All Good Things Must Come To And End …. !

All Good Things Must Come To An End !

Well the ALCS series is now set as the New York Yankees failed to deliver in front of their home crowd at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx , New York City , NY. Far be it for me to suggest their opponents the Detroit Tigers were beaten by far the better team throughout the series , albeit , that it went to a deciding fifth game . Now there are bound to be excuses as always from the rather obnoxious and truculent New York Yankees’ fans as to their team’s demise . But at the end of the day it’s all about putting up or simply shutting the hell up !

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Joe Girardi as the Yankees’ manager along with his coaching assistants and the front office led by GM Brian Cashman can now in the aftermath of the team’s latest failure assess what went wrong for the team in the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers . Clearly for the manager he has to be now weary of the fact that his pitching rotation is not of the quality one would expect of an organization seeking to be perennial contenders each season for the World Series . Beyond CC Sabathia , Ivan Nova and a now aging Mariano Rivera there is nothing to suggest that any other team within the league should really be fearful of .

In light of this latest adversity the New York Yankees as an organization will not stand on ceremony by placing themselves in the mix for any major free agent player during this off season. Money has never never been the problem and I am sure that although Hank and Hal Steinbrenner as the primary owners of the team will be prudent with regard to their spending. But it has been the simple acquisition of players over the years that have failed to live up to the perceived expectations that has at times led to the issues of failure within the New York Yankees’ organization.

As productive as the team has been over the course of the season with its offense you simply knew that when it came down to it , the ” Achilles Heel” for roster would be the lack of forceful pitching from this rotation . In comparison to the rest of the AL in terms of team ERA it does place the team in good standing but overall when adjudged against the league as a whole therein lies the problem for the organization. Now while there’s still unwavering support for the New York Yankees from their legions of fans nationwide there is also a great deal of resentment towards the team and the fact that they are able to buy their way to success .

The New York Yankees can take pride in the fact that Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher bore the brunt of the production in terms of the team’s offense but beyond that there was little if anything to really state that the team has all of prerequisite facets to be viewed as an all-round team. If ever there was an indicator as to how this organization should now be viewed then consider the very fact that the New York Yankees’ highest paid player in Alex Rodriguez will be viewed as the face of this franchise’s latest failure . Unproductive throughout the team’s postseason foray this was borne out in last night’s performances ( 3-2 loss ) at the plate __ the player remains just as conceited as ever ! Not much beyond that can be said beyond that !

In light of the Detroit Tigers’ triumph over the New York Yankees I would like to think that the team’s manager Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski are seen in a new light ! Prior to the start of the season there were calls for Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch to fire both the manager and general manager . Crazy as it might now seem this just goes to show how short lived the memories of the fans can be as they are now lauding both Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland for this season’s accomplishments . Having won the AL Central with apparent ease they now make another appearance in the postseason seeking to add to the organization’s last AL pennant in 2006 and World Series feature . Their last appearance in the postseason finale was in 2006 which ended in a series loss the St Louis Cardinals . The organization has been waiting since 1984 , scene of their last triumph in the World Series .

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New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez walks off after striking out to end the game as Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila heads for the mound and umpire Ted Barrettt looks on, after Game 5 of baseball’s American League division series Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Tigers won 3-2 to win the series. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …

The Detroit Tigers’ roster is filled with several All Stars of which perhaps the most celebrated this season are Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander . But it would be remiss to suggest that this team evolves solely around the duo .

Dave Dombrowski as the primary architect of this roster has made sure that is well balanced with a mix of youth and experience . But it has been the managerial style and guile shown by Leyland and his coaching staff that has brought out the best in the team. And it has clearly reaped dividends for the team on both fronts in terms of their offense and pitching .

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NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 06: A general view of Jose Valverde (46) of the Detroit Tigers as he celebrates after he struck out Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees for the final out of the Tigers 3-2 win during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ……

Now all that awaits the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS is a mighty opponent in the Texas Rangers who are looking to make a successful defense of their AL pennant and return appearance to the World Series . And while Ron Washington’s Rangers’ team are not about to take their opponents lightly , I would like to think that this series will be a thoroughly entertaining one from start to finish ! Game one of the ALDS will be hosted by the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington , Texas this Saturday , with games three and four to be played at Comerica Park , in Detroit , Michigan before returning back to Texas for a game five , should there be the need for a fifth finale.

