victory.

The daggers were out for Giants’ coach Tom Coughlan last season and I found it somewhat surprising that the organization sought to retain the coach after the failures of last year. But such are the vagaries of the game that it’s always best to expect the unexpected even when it no longer really comes as a surprise .

For the life of me after the debacle of this past year I cannot see how Dan Snyder continues to think that overpaying for talent as well as coaches can be considered a measure of success by any means possible ! The Washington Redskins having hired Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle Shanahan have yet to show any measure of coaching pedigree much less that this team is on the way of achieving some semblance of success . We all witness the frailties of the players and in particular the woes of Donovan McNabb as the team fell from grace having been a complete embarrassment throughout much of last year .

Mike and Kyle Shanahan’s handling of McNabb led many to believe that the player’s days with the organization were numbered . And that was proven to be a fact when the quarterback was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he will now become that team’s starting quarterback . Given the Vikings’ own woes last season with Brett Favre at the helm I am not so sure that McNabb at this stage of his career is that much of an upgrade over Favre ! But it is , what it is and we will simply have to wait and see what transpires both the player and the team over the course of the season .

===========================================================================================

=============================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the moves made by both the Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies how do you see both teams faring this season ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning Donovan McNabb and his move to the Minnesota Vikings ? Do you believe that he will have a measure of success or simply flounder ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within the piece .

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

Picture and slide show details .

———————————————————————————————————————————————

(1) Philadelphia Phillies Hunter Pence reacts after scoring on a double by Raul Ibanez in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. The Phillies won 4-3 in the tenth inning. AP Photo/Chris Schneider ….

(2) Huston Street (16) of the Colorado Rockies returns to the mound as John Mayberry Jr. (15) of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds he bases on his pinch hit two run home-run to tie the score 3-3 in the ninth inning at Coors Field on August 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Street was credited with a blown save as the Phillies defeated the Rockies 4-3. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(3) Shane Victorino (8) of the Philadelphia Phillies scores the game winning run in front of catcher Chris Iannetta (20) of the Colorado Rockies on his solo home-run off of Rex Brothers (49) of the Colorado Rockies in the 10th inning at Coors Field on August 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 4-3 in 10 innings. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …….

(4) Manager Charlie Manuel (right) of the Philadelphia Phillies is seen here with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. as they celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 in game five of the NLCS MLB Playoffs to advance to the World Series . Getty Images North America / Jeff Zelevansky ……

(5) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) talks with head coach Andy Reid during the morning session of NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. on Monday, August 1, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Schultz …….

(6) Philadelphia Eagles’ Nnamdi Asomugha walks onto the practice field for the first time during the morning session of NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., on Sunday, July 31, 2011. AP Photo/Rich Schultz ……..

(7) Chased by Washington Redskins safety Chris Horton, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) scores a touchdown during the second quarter of the NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Monday in Landover, Md. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP …….

(8) Minnesota Vikings new quarterback Donovan McNabb, left, jokes around with first round draft pick, quarterback Christian Ponder , out of Florida State, during NFL football training camp Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Mankato, Minn. Under league rules, McNabb cannot practice until Thursday. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(9) Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, left, talks with Tony Romo (9) during NFL football training camp, Friday, July 29, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ………

———————————————————————————————————————————————–

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Transactions

Philadelphia Phillies news

Philadelphia Phillies transactions

NFL News

NFL transactions

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles news

Philadelphia Eagles transactions

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 .

===========================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=============================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

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 ……

————————————————————————————————————-