It ain’t easy being cheesy ….

It ain’t easy being cheesy …………..

Never too early to start to review the baseball season, but I think that until the official Opening Day of the 31st March , when the vast majority of teams get their schedules underway , there will not be a great deal to discuss . The exhibition Spring Training schedule merely provides the fans in general a chance to see the players up close and personal, as they get into rhythm for the commencement of the regular season and that arduous one and hundred and sixty-two game schedule .


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Slideshow .

Now while the off-season has been about the formal announcement by Derek Jeter , that 2014 will be his last season in the Major Leagues, brings about an end to the career of one of the best New York Yankees’ players of the past fifteen years . With Jeter’s announcement , we now see the last remnants of a core of five players , including Derek Jeter, that were part of one of the richest eras in recent New York Yankees’ history. Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada , Andy Pettite and the famed short-stop, made up that core managed by Joe Torre , that won four World Series titles in a seven-year span from 1996-2003 , with six appearances during that times-pan in the Fall Classic. New York’s most recent appearance in the World Series resulted with another win in 2009, with the team being managed by former player, Joe Girardi . The incumbent manager, will seek to resurrect the ball-club’s fortunes in 2014 after a somewhat understated season in 2013 .

Having missed the postseason and with a great deal of off-season drama provided by the ongoing issues of Alex Rodriguez , the New York Yankees will begin their season without the now suspended third baseman as they embark on a Spring Training schedule with something of a newly revamped roster . Major financial commitments were made to several new acquisitions, spearheaded by their signing of Japanese pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka , and that of former Boston Red Sox player Jacoby Ellsbury . How this all pans out for the AL East franchise will be dependent upon the mindset of these newly acquired players and whether or not they gel with their new teammates. From my own perspective , I believe the Yankees on balance to be no better than the third or fourth best team within the division , with the defending divisional champions the Boston Red Sox leading the way , followed by last season’s runner-up in the AL East the Tampa Bay Rays in second place, with the Baltimore Orioles edging the New York Yankees , who are then followed by the Toronto Blue Jays .

While the New York Yankees have a great deal to prove this season , perhaps no two teams, than the Los Angeles Dodgers and their AL counterparts the Los Angeles Angels are under the greatest pressure to succeed this year. The Dodgers’ failure was compounded by a lackluster effort, in the NLCS series against the St Louis Cardinals last season . Between these two teams, they have committed in excess of $360 million in salary obligations for their respective rosters. For Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia the writing could very well be on the wall if both the Dodgers and Angels fail to show some type of competitiveness over the course of the regular season schedule. For owners, Arte Moreno , Magic Johnson , Mark Walter and Peter Guber , the frustration has to be setting in, having seen their teams fall almost at the last obstacle. Or in the case of the Los Angeles Angels, simply failing to be even remotely competitive within the AL West , where the Oakland A’s are now proving to be a dominant force within the division.

Were it not for Mike Trout, perhaps the only real reason to watch the Angels play , I do not believe that there would be a great deal of interest in the team at all ! Josh Hamilton has become more of an enigma and Albert Pujols in many respects, has suffered through a litany of ailments that were not present in the early part of his career , but such was the willingness of Jerry Dipoto and Arte Moreno to sign the player, when he became a free agent , that they felt that advantages, far outweighed the disadvantages of the two-time NL MVP . This season has to be a bounce back year for both Hamilton and Pujols, considering the financial outlay made to both players this season. The Angels will begin their regular season with a three-game home series against the Seattle Mariners at Angels’ Ballpark , in Anaheim , California , where the Mariners will be parading their $240 million dollar man, in, Robinson Cano . A bold move, for a ball-club with hopes of an ambitious season, but whose last postseason appearance seems like eons ago, with little to show by way of tangible success in the subsequent years . The first game of that three-game set, will be on the 31 March, 2014.

Twelve years and counting, since the Seattle Mariners made the postseason, where a 4-1 series’ loss to the New York Yankees in the 2001 ALCS was the height of their season , beyond winning the AL West that year. How Lloyd McClendon and his staff handles this young team at its core, will be one of the determining factors as to how successful the Mariners will be and whether or not Robinson Cano can be the presumed leader of that group of players.

Jim Leyland has proven to be one of the most successful managers of his generation , by way of his accomplishments, in usually being able to field competitive teams , and mold young players and then turning them into All Stars and MVP caliber stars. A case can be made that he played an early part in the career of slugger Barry Bonds while both were with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Leyland as the well-respected and Bonds as the player, but perhaps, an even better example , was witnessing the rise in prominence and stature of Miguel Cabrera as a player with the Detroit Tigers where for eight years Leyland and Dave Dombrowski rebuilt that ball-club from the ground up and turned the Tigers into a perennial AL Central contender . Two AL Pennants , with World Series appearances in 2006 and 2012 , being the height of his accomplishments with the franchise. Yet, the 1997 World Series , where he took a lightly favored Florida Marlins’ team , that would prevail over the Cleveland Indians, represents the highlight of his managerial career .