At this juncture while the conjecture and speculation will begin as to what the New York Yankees may well consider to do , in light of the team’s fall from grace , there’s no real indication that there is about to be any seismic changes within the organization . This off-season for the team should prove to be a tenuous one in part as the front office and coaching staff seeks to resolves many of the personnel issues that has brought about their demise .

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Were you at all surprised by the New York Yankees’ loss in the divisional rounds of this year’s postseason ? Placing yourself in the position as the team’s general manager what changes if any would you seek to make in order to improve the team ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you deem to be pertinent concerning the subject matter . Thanks as always for the continued support and patronage of the site as it greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……….

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(1) Jorge Posada (20) of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout with his head down after he grounded out in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ….

(2) Justin Verlander (35) , Andy Dirks (12) and Jose Valverde (46) (R) of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after the Tigers won 3-2 against the New York Yankees during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images …..

(3) NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 06: Robinson Cano (24) of the New York Yankees walks out of the dugout dejected towards the clubhouse after they lost 3-2 against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images …….

(4) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez walks off after striking out to end the game as Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila heads for the mound and umpire Ted Barrettt looks on, after Game 5 of baseball’s American League division series Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Tigers won 3-2 to win the series. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(5) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez strikes out with the bases loaded as Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila and umpire Ted Barrett look on in the seventh inning during Game 5 of baseball’s American League division series Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Tigers won 3-2. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……

(6) NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 06: A general view of Jose Valverde (46) of the Detroit Tigers as he celebrates after he struck out Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees for the final out of the Tigers 3-2 win during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images ……

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Enabled And An Embarrassment ……………….

Enabled And An Embarrassment ……………….

I’m sorry but I’ve always felt that the MLB hierarchy along with the team owners and MLBPA have been the main culprits and protagonists behind the facade of the whole steroid debacle that still blights the game . The argument now still harkens to the fact that certain players due for future eligibility for the Hall of Fame will unquestionably debated over by the BBWAA . One such player will undoubtedly be New York Yankees’ slugger and third baseman Alex Rodriguez .

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The player currently on the team’s DL looking to recuperate before returning to the active roster and contributing down the stretch run of the Yankees’ season . Alex Rodriguez has always courted controversy both on and off the field of play. And it should come as no surprise that he might well be one of the most despised players in the game of baseball currently playing. There may well be some sort of animus towards Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens . There’s no denying that the aforementioned duo in spite of their legal problems are as hated any player could possibly be over the last two decades.

Barry Bonds awaits sentencing having been found guilty in his Federal trial of committing perjury and obstruction of justice . Clemens for his part having seen the judge declare a mistrial in his proceedings due to the stupidity of the prosecuting attorneys with the judge declaring a mistrial should be under no illusion that the Justice Department will be allowed a second bite at the apple. The player’s lead defense attorney Rusty Hardin may well feel his client is being wrongly prosecuted , victimized and vilified . But Roger Clemens has done little to suggest that he has if anything been totally honest throughout this whole episode . The allegations notwithstanding , his testimony to Congress and the members of the House Oversight Committee led many to believe that all the player sought to do was to absolve himself of any perception of guilt by painting others as lacking integrity or simply attacking their credibility. And while one can’t certainly question that assertion of Brian McNamee , the player’s former personal trainer what cannot be denied was the testimony given by Clemens’ former teammate Andy Pettite which if anything was very succinct and considerably more believable than the whole assertions made by the seven time Cy Young award winner. .

Courtesy of The New York Times

Alex Rodriguez to Be Asked About Poker Games

By Michael S Schmidt ,

Once again, officials for Major League Baseball want to meet with Alex Rodriguez . This time, though, it is not about performance-enhancing drugs. In the coming weeks, baseball officials plan to question Rodriguez about reports of his participation in illegal poker games.

The officials announced Wednesday that they would ask for the meeting after Star Magazine reported that Rodriguez “played in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used, and even organized his own high-stakes game, which ended with thugs threatening players.”

Under the rules that govern baseball players, Rodriguez will have to truthfully answer baseball’s questions. If he acknowledges that he played in underground games or if officials uncover evidence that he did so, he could face a suspension.

The report Wednesday came a month after Major League Baseball opened its own investigation into Rodriguez’s ties to gambling. The investigation was prompted by a Star Magazine report in June that said Rodriguez had participated in a high-stakes illegal poker game with the actors Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

“We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation,” said Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball. “As part of the investigation, the commissioner’s office will interview Mr. Rodriguez.”