While I believe that the Detroit Tigers will prove to be a formidable team within the AL this season , I am not so sure that they will be able to overcome the naiveté shown in recent seasons, when have entered the postseason ! Brad Ausmus may well have succeeded Leyland as the manager of the current team, which has a great deal of talent , headlined by Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander , but it will be interesting to see how they fare over the course of the season with a new manager in tow .

If there has been one particular franchise in Major League Baseball , who has not failed to deliver when it comes to showing levels of mediocrity , then it would have to be the Kansas City Royals . Granted, until last season , that claim could also be shared with the Pittsburgh Pirates , but with the NL Central franchise making the postseason , and having an NL MVP winner in Andrew McCutchen and thereby ending their drought of over two decades of mediocrity of non-postseason appearances. Fans of baseball are now left with the Royals and their twenty-eight seasons of ineptitude , where their last postseason appearance came in 1985 , which resulted in a loss to the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

With the team now owned by former Wal-Mart CFO David Glass , who has systematically shown himself to lacking a real trait as an alleged business minded individual as the ball-club , from year to year , has failed with ever-increasing regularity to meet even their own fans’ expectations of any tangible level of success . How they remain a viable concern as a baseball franchise, comes down solely to the fact that beyond being aided by the league’s luxury tax scheme, they have what can be best described as a moderately envious television broadcast contract within their local media market. How Glass succeeded at Wal-Mart , but somehow is unable to show his acumen with the baseball franchise, is something that can be discussed amongst the masses at a later date , with a great deal of objectivity and subjectivity. Suffice to say, in some circles , the Kansas City Royals as an organization might now be looked upon as “Ma and Pop “ business , in comparison to the likes of the Boston Red , Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees .

A third place finish in the AL Central with an 86-76 record still was not enough to be good enough to even come remotely close to obtaining a wildcard berth for the postseason . Once again, he Kansas City Royals would be left on the outside looking in, as another season came to an abrupt waste . Ned Yost and his managerial staff will certainly be looking to enter with this season with a positive attitude as will the team , headed by list of some very good young players , but unfortunately, no real veteran that could be looked upon, as a the presumptive leader of this core group . If the Royals are to succeed this season, then it will certainly have to be with the likes of the James Shields , Eric Hosmer , Omar Infante , Alex Gordon , Mike Moustakas , Jeremy Guthrie and a bullpen led by Luke Hochevar , playing at an optimum level , with their being something of a falloff in the play of fellow AL Central residents the Cleveland Indians , Detroit Tigers , Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox .

Kansas will begin its regular season schedule, with a game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. It will be part of a three-game home series’ opener for the Tigers, as they too embark upon their season schedule.

It does seems inconceivable that a team with the vast resources of the Toronto Blue Jays cannot field a competitive side that is a perennial contender within the AL East. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) , as the parent and holding company is one of the largest sports’ media conglomerates in the world. A number of its brands are well-recognized names within the North American sports’ market. Presiding over the conglomerate as the CEO & President Tim Leiweke , who is ably assisted by several top executives and a Board of Directors and that oversee various parts of the operations of this multi-billion dollar conglomerate.

The Blue Jays for their part, entered last season with high ambitions , having <a href=http://baseball assembled a group of high-priced free agents , were then signed to ludicrous contracts or wherein, having been acquired via a trade their existing contracts were honored. Amongst the players acquired , were Jose Reyes and RA Dickey with a view . of challenging the likes of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees within the AL East for divisional supremacy. The fact that the team failed miserably , beyond the issues of injuries sustained by a number of players, had more to do with the brashness and arrogance of an organization who felt that assembling a high-priced roster was some kind of guarantee of success without their being any sign of leader from anyone of the team roster much less the level of incompetency shown by John Gibbons and his staff . Inasmuch, as a player, being able to hit home runs to all parts of a field may well be exciting, the talents of Jose Bautista are simply being wasted on a team that simply has no chance in hell at present of winning the AL East in its current guise !

What the Toronto Blue Jays lack in leadership and talent, simply cannot be made up, for by splurging capriciously in assembling a group of players, that simply do not gel together as a team, playing in unison. John Gibbons is likely to be given the chance to prove that last season, was merely an aberration, but given the fact that the four other teams in the division are likely to have improved , it is likely that another fifth place finish within the AL East is not out of the realm of possibility for the team. Even more daunting and unbelievable, is the mere fact that other than the New York Yankees’ victories in the 1998 and 1999 World Series. The last back-to-back winners of the title, was in fact the Toronto Blue Jays , who accomplished that feat in 1992 and 1993 , which in fact was the very last time that the ball-club made an appearance in the postseason . When the Blue Jays embark upon their regular season sojourn , I believe that the team will be hard pressed to compete within their division, much less win in excess of eighty games ! They will being that schedule, with a road game series on the 31st March with a four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida,.