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Alex Rodriguez is now said to be embroiled another controversy of his own making and circles around the player having been warned by Bud Selig and several members of the league’s hierarchy over his involvement in high stakes poker games as well as possibly gambling on various sports’ events . It is not known whether or not beyond Alex Rodriguez any of his Yankees’ teammates are involved in this latest incident . Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman it has been noted has spoken directly with the player repeatedly on this issue but it all appears to have gone unheeded. There’s no doubt in my mind that the New York Yankees’ hierarchy under Hank and Hal Steinbrenner cannot be too pleased with this latest controversy surrounding the player. It’s one thing that Rodriguez is the highest paid player in the game but his demeanor and lack of contrite action in lieu of his now public apology after his admission of steroid use , has left many wondering if Alex Rodriguez really gives a damn . In reality the player will do whatever it takes to paint himself in a positive light when all is said to be against him.

If one remembers during his very public apology at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa , Florida two years ago for his admitted steroid use , he looked to apportion blame elsewhere by blaming in part his cousin , Yuri Sucart . Now in light of his latest faux pas it remains to be seen what punishment if any will be levied against the player either by the league or for that matter by the New York Yankees , themselves. Certainly, if nothing is done by Bud Selig then one would expect Brian Cashman or the duo of Steinbrenner brothers to act. If Alex Rodriguez believes he can simply flout many of the game’s most sacred rules then it says a great deal about the disrespect that he has for the games’ very tenets . And his situation certainly hasn’t been helped that he has been enabled , coddled and allowed to be treated as an enfant-terrible much to the disdain of many purists of the game. Some may well delight in this fact as they believe that a superstar ought to be treated differently from his teammates ________ but baseball is not about any one individual it is in essence a team sport. While while Rodriguez’s career stats speaks for itself and the very hallowed marks that he hopes to surpass I can’t help but wonder what else the player will now do to further sully his reputation and that of the game !

Alex Rodriguez’s name has repeatedly come up in the Justice Departement’s investigation and subsequent indictment of Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galea but somehow the player has yet to be questioned by the governmental agency or anyone from the league hierarchy on the matter. Galea had been indicted on grand larceny , the sale and illegal transportation of PED’s across state lines , international borders , also of anabolic steroids and other prohibitive substances. The doctor also had amongst his clients at his Orlando medical facility a number of prominent sports’ stars amongst of which Alex Rodriguez and Tiger Woods were said to be clients of his . The golfer hasn’t confirmed that he has been approached by the Justice Department but issued a statement through his agent Mark Steinberg that he would willingly cooperate with any ongoing investigation by the department. Rodriguesz for his part has simply refused to answer any direct questions concerning his name being associated with Galea, instead seeing it as a none issue given his prior act of contrition in terms of the apology offered . But such has been the idiocy of the claims that MLB has cleaned up the image of the game and its association with the steroid era , in part when we know that Alex Rodriguez can continue to make a mockery of the image of baseball.

The talk is that steroids because there were embroiled and became a part of the game one shouldn’t at all see it as a detriment of baseball . I say bullshit, given the fact that not one person who views this all as a none issue even cares to discuss the health ramifications from the misuse and abuse of steroids and other PED’s . Renal failure , psychological issues are nothing to gloss over but somehow this is all ignored when this issue is discussed and I might say not with a great deal of clarity as to the real inherent dangers . Just as asinine might be the very fact that no one at first within the NFL was actually willing to admit to the cause and effect of chronic head trauma after repeated concussions during the games. Now all of a sudden the MLB hierarchy as well as the MLBPA are on board as to the dangers in the abuse of steroids within the game. It would appear that neither Bud Selig nor his minions or for that matter Michael Weiner as the executive director of the union would openly care to discuss this matter .

As a player I’ve always admired the abilities of Alex Rodriguez but his candor and lack of contrition as to his misdeeds has me wondering why the public and fans should continue to put up with his stupidity. Sooner or later Bud Selig and the other bumbling oafs of the league hierarchy and team owners ought to pull their heads out of each others’ ass and actually do something right ! If it has to take the government and in particular the Justice Department under tenure of AG Eric Holder to do what needs to be done by league itself . Then it simply shows how gutless the MLB hierarchy , team owners and MLBPA are said to be ! We may well admire these players from afar but who in this day simply condones cheating and feels that it’s actually appropriate within a game that purists believes to be so pure ?

Granted , this game his been tainted by issues that one would deem to be far more serious , such as racial bigotry during the segregation of baseball and the immediacy of its aftermath during the integration of the game when players such as Jackie Robinson , Larry Doby , Willie Mays and Hank Aaron carved out long lasting stellar carreers . And if one remembers when Aaron surpassed what was at the time Babe Ruth’s home run record the player was subjected to death threats , torrents of racial abuse prior to and after the event of achieving the feat. And there are historians who woud now choose to gloss over such events as something of a none issue and to be put to rest.

For a player of Alex Rodriguez’s alleged stature he had done little to suggest that he should be viewed as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter once his career comes to an end with the New York Yankees . Having become the team’s all-time hits’ leader Jeter’s career is now winding down. A multi All Star , Golden Glove winner and as we all know 5 World Series triumphs over the course of his career and what has been an exemplary example of how it ought to be done. There are players within the game of baseball they tend to exemplify something good about the sport . Derek Jeter , Albert Pujols , Ken Griffey Jr , Paul Molitor and Ozzie Smith who to my mind played the game of baseball with such effervescent zeal and infectiuos appeal. Watching those individuals play simply brings to my mind why it is about the sport can be so thrilling . Unfortunately when I now see Alex Rodriguez that becomes a none event as I simply despise everything that he’s said to stand for !

As I alluded to earlier the player (Rodriguez) has been coddled , emboldened and led to believe that he’s above the game , beyond reproach and that’s further indemnified by the lack of action by the game’s hierarchy ____ in particular by New York Yankees even in the aftermath of the player having been warned already by an official from the commissioner’s office about his gambling . It now begs the question if baseball simply cannot police itself appropriately then who if anyone can rein in and force the league and its players to act with some semblance of decency rather than further indulging the sport into a downward spiral of indignity .

For the New York Yankees’ immediate future and the contributions of Alex Rodriguez as the team strives towards the postseason . They currently sit one game behind the division leading Boston Red Sox within the AL East . If anything it is their lead amongst the wildcard aspirants that indicates the Yankees will ease their way in the postseason. While Rodriguez has had something of an indifferent season it has been the contributions of Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia that if anything has typified the usual things we have somehow come to expect of the New York Yankees . Love them or hate them you simply cannot ignore them because in doing so it may well be to your disadvantage. Joe Girardi may well be overlooked as one of the better managers within the game and granted he has at his disposal the best that money can buy .It’s the New York Yankees’ way and that’s not likely to change this or or anytime soon !

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What action or actions if any do you feel appropriate should be taken against Alex Rodriguez if these allegations are proven to be true ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts if any on the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent .

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

Contact tophatal ……. rapptu@gmail.com

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(1) CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 03: of the New York Yankees of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 18-7 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(2) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees ducks away from an inside pitch as A.J. Pierzynski (12) of the Chicago White Sox gloves the ball at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …….

(3) Mark Teixiera (25) of the New York Yankees greets teammates Russell Martin(55) and Brett Gardner (11) as they score runs in the 7th inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …..

(4) Alex Rios (51) of the Chicago White Sox misplays a fly ball in center field as teammate Alexei Ramirez (10) runs out against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on August 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

(5) CLEVELAND, OH – FILE: Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees reacts after the end of the second inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 6, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. It was reported that Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is to undergo knee surgery, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The player now subject of MLB inquiry resulting from his alleged involvement in several high stakes poker games . This has been the second such incident concerning the player this season and he’d been warned by an official from the league hierarchy to curtail his actions with regard to gambling . Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images …..

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Hey Did You Know That The MLB Postseason Had Already Started ?

Hey Did You Know That The MLB Postseason Had Already Started ?

It seems no one got the message but the MLB postseason has started but there’s disturbing evidence to show that almost no one seems to be watching the games on broadcast or cable television. What might be even more disturbing is the mere fact that in the ALCS games staged at Yankees Stadium have not sold out and the in game five itself the upper decks of the venerable edifice one could see that those areas were actually deserted. Whether or not that is an indictment of the team or the mere fact that because of the economic climate such a situation was to be expected really does also cast doubt as to how the league hierarchy now markets the game nationally.