Ron Gardenhire may well be one of the more under-appreciated managers in baseball , but I now believe it is time for the Minnesota Twins’ manager to step down from his present role ! Success for Gardenhire if nothing else, has come close within his grasp , only to be clutched from him at the last moment. However , in recent years he has been ill-served by the general managers of the ball club and a number misfires in terms of the players drafted by the organization. Currently, serving the Twins in the role as GM is Terry Ryan and his tenure, has now come under closer scrutiny after the departure of fan favorite Justin Morneau , who was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in August of 2013 , by the Twins. Morneau and Joe Mauer were said to be the two figureheads, which the franchise were going to build around for their long-term future. Yet, that would never actually materialize into anything tangible, with both players suffering injuries and never playing more than a few games together, before one, if not both, were felled by an inexplicable malady. Add in the fact that owner , Jim Pohlad , felt it necessary to offer both players outrageously exorbitant contracts at a time when franchise was said to be undergoing some severe financial difficulties. Kind of makes me wonder, how in hell many of baseball’s current ball-clubs can actually exist , given the stupidity of either an owner or a general manager within an organization !

Over the past five seasons, the best finish for the Minnesota Twins has been in 2009 and 2010 , when the ball-club captured back-to-back AL Central divisional titles and made their way into the respective postseasons of both years . Their forays in either case, ended all too abruptly, with the team being outplayed by their opponents. . This season Joe Mauer is back, with a team built around youth , experience and a managerial staff again with Ron Garendhire in charge, hoping to make some inroads into a division has now become extremely competitive with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians likely to be seen as the prohibitive favorites for the divisional title.

if one can be critical of Bud Selig , in his handling of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bankruptcy procedure filings . Then we should be ” damning ” in his culpable actions, while both Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon placed the New York Mets in an equally precarious situation as the joint owners of the ball-club , surreptitiously used the franchise as vehicle to hide profits gained in the Bernard Madoff “ Ponzi Scheme” , by transferring ill-gotten gains from their investment company Sterling Equities Inc into the coffers of the Mets. Perhaps, I am mistaken , but when I hear the commissioner repeatedly regale us with his idiocy , as to the financial well-being of the game , while the actions of owners such as Frank McCourt , Fred Katz and Fred Wilpon have bordered on being criminal . To my mind, both Selig and the league’s CFO Jonathan Mariner , cannot step down soon enough from their present positions within the league hierarchy ! Bud Selig’s intent, is to formally step down as the commissioner of baseball in 2015, but who knows , at this juncture ?

As to the New York Mets , they will continue to be everything they see in the new York Yankees , but without the organization inwardly , having the guile or intelligence to do what is right, to make that franchise an actual success. Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi are being overpaid, while offering up nothing tangible of note since both ascended to their current positions within the franchise. The ball club remains in something of a precarious position as they had to subordinated a great deal of debt, while approaching several financial organizations for additional “cash” to remain financially solvent. Never really a good thing, when the on-field product is lackluster and the attendance levels at Citi-Field can be best described as moderately average . All this, for a ball-club, that is in the nation’s largest advertising market ?

David Wright remains the New York Mets’ player, but there remains really little around him to be truly impressed by, in term of depth of talent . Terry Collins and his staff will have their work cut for them over the course of the season, as they seek to bounce back from a third place finish within the NL East , twenty-two games behind division winners the Atlanta Braves (96-66) .



Picture gallery .

The one thing we do tend to know about New York sports’ fans in general, is that they tend wax on lyrically about the past when their teams are not doing well, in the moment . A case can be made, concerning the Mets also , as it has been considerable period of time since that franchise made the postseason much less, won a World Series’ title, but if you were to listen some of the fans of the franchise , they would have you believe that those events were but, a few years ago. The ball-club’s last postseason appearance came by way of their run in the 2006 MLB Playoffs , before going down 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS . The second of their two Word Series’ triumphs, came in 1986 , in their memorable series’ victory over the Boston Red Sox, but since 2006 the years since, have been lean and not at all too kind, to the organization at all, and deservedly so , considering the ongoing stupidity of joint-owners, Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon. Two individuals, that the game of baseball could well do without , but somehow the league hierarchy would have you believe that the likes of Katz , Wilpon , McCourt and David Glass have been good for Major League Baseball . I beg to differ on so many counts, just as I believe, that Bud Selig’s tenure as commissioner , has been far too long and to the detriment of the game in general ! What thoughts, if any, do you have concerning the points raised in this article? Chime in, with a comment as you see fit.


Picture and slideshow gallery details below .


(1) Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees is seen here with his wife Jessica Beltran , as he is formally introduced to the convened press at Yankees Stadium in New York . An unrestricted free agent , Beltran was signed by the Yankees shore up their offense as well as providing what they believe are his defensive abilities in the outfield . The player has spent the past few seasons with the St Louis Cardinals where he was productive for NL Central based franchise and now also becomes one of a select group of players to have donned the uniform of both New York based MLB franchises as a player . AP Photo / Hector Rivas …….

(2) From left to right, Andy Pettite , Derek Jeter , Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada . This quartet of players have been together for some of New York Yankees ‘ biggest triumphs and disappointments over the past eighteen years . It now begs the question , will the franchise ever see that type of success again with regard to number of titles won between 1996 and 2004 , with the last of the ball club’s triumphs coming in 2009 with Joe Girardi as the manager ? The four titles won together as teammates prior to Girardi becoming the manager were all achieved under Joe Torre , now an executive within the MLB hierarchy . Getty Images / Richard Moss …..