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The postseason for MLB is the highlight of a long and arduous season within league and if fans aren’t seemingly interested in watching the televised games but also unwilling to turn up and watch even the New York Yankees. Then that ought to tell not only the fans but also MLB Commissioner Bud Selig that there’s something wrong with the game from the fans’ perspective and how the brand itself is being marketed to the consumer.

Both the ALCS and NLCS match-ups have been every entertaining to watch and with the presumptive favorites in both series now trying to stave off elimination it remains to be seen whether or not the Philadelphia Phillies can erase a 3-1 deficit against the San Francisco Giants . Not to be outdone the New York Yankees seem to have dug a hole for themselves albeit that they were able to come back and show some resilience in game five with a decisive 7-2 defeat of the Texas Rangers at their home venue. The series resumes at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington , Texas __ with the team seeking to eliminate the Yankees by looking to take game 6 in what will have been a memorable series for this Ron Washington led squad. The series lead by the Rangers 3-2 is theirs for the taking should they now desire it enough and make the Yankees’ presence in this postseason come to an abrupt end .

It has to be said that both series has given us tremendous pitching performances with a plethora of All Star caliber players taking the mound. It has been surprising to see the Phillies rotation led by Roy Halliday seemingly being put in their place by a Giants’ rotation led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain . Not only that but the lightly thought of offense of the team has suddenly come to light and made the Phillies much lauded offense seem somewhat pedantic. Cody Ross in particular seems to be a star in the making and I do believe that the Florida Marlins may now have some regrets having traded the player away to the San Francisco Giants. But in truth the Giants’ success in this series doesn’t solely rest with one player because it has been a collective effort all round from the team and it’s a credit to their manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff . They’ve felt no real undue pressure and have shown that they can play their game while outmatching their opponents .

Joe Girardi and the Yankees know that if they are to play themselves right back into contention then they will have to play aggressively throughout the remainder of the series no matter what. Now a great deal will be made of the fact that their bullpen has been very inconsistent and much of that can be laid squarely on the shoulders of the manager . That if anything has been the team’s Achilles’ Heel throughout much of the regular season and into the postseason itself. Furthermore with the loss of first baseman Mark Teixiera their situation has become somewhat more difficult albeit that Teixiera’s postseason stats aren’t what one would come to expect from the player. But defensively he’s still a player I’ve no doubt that Girardi would prefer to have on the team and that’s with due respect to Lance Berkman .

Now comes the hard part for the Yankees and that’s for them to show that they have the determination to claw their way back and win with a great deal of resolve. I know they tend to look to Derek Jeter to lead by example which is something that has been exemplified by the play throughout much of his career, especially during the postseason . But for this aging veteran now in the twilight of his career it has to be said that the passion once displayed doesn’t always seem to be there. It may well be that in a final year of his contract with the team we may well be seeing the final days of what has been one of the more storied Yankees’ playing careers in recent memory. Now in saying this, one might also ask does Alex Rodriguez have what it takes to step in Jeter’s shoes ? At this juncture the jury I think is still out as to whether or not A-Rod (Rodriguez) is even considered to be a true Yankee by their fans and the fans of the game itself in general. He may well be donned in a “pinstripe uniform” but that doesn’t make him a Yankees’ player where the legacy of donning the uniform essentially means life blood of the organization flows through your veins. His life seems to revolve around the fact that the notoriety and paparazzi catch him in the glare of the spotlight with a Hollywood starlet on his arm. I’d also preface this by saying that one good postseason with the team doesn’t allow you to become a venerable great in the eyes of many when it comes to the postseason and the Yankees’ fans in particular. His achievements will be judged by what he does more so on the field than anything that he’s been known to do off it and that also includes that mystifying suggestion by Rodriguez that he merely experimented with steroids. I think that we all know the answer to that particular question is ……….. which to my mind isn’t printable other than to suggest that the colloquial term for fecal excrement could be used here !

Now if both series as is perceived should play out as is being envisaged bearing in mind how each series now stands . Then we could see both the Rangers and Giants making it to the World Series. and I don’t think that there can be a cut case wherein one could make a definite decision that the Giants will be favored over the Rangers. I do believe that the teams are evenly matched on all fronts and it will come down to the intangibles and the experience shown by both managers and their respective staffs. There’d be something of a story book type ending to this season were either Bruce Bochy or Ron Washington to become the winning manager in the World Series . But as the whole scenario has yet to be played out we as fans will just have to wait and see what is left to absorb as things play themselves out in both series.