(3) Mike Scioscia manager of the Los Angeles Angels and Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Both managers will be under a considerable amount of pressure this season to succeed , as a great is expected from within their divisions . AP Photo / Paul Walters …..

(4) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 11: Manager Jim Leyland (10) of the Detroit Tigers gets between umpire Victor Carapazza (85) and Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers after Cabrera was ejected by Victor Carapazza during in the sixth inning of their game against the Minnesota Twins on May 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tigers defeated the Twins 9-7 . Leyland has been the biggest influence in the stature that has made Cabrera a two-time back to back AL MVP’s having first won the title in 2012 , when also he became a Triple Crown winner . Last season Miguel Cabrera defeated Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels for his second league MVP. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….

(5) Ned Yost manager of the Kansas City Royals is seen here with team Chairman and owner David Glass . Both will be seeking to make further inroads this upcoming season with a view to perhaps landing the AL Central divisional title or at best a wildcard berth for the postseason . Neither of which has been achieved in several years by the franchise in terms of the divisional title win or the postseason . Getty Images North America / Harper Greene …..

(6) Tim Leiweke CEO and of MLSE , the multi-billion dollar sports’ conglomerate that owns the Toronto Blue Jays as well as several other sports’ brands known to the public worldwide . Getty Images / Todd Richards …..

(7) Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire laughs after CEO Jim Pohlad (not pictured) teased, “We went with a 2-year deal because we’re pretty sure we can get Gardy his 1,000th win somewhere,” during a press conference announcing that the Twins and Ron Gardenhire agree to 2-year contract extension at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., on Monday, September 30, 2013. At right is General Manager Terry Ryan. Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin ….

(8) New York Mets’ short-stop David Wright is seen here with the team’s Head of Baseball Operations , Sandy Alderson . The executive believes that this season the team has within their sights a ninety -game winning season , which be believes will be enough to secure the NL East divisional title . The franchise has not won a divisional title in several years and it is hard to envisage them doing so given their record within the division over the past eight years and overall . AP Photo /. Billy Irving …… :


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My Bat , My Ball , My Rules ………

My Bat , My Ball , My Rules ………

By tophatal ………. 05/09/2012 …. 09:45 PM (EST)

Well the MLB season is proving to be a year to remember , albeit , that we are now a mere month and one week into the year . Sitting atop of the divisional standings are a group of teams as diverse as one could ever wish to see. There have been rave reviews for the Washington Nationals , a team to my mind that is simply learning how to win and not one of the teams that I believe will be part of the postseason in 2012. As good as they are there isn’t a pedigree behind this team and already injuries have already beset Davey Johnson’s roster of players .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Bryce Harper the wunderkind of the moment and seen as one the faces of Nationals’ franchise , alongside teammate Stephen Strasburg , . and supposedly for their immediate and long-term future . The two number one draft picks from 2009 and 2010 by the Washington Nationals are now proving to be a major draw this season for the fans at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC.

And though the Nationals sit atop of the NL East with an 18-10 mark within the division , it must be noted that this team just happens to be 4-6 in their last 10 games , not exactly enticing but for now it’ll do , just as long the players remain confident . In light of that , the biggest story in the game prior Josh Hamilton’s explosive offensive display …. against the Baltimore Orioles (19-11) , who themselves are now riding high in the AL East . Hamilton in the game against the Orioles had a blistering onslaught hitting 4 home runs and tallying 18 total bases to become only the . sixteenth player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game . I’m sorry to say this, but the Baltimore Orioles pitching rotation and bullpen did themselves no favors with this utterly anemic display against this potent Rangers’ offense .

As I alluded to earlier Hamilton’s feat was one of the major stories in baseball but who could escape the idiocy of Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels and his post-game interview in which he admitted hitting opposing batsman Bryce Harper in a game played recently . In light of the criticism leveled at him by the Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo who in an expletive laden rant described the pitcher as a piece of fecal matter . That in of-itself wasn’t enough to quell the fomenting ire of fans and analysts alike but at the same time the league hierarchy has seen fit to suspend Hamels for his actions during the game . Not to be left out of this all , Rizzo was penalized by Bud Selig’s office for an undisclosed sum for his public statement concerning Cole Hamels . . The Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher has been suspended for a mere five games , not for the five starts of the Phillies’ ace . Personally, I find Hamels’ actions petulant and that of an immature child but his statement if anything simply shows the idiocy of what we are now witnessing within the game ! Baseball for all of its legacy and some might say purity has become a passe` and asinine undertaking, given the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of common sense being shown by anyone with authority within the game . It certainly hasn’t been coming from the team owners , general managers , league hierarchy or from the MLBPA (union) for that matter even after Michael Weiner who succeeded the less than agreeable Donald Fehr as the Executive Director of the union .

At present it appears that Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton are trying to create their own form excitement as it relates to showing their prowess in power-hitting . The onslaught by the duo who lead the who lead the AL and NL respectively in home runs and a number of other offensive categories , is somewhat reminiscent to the year when both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa sought to obliterate Roger Maris’ single season home-run record . A record which has since been surpassed by the now disgraced Barry Bonds and now very much seen as tainted .

Now while the talk seems to be of both Hamilton and Kemp seeking to attain the ” Holy Grail within baseball with regard to the “Triple Crown” , a feat not achieved since the great Carl Yastrzemski achieved that historical feat . The “Triple Crown” and the single season home-run record I truly believe will take a monumental effort to achieve and given the power and athleticism of the players today , it is still something that would be looked upon somewhat dubiously in today’s game. Josh Hamilton is on pace to hit a ridiculous 82 home runs and one doubts that feat is literally achievable . Matt Kemp for his part isn’t going at a snail’s pace in terms of his home-run tally for the season . At the same time I get the feeling that the Rangers’ slugger would rather see his team make another appearance in the World Series , rather than coming up short as they had done previously , in 2010 and 2011 .

For the Texas Rangers’ front office staff led by Nolan Ryan , GM Jon Daniels and the coaching staff led by Ron Washington have to be pleased not only by what has been exhibited by Hamilton but also with the contributions of Yu Darvish , Elvis Andrus as well as the rest of the players on this active roster . And as good as the Texas Rangers appear to be this season , I can’t help but wonder whether or not this team will be in for another unique disappointment during the playoffs ! The AL West as a division is the Rangers’ for the taking , as I cannot see the likes of the Los Angeles Angels , Seattle Mariners or Oakland A’s mounting a serious enough challenge to this already formidable team .

Slowly but surely the Roger Clemens’ perjury trial is slowly inching its way to a verdict and as to what that might be ., no can be completely sure of , at this juncture. Federal Court Judge Reggie Walton has had to preside over this frigging farce . Defense attorneys Rusty Hardin and Mark Attanasio have slowly painted a picture of unreliable witnesses whose characters and testimony are suspect . And for the US Justice Department who chose to bring this case in-front of a judge , it seems so asinine with the countless thousands of dollars has been spent on the investigative procedure before this case even hit a courtroom and the trial itself could very well cost the taxpayer countless thousands more . The now disgraced trainers Kirk Radomski , Brian McNamee and former Boston Red Sox trainers Charlie Moss , Jim Rowe and Blue Jays’ trainer Tommy Craig have all given their testimony that would suggest they each in some way played a part in either supplying or giving the former pitching ace steroids at various points of his Major League career.

Courtesy of USA Today

Clemens trial: Cashman on stand as trainer testifies to acne

By Seth Livingstone , USA Today

WASHINGTON – New York Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman took the stand as a prosecution witness at the Roger Clemens perjury trial shortly before Judge Reggie Walton called for a break on Thursday.

Defense attorney Rusty Hardin was hoping to get more from Cashman than he did from the previous witness. Hardin lit into prosecutors, accusing them of procedural ineptitude and calling unqualified

witnesses which would mean “adding two weeks” to the trial.

Hardin requested the right to call Don Catlin, an anti-doping scientist under subpoena, as a defense witness, complaining that the prosecution substituted U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chemist Terrence Boos, an expert in controlled substances and drug and chemical evaluation, in his place.

Earlier Thursday, David Lintner, medical director for the Houston Astros, testified that is was “out of the scope of responsibility” for trainers or strength coaches to administer injections to players.

Although Clemens has said he regularly has injections of liquid Vitamin B12, Lintner said he does not supply shots of Vitamin B12 to players because “it doesn’t work.” Lintner said B12 was only useful to those with nutritional deficiencies.


Click on link to read this article in full .


Clemens, a seven-time winner of the Cy Young Award has over the past five years simply gone about trying to clear his name . But his stance initially , wasn’t helped with the sworn testimony given two congressional committees in 2008, and 2009 respectively. The fawning that certainly took place with the congressional committee members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee as they listened to Clemens’ expectations as to his use or as he would suggest the misquotes mis-remembering of conversations between he and former teammate Andy Pettite as well as the actions of his former personal trainer , Brian McNamee , was simply an exaggeration . McNamee’s own integrity, has to come into question , in lieu of his admittedly to lying to the FBI and under oath to the aforementioned committees. It begs the question as to the veracity of the prosecution’s case and how they envisage winning it purely on the evidence within their possession . Exculpatory evidence or not , there’s something about this case that makes a complete mockery of the judicial system !