From the standpoint of a willing spectator of the MLB postseason I have to say that the league hasn’t exactly done a great job of marketing its showcase event. Overall I do believe that it has done a mediocre job throughout the years and that includes the years when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had us on the edge of our seats as their spectacle played itself out in the Maris home run chase. Now we know how much of a subterfuge that all was given the evidence that has since arisen concerning both players’ involvement in the use of steroids and HGH. Do you think that all parties concerned had and still does have something to hide ?

Baseball’s integral problems as it concerns its popularity and financial state isn’t one that cannot be solved but it would appear that under Bud Selig’s leadership their so called tried and tested formula seems to have met an obstacle that they have no idea how to overcome . If an NFL Monday night game between two marginally attractive teams can still outperform a game wherein baseball’s most storied and most supported team can barely crack a 4 percentile share on the Nielsens’ Ratings nationally then you know that there’s something wrong with the game. Never mind the fact that Yankees’ Stadium was filled to less than capacity for a postseason ALCS game . If that’s not indicative of a problem then can someone please explain to me what is ?

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Picture gallery . By clicking on each frame you can view each picture in its original formatted size.

How do you view the remainder of the MLB postseason being played out and what thoughts if any do you have concerning the fact that viewership and to an extent attendance for some of the championship games are actually down ? Chime in with a comment as you’d deem fit.

😦 * 🙂

For the latest MLB news & views simply click unto the link provided.

MLB News & views …

Alan aka tophatal …………………………… 🙂

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'Karrine-Steffans

Eye candy video vixen Karrine ‘Superhead’ Steffans . I’ll let you decide as to the reason why she’s nicknamed ‘Superhead’.

Batter , Batter , Batter , Batter Up ………..

Well finally, here it is , Major League Baseball’s (MLB) showcase event is now about to commence. And the two participants , representatives of the American League and the National League are the very best that the game has to offer , this season alone. And for the New York Yankees (103-59) as winners of the AL Pennant, they’re now on the cusp of trying to attain their twenty seventh World Series‘ title. Their opponents, as the representatives from the National League will be the Philadelphia Phillies (93-69). Two diverse ball clubs that you’re as likely to wish for, in this showcase event. The big spendingYankees matched up against the team from Philadelphia, seeking to win only its third World Series title, in their one hundred and twenty six years of existence.

The  2009  World  Series  between the  New  York  Yankees  and  the  Philadelphia  Phillies.  Tonight's  starters  are   pictured  ,   Cliff Lee  of  the  Phillies ,  left and  the  Yankees'   C. C  Sabathia  ,  right.         picture appears  courtesy  of  getty  images  .....................................

The 2009 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. Tonight’s starters at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx will be , C. C Sabathia for New York and Cliff Lee for the Phillies. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Mark Cromwell ……………

The battle of two teams with a great deal of legacy behind them. And then add into the fact, that the bylines in terms of the additional stories. You have an instant classic in the making , one would hope. Both teams have an excellent roster , with a litany of All Star players in a number of positions. The Yankees and their roster reads like a who’s who ,of major league talent . And the same too can be said of the Phillies and their roster. And both teams are lead by shortstops who just might be the best players at the position in either league , in terms of sheer determination and leadership qualities. And that’s not to detract from the players in either league who play the position. But in Jimmy Rollins , of the Phillies and Derek Jeter of the Yankees , you might have two of better players at the position, when all is said to be on the line.

Rollins and Jeter are seen as the respective figure heads of their team and are accorded as such, the roles of captain. But what may well prove to be focal point to my mind , will be the experience shown by both team managers. The Phillies as defending champions , have the veteran presence and experience of Charlie Manuel. Whereas, the Yankees will have Joe Girardi , who’ll be making his first appearance in a World Series as a manager.

The story lines will be amp’d up , merely because of the teams and in particular their respective fans. Bot ball clubs have very passionate and vocal fans. And in New York, well, they like to seen, heard and be just downright obnoxious when the case calls for them to be so. That’s not to say that the Phillies’ fan can’t reciprocate in the same manner. If they can boo Santa Claus , well who won’t they boo in terms of voicing their disapproval ? So, for the faint of heart , this won’t be your ordinary run of the mill World Series , in terms of fan presence and demeanor.

Televised coverage of the game will be carried by the Fox Network and the broadcast will also garner great deal of interest not only nationally , but also internationally. They’ll be looking to maximize the attention that they can muster, in the hopes of ratings’ bonanza. Something that Fox hopes will be played out by having both the first and the fourth largest tv markets in the nation being represented in the ‘Fall Spectacular’. And it’s hoped that this’ll be borne out by the viewership response . It they can garner anything of in excess of a 12.5 Nielsens ratings’ share for the series as a whole, will be considered to be a success not only for Fox but also for the denizens of corporate giants on Madison Ave. Because, at the end of the day it’s the viewership that drives the ad revenue rates, that in essence makes both Fox and MLB a great deal of money. And that’s not to say that the Yankees will be left out of the equation at all. They have their own cable tv broadcast outlet that carries their ball games in the local and surrounding media market. And therein , for the Steinbrenner family, as the team’s owners , lies their monumental cash cow , known as the YES Network. And one wonders why there’s said to be a major financial imbalance between the haves and have nots– when it comes to Major League Baseball (MLB) ? Look no further, than what the Yankees are said to be capable of doing almost at the drop of a hat, at will. For lesser teams around the league ,they can only wish that their harvest was as bountiful , in terms of the Yankees’ cash windfall each season.

Tonight’s pitching match up will have both team’s aces on the mound. For the Phillies it will be former Cy Young winner,Cliff Lee. And not to be outdone, the Yankees will throw out their former Cy Young winner as well , in C. C Sabathia. Both Lee and Sabathia were teammates in Cleveland, with the Cleveland Indians.
And this first match up may well dictate the pace , tempo and quite possibly the direction that this series could well take. The Yankees may well be seen as the prohibitive favorites. But being as they’ve not played in a World Series since 2003. I’d have to say , that if anything they’ll be under a fair amount of undue pressure in that presumed role. I, for one, feel that this will be a hard fought series and it will be dictated by which team can deal with any unforeseen adversity the best. There’s really not that much to separate the two teams in terms of overall talent. As they’re both equally adept in churning out runs with their how powered offense. Though pitching wise, the New York Yankees might hold a slight edge over the Philadelphia Phillies. The margin isn’t that great on the face of it. These two teams are evenly matched in more ways than one would care to presume. It’s just a matter of looking at the intangibles to see who might have that slight edge, overall. From that we might be able to determine who could eventually end up being the World Series’ victor.

Perhaps, the hardest part may well be determining who could end up being the MVP of the World Series. There’s a plethora of talent there on either side. And though it mightn’t be one of the more recognized stars who’ll step up to the plate. I’d like to think that one of the run of the mill behind the scene’s players could end being a noteworthy winner. But that’s merely my own wish for the accolade. And so there you have it as to my own thoughts on this World Series between two very worthwhile adversaries. Let the games begin and ultimately may the best team win. What else ,could an ardent baseball fan ask for ?

NB : The Yankees’ YES Network not only carries the Yankees’ ballgames but also a slew of other sports’ events ranging from the NFL , NBA ,College Football , College Basketball, NHL and other sports’ events that encapsulate the tri state area.

Meltdown In NYC …………..

Meltdown In NYC

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Los Angeles Angels . Well it did and game one resulted in a 4-1 loss, with the Angels being their own worse enemy. For some reason they succumbed to the New York Yankees and their ace, C.C Sabathia . The Yankees’ ace pitched a tremendous game ( 8 innings) with an era of 1.125 . And for the Yankee we’ve come to love, hate or perhaps even despise , as in Alex Rodriguez . Well the Yankees’ third baseman revved up his production and prove that his exploits this postseason hasn’t been an aberration,

Yankees'   pitcher   C C  Sabathia  throws  to  first  base  for the  first  out  of the   game .    The  Yankees'  ace   would   go  on  to  pitch   8  stunning  innings   giving   up   just  one  earned  run  over the  course  of    his   spell.    Closer    Mariano   River   would  get  the    three   final  outs  of  the  game   on  the  way  to  the  Yankees  defeating   the  Angles   4-1  in  game 1 of  the  ALCS  .        picture  appears courtesy  of  getty  images/  Jim  McIsaac  ...................
Yankees' pitcher C C Sabathia throws to first base for the first out of the game . The Yankees' ace would go on to pitch 8 stunning innings giving up just one earned run over the course of his spell. Closer Mariano River would get the three final outs of the game on the way to the Yankees defeating the Angles 4-1 in game 1 of the ALCS . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jim McIsaac ...................