Considering , the $25 million spent on the BALCO investigation and the subsequent trials of sprinters Tim Montgomery , Marion Jones and which further embroiled slugger Barry Bonds at the end of the day . It begs the question if the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder can spend that sort of money pursuing none-violent offenders but somehow the senior banking executives on Wall St can somehow go untouched after their egregious malfeasance that brought the financial and banking sectors almost to their very knees . I certainly would like to know what the US Attorney General will ultimately do in a renewed effort to pursuit of those known to have acted egregiously while their financial institutions were the recipients of countless billions in taxpayers’ monies courtesy of the government ! Holder like his counterpart Tim Geithner within the US Treasury , former commissioner Christopher Cox as the head of the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) and his successors , firstly Mary L Schapiro , who has since been succeeded by Daniel M Gallagher . And each have provided the most asinine of explanations as to how it is that no one has yet to be arraigned , indicted or have gone on to trial ! Something is clearly awry and it has been the complete apathy of the public at large why this has simply been overlooked . But yet there’s the continuous bitching and whining by so many f_cking idiots who simply do not realize what’s actually happening in front of their very eyes ! Need I say anymore on the matter at this juncture ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? And has the first month of the baseball season lived up to your expectations ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site .as it has always been greatly appreciated !


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Philadelphia Phillies’ starting pitcher Cole Hamels delivers a pitch to Washington Nationals’ batter Jordan Zimmermann during second inning of their baseball game at Nationals Park, Sunday, May 6, 2012, in Washington. AP Photo/Richard Lipski …

(2) Bryce Harper reacts after being hit with a pitch during the game against the Phillies . The opposing pitcher Cole Hamels was suspended for 5 games by the MLB hierarchy in the aftermath of the incident and the player’s admittance that the act was intentional . Washington Post / Jay Newton …. copyrighted material @ all rights reserved ……

(3) BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 8: Josh Hamilton (10) of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run home run in the third inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 8, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Hamilton hit four home runs during the game to become the 16th player in MLB history to make the accomplishment. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images ……

(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 09: ,u> Matt Kemp (27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts from the dugout after a Tony Gwynn (10) triple scoring three runs including the run of Bobby Abreu (23) to take a 4-2 lead over the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(5) FILE – In this Dec. 13, 2007 file photo, Kirk Radomski stands outside of his business in St. James, N.Y. Radomski, who provided performance-enhancing drugs to dozens of major league baseball players, injected some much-needed energy into a plodding prosecution case at Roger Clemens’ perjury trial. AP Photo/Ed Betz …..

(6) Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens leaves the Federal Court in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Clemens is on trial for allegedly lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using either substance. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta …. ……

(7) Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens walks with his legal team Mark Attanasio (right) as he leaves the Federal Court in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Clemens is on trial for allegedly lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using either substance. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta .. …….


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You Make Your Bed You Had Damn Well Be Sure You’re Prepared To Lay In It !

You Make Your Bed You Had Damn Well Be Sure You’re Prepared To Lay In It !

By tophatal ………..

I just don’t get it but the continued stupidity of today’s athletes and their off field problems are longer a surprise to me . But this latest episode concerning Texas Rangers out-fielder Josh Hamilton and his now apparent stupidity concerning his drug and alcohol problem . In the player’s latest transgression , has Hamilton for a third time compounding his sobriety by consuming alcohol while at a bar . The player a former AL MVP and one of the more resourceful players during the team’s most recent postseason heroics as two-time consecutive AL pennant winners as well consecutive World Series appearances . Now having apologized to his teammates , fans and to the organization headed by team President Nolan Ryan , Josh Hamilton sees his image taking another hit . If that’s not enough the player now has to get his personal life back together . Personally , when I see players offering up less than contrite apologies , having been a repeat offender it simply indicates to me that they lack will power and determination !


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Slide show for your perusal .

Hamilton does not indulge the public as to the reasons for his latest sobriety put he suggests that this latest mea-culpa on his part was simply a mistake . It’s never a mistake to fall off the wagon , it’s a personal choice and here the player is simply adding insult to injury by suggesting that his , was an error in judgment ! And though the player at the time after his even of drinking with a number of acquaintances stated that he called upon former teammate Ian Kinsler to drive him home , it would appear that this was the only sensible act by the player during this whole episode . However , what I would like to know is under what condition did the player arrive at the establishment in question and also had he driven to that locale would he have returned his vehicle and then driven ? It may or may not have crossed Hamilton’s mind but clearly the player is seeking to make excuses for another moment of weakness .

Josh Hamilton’s career within baseball is filled with highs and lows , of which the most prominent episode was his three years away from the game having been suspended by MLB for abuse of the league’s steroid and drug policy . Hamilton spent three years away from the game after a turbulent career with the Tampa Bay Rays where he was assisted by the organization in seeking the player drug counseling . The player’s failure lead to the Rays negating his contract and sending out of the game as something of a pariah .

With the Texas Rangers coming to the player’s rescue it would have appeared that he was back on track to resume his career and become one of the most feared hitters and productive players in the game. Now while I admire Josh Hamilton and all of his accomplishments as a player , it has been his need to seemingly make these now apparent errors in judgment as he sees it and then use an excuse that is simply insulting to the public for his actions. He should know his limits in terms of his issues as it relates to alcohol and dare one say his drug of choice , cocaine ? But it is becoming increasingly clear that Hamilton sees himself as impervious to those issues if he seeks alcohol as an outlet while in a social environment knowing full well that he has an ongoing drinking problem.

If the player can put himself in such a position not once , not twice but now a third time then what does Josh Hamilton’s actions now indicate to the public at large ? And bear in mind the actions of NFL player Donte Stallworth and the vehicular manslaughter charge in the death of a Miami resident four years ago , when the player bearing a BAC .014 and with marijuana in his system hit , and ran down that victim, then had the temerity to suggest that he tried to avoid hitting the victim in spite of his impaired state and his denial that marijuana was in his system . Unfortunately , justice served in this incident was the player agreeing to a plea agreement that saw him sentenced 24 days in jail , but he would later settle with the victim’s family in an out of court financial settlement . This plea agreement drew the ire of the public at large who viewed the sentence to the judicial process as a complete mockery of the system but Miami Dade District Attorney …. Katherine Fernandez-Rundle felt that this was the best possible outcome for all of the parties concerned . Do you ever get the feeling at times that the legal system doesn’t serve the public’s best interest and would serve the interests of the defendants rather than the victim ? Your thoughts on what is said to be the best judicial system in the world ?

One could deride this both incidents and plainly put it down to the stupidity of today’s professional athlete and their naiveté or the fact that they do somehow feel themselves above the law. Thankfully , in this case Josh Hamilton may well have had the foresight to not have drunk and drive but the decision was made by the player to simply return to his old ways and once again the question as to whether or not his sobriety has any real veracity to it . One momentary lapse possibly could be explained but this is now the third such incident by the player with him now falling afoul of alcohol. Who’s really at fault here ? The player or society for continuing to think that accepting the apologies of the athlete who has now repeatedly made a choice that indicates that his will isn’t that strong and that his judgment away from the field comes into doubt . If he can act in such a way then what would lead us to believe that Josh Hamilton might not let down the Rangers’ organization once again ? If you don’t feel that player’s actions has any consequences as it relates to the team’s image then think again and also what the actions might now concerning GM Jon Daniels , Nolan Ryan and the team’s coaching staff led by Ron Washington .



What thoughts if any do you have concerning the actions of Josh Hamilton and do you feel that this was simply an error in judgment , once again ? Or merely that of a player who simply sees himself as being privileged and above what is thought to be deemed as acceptable behavior in today’s society ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent on this matter .



Picture and slide show details below .


(1) ARLINGTON, TX – FEBRUARY 3: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers holds a press conference at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Hamilton admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the week. Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images ……

(2) Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers holds a press conference at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Hamilton admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the week. Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images ……..

(3) Team president Nolan Ryan is seen here alongside Ron Washington and general manager Jon Daniels at a press conference answering questions concerning the Texas Rangers . The defending AL pennant winner will start off their 2012 regular season schedule with a three game series starting on 6th April at home against the Chicago White Sox . No formal statement from the front office has been made concerning the latest episode concerning the team’s All Star outfielder Josh Hamilton . Dallas Morning Star / Ricardo Alvarez …….

(4) Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth, center, makes his appearance today before Miami-Dade Judge Dennis J. Murphy after he turned himself in. Stallworth faced a charge of DUI manslaughter in connection with last month’s crash that killed a pedestrian on Miami Beach. The player was later escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs to the jail to be booked. AP Photo / Marice Cohan Brand ….


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My How Times Fly And Things Change ……………….

My How Times Fly And Things Change ……………….

Was he pushed or did really go of his own free will ? That’s the question that will now be asked as it relates to the upheaval in the front office of the Texas Rangers as managing partner a Chuck Greenberg chose to resign from the organization . One thing is certain Greenberg who along with Nolan Ryan did more instigate the successful purchase of the team beating out billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane with their successful $593 million winning bid for the bankrupt organization. Having done so, the duo would with their partners seek a cash infusion into the Rangers which includes a two decade $3 billion tv deal that sets up the organization and its immediate future.


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For the Rangers this past season m was something of an unexpected one filled with highs and lows but nothing more surprising than their AL pennant defeat of the New York Yankees (4-2) only then to succumb to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series with some ease 4-1 . The team then in the offseason would lose Cliff Lee through free agency as he would return to the Philadelphia Phillies .

Courtesy of AP Sports & Yahoo

Rangers CEO Greenberg leaving organization

By Stephen Hawkins , AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—It didn’t take long for Chuck Greenberg to become a very visible figure for the Texas Rangers, buying the team in a dramatic bankruptcy court showdown and then taking on the role of CEO and managing partner before the team’s first-ever World Series.

On Friday, seven months after his investment group bought the team, the AL champion Rangers abruptly announced that Greenberg was leaving the organization. The move came three weeks before the season opener.

Growing differences between the charismatic CEO, team president Nolan Ryan and board co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson had been an ongoing issue out of the public eye.

“In reality, management styles and chemistries sometimes don’t fit together. That was the situation with Chuck and the board and Nolan,” Davis said. “Chuck made a huge contribution and we wish him all the best success in the world in whatever he endeavors to do.”

The ownership group has already bought out Greenberg’s small financial stake in the team. Simpson said Greenberg turned down the opportunity for another position in the group, one “not in the full role that he was enjoying.”