Angels’ coach Mike Sciocscia wasn’t at a loss to explain the loss as he was succinct in his explanation. “ We just couldn’t hit and CC pitched a tremendous game” said Sciocsia. And then to top it all, the Yankees then throw in Mariano Rivera to close out the game. And as we know ‘The Sandman’ rarely fails to close out a game in the postseason. The Yankees with their fans in tow , now look to go 2-0 up with the second game of the ALCS set to be played at the News Yankees Stadium . If nothing else this postseason has taught us that the guys in pinstripes are back to where their fans feel they rightfully belong. And that’s back atop of the ’food chain of the baseball world’ .

Yankees'  releiver  Mariano  River   pitches  in  the  ninth  inning  of  game  1  on  the  ALCS  against  the   Los  Angeles  Angels   at  Yankees  Stadium  in  New York  City , New  York.    The  Yankees   would  go  on   to defeat  the  Angels   4-1,  to take  1-0   lead  in  the  best  of    seven  game  seriesd.    picture appears  courtesy  of   mlb/getty  images/   Rich  Pilling  .......................
Yankees' releiver Mariano River pitches in the ninth inning of game 1 on the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankees Stadium in New York City , New York. The Yankees would go on to defeat the Angels 4-1, to take 1-0 lead in the best of seven game seriesd. picture appears courtesy of mlb/getty images/ Rich Pilling .......................

If there’s a certainty well it’s the fact that the game of baseball needs the Yankees almost just as much as we need air to breathe. Without the Yankees , MLB just can’t get enough of them. It’ll become a ratings’ bonanza should they make it to the World Series in pursuit of their twenty seventh championship. And nothing would be more exciting than a possible series’ matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers . But that would be predicated on the Dodgers overcoming the Philadelphia Phillies . The series between the two NL teams is tied at one game apiece. That particular series is now being tightly contested and the surprise there, is the quality of the pitching of both teams.

Angels' manager  Mike  Sciocscia  hands  the   ball to  relief  pitcher  Jason  Bulger  who  came  on  in   reilief of   starter  John  Lackey     in   the  sixth  inning   of  the  game.       picture  appears  courtesy/mlb/getty images/   Rich  Pilling  .....................
Angels' manager Mike Sciocscia hands the ball to relief pitcher Jason Bulger who came on in reilief of starter John Lackey in the sixth inning of the game. picture appears courtesy/mlb/getty images/ Rich Pilling .....................

The one thing I must say that I’ve began to witness about this Yankees’ team that I hadn’t witnessed prior since their runs of their heydays between the mind nineties through to the end of the millennium . It was the fact that this team had been playing with a great deal of camaraderie . I think that this comes primarily from the additions of Sabathia, Nick Swisher , A. J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. All of a sudden this team reminds me of the team camaraderie shown when the Yankees were were at the height of their success under then manager , Joe Torre . It was a time when Scott Brosius, Paul O’Neill , Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter led this team on a rallying cry of unprecedented success. The hard part for this present Yankees’ team is living up the success of teams past. And in particular the team of the late nineties through to 2001.

Yankees'  captrain   Derek  Jeter  and   his   teammates   celebrate   after their  4-1   victory  over  the  Los  Angeles  Angels   in  game 1  of  the  ALCS   played  at   Yankees   Stadium i   in the  borough  of  Brooklyn ,  New  York,.    picture appears   courtesy  of   getty images/ Jim McIsaac   ........................
Yankees' captrain Derek Jeter and his teammates celebrate after their 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in game 1 of the ALCS played at Yankees Stadium i in the borough of Brooklyn , New York,. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jim McIsaac ........................

Now under the Joe Girardi regime, we’re now seeing this team trying to rise to the challenge of meeting those famed and fabled achievements. With the exception of baseball clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies . The New York Yankees are expected to be viewed as perennial contenders. And though the Yankees are back in the playoffs as AL East champions . The only thing that has ever really mattered is the significance of winning the World Series . To the owners, George Steinbrenner and his family, are clearly averse to losing . Winning is of the essence and it resonates with their fans as well. So, it now bodes well at this juncture , for the team as they set out to win another championship.

Love them or hate them , the Yankees are now here to stay. Make of it what you will .