Ryan will add the title of CEO and oversee baseball and business operations, reporting directly to the team’s board of directors. The Hall of Fame pitcher, who finished his 27-season playing career with the Rangers, became their team president in February 2008.

Davis and Simpson, the largest investors in the ownership group, wouldn’t get into specifics about the differences with Greenberg in what was their first formal news conference since taking over the team last year. Neither would Ryan.

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Though the loss of Chuck Greenberg isn’t seen as catastrophic it has to be said that will have taken the baseball world by surprise. GM Jon Daniels has said the loss of Greenberg though felt within the club things will very much go on as before in a positive direction and the success they’re all looking to achieve isn’t a target that is beyond their reach. However, there has to be continuing speculation as to why Chuck Greenberg would make such an abrupt departure from the ball-club. There may well have been some form of internal struggle within the front office as to a power struggle and the shaping of an identity to this team. Nolan and Chuck Greenberg were essentially seen as the faces of the franchise from an image and business standpoint with Ryan’s solid know how , his vast experience within the game and Greenberg’s business acumen and as former attorney with noted law firm Pepper Hamilton LLC and then as a noted sports agent. The two brought a wealth of experience to the team and were it not for them I do believe that the Rangers would now be in the hands of rival bidders at the time Mark Cuban and Jim Crane. And though some have questioned the bidding process overseen by a bankruptcy court judge there was a feeling also that the MLB hierarchy was heavily behind the bid of Ryan and his syndicate partners . As to what this says about the impartiality of the game’s hierarchy in such a process , well as such , it does smack self indulgence if anything ! I can only surmise that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was extremely happy with the outcome .

The task for the Rangers this season is to rebound from the loss in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants . Players such as Josh Hamilton , C J Wilson , Adrian Beltre and Michael Young along with the rest of this roster that they are capable of mounting a serious challenge within AL West in taking on the likes of Seattle Mariners , Oakland Athletics and the Anaheim Angels . The division itself I’ve never really thought of as being extremely competitive given the fact that the teams other than the Angels have tendered to waver as to their consistency . I do however believe that Ron Washington and his coaching staff will be able to get the best out of his team and be just as competitive as last year. If they’re able to do that then there’s the possibility that the Rangers can also be viewed as a serious challenger within the AL and a contender for the World Series itself .

As to Nolan Ryan with the departure of his once former associate it now gives him greater hands on powers with the regard to executive decisions to be made within the organization. And I’ve no doubt that he’ll work closely together with Jon Daniels as it relates to personnel and coaching matters. His relationship with Ron Washington is said to be a close and fruitful one and one should bear in mind that in the midst of last season when Washington’s future was said to be in doubt after the revelations of his cocaine addiction it was Ryan who steadfastly stood by his beleaguered manager. And the rest as they is history as with regard to rest of that memorable season for the Texas Rangers.

This season within the game promises to be a very entertaining one and I do believe that it might well be one of the best in recent years. I don’t believe that there’s a distinct clear cut favorite albeit that the Phillies with that intimidating starting rotation led by Cliff Lee , Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt will prove hard to beat . But as we saw with last year’s postseason you don’t need the mighty swing of an axe to chop down a a really large oak tree as you merely have to chip away at it before it suddenly falls . The proof was simply there for all to witness as the San Francisco Giants knocked down the Phillies’ tree in NL pennant title game . Could it happen again ? I don’t see any reason why not given the right set of circumstances but I’d dare say that Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel isn’t about to let his ; team forget that experience and they’ll no doubt be prepared than they were last year should the same scenario rise once again.



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What thoughts if any do you have on the abrupt departure of Chuck Greenberg from the Texas Rangers ? Do you believe that he went of his own volition or that he may well have been forced out by forces beyond his control ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and any other matter as it relates to the upcoming season within baseball .

Picture and slide show details below.


(1) Yorvit Torrealba(8) of the Texas Rangers high fives manager Ron Washington after scoring against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning of the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …………..

(2) Josh Hamilton (32) of the Texas Rangers sits in the dugout during the spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……

(3) Joey Votto (19) of the Cincinnati Reds hits a double during the third inning of the spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ………

(4) Texas Rangers part-owner and new CEO Nolan Ryan arrives for a news conference in Arlington, Texas, Friday, March 11, 2011. Ryan has replaced Chuck Greenberg as team CEO. AP Photo/LM Otero ……….

(5) Managing Partner & CEO Chuck Greenberg of the Texas Rangers looks speaks with the media during batting practice against the New York Yankees in Game Five of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 20, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports on March 11, 2011, Greenberg will be leaving the Rangers organization as their CEO and managing general partner, with Nolan Ryan expected to become the new CEO. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images …..

(6) Chuck Greenberg (left) is seen here with GM Jon Daniels (center) and Nolan Ryan celebrating after the Texas Rangers defeat of the New York Yankees to win the ALCS pennant in 2010 . The team would go on to lose the World Series to the San Francisco Giants . Sue Walters /AP/ Reuters ……..


Alan aka tophatal

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