Sell me on it , or whatever the hell else, is actually possible

Sell me on it , or whatever the hell else, is actually possible

In the end, it comes down to being an art form , how the game is played and the rules it is played by . At present it would appear that baseball and football is being played to a different set of rules without either hierarchy noticeably caring about the overall ramifications . MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in a passionate plea stated the case that he would not be rushed into a situation where he makes a decision into the possible suspension of many as twenty to forty Major League Baseball players . Thereby, quite possibly affecting the seasons of the teams were the players currently play. By contrast, team owners and general managers have yet to voice their concerns over the dilemma that is likely to be created . When as many as twenty players are likely to face a lengthy mandate suspension and without the team owners voicing their concerns , it simply shows the mindset within the game present , after more than two decades of calculated cheating taking place, wherein these owners shared lavishly in the spoils, by way of the tens of millions of dollars & that were reaped during that time span . If that were not enough , we also had the downright stupidity of fans , who came out with the rather ridiculous notion that the game of baseball should in essence, suborn cheating and the use of steroids within the game . Personally, I wonder if this would happen to be the very same idiots , who would condone the selling of hard narcotics (heroin & crack cocaine) to children by drug dealers outside school grounds ? The simple stupidity and complete lack of intelligence of the sports` fan nowadays is just beyond belief !

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In the aftermath of the MLB All Star Game , teams will now resume the second half of their seasons , now under not so much pressure , with Bud Selig revealing in part that , he has not yet come to a decision where suspensions will be imposed upon the players associated in the Biogenesis scandal . There now seems to a clear disconnect between reality and what is morally and ethically right, and how Selig now oversees Major League Baseball. In what appears to be the game`s highest ranking executive , caving into the whims of the owners and Players` Union (MLBPA) . Bud Selig is now seems to be showing that he does in fact have a yellow streak running down is spine . A man, who does not possess the courage, to carry out his own convictions, while appearing to create the perception, that he does have things under control. If anything, he believes that is legacy and tenure, is one that has kept the game intact , as he seeks to step down from his current role in 2014 . To my mind, his departure cannot come around soon enough ! If nothing else, tis decision further demeans the season and it also allows these players to further profit financially from their misdeeds . And it looks if baseball is once again out kick itself in the ass and still come out smiling as if noting has actually happened .

Courtesy of Bloomberg News

Bud Selig’s Dopey Pursuit of Baseball Juicers

By Johnathan Mahler , Bloomberg News

Major League Baseball has put off its plans to suspend players linked to the Biogenesis doping scandal. Instead of announcing the punishments right after the All-Star Game, as anticipated, suspensions are now expected to come sometime next month. By the time all of the appeals and arbitration hearings have taken place, we could be eating turkey and watching football.

Biogenesis is the South Florida anti-aging clinic run by the now infamous sketch-ball Tony Bosch. The news earlier this year that it allegedly provided human growth hormone and other banned substances to a number of major leaguers has brought Commissioner Bud Selig to the brink of handing down baseball’s largest collection of suspensions since the 1919 Black Sox scandal .

I suppose it’s a good thing that Selig has decided a little more due diligence is in order before he makes history on the back of a cooperating witness who makes Brian McNamee look like a stand-up guy. The problem is that baseball has already declared the players in question guilty. The investigation is not a quest for justice; it’s part of a protracted negotiation with the players union that’s almost certain to end with players being suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs without any positive test results or credible evidence of their guilt.

How could this happen? Because Selig desperately wants revenge on Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez; it’s as though their continuing freedom from punishment is personally mocking him. More generally, he wants desperately to avoid being remembered as the commissioner who not only allowed baseball’s steroid scandal to take place but also failed to bring it to heel. All of this desperate desire hasn’t just clouded Selig’s judgment; it has completely overtaken it.

The dubious manner in which baseball has handled its “investigation” — buying documents and filing suit against the aforementioned cooperator in order to enlist him into service — is bad. But the ramifications of actually following through with this farce may be worse.

I’ve never seen any opinion polls on this, but at this point I’d bet that most baseball fans are a lot less bothered by the possibility that particular players are using PEDs than they are by the commissioner’s obsession with ridding the game of them. The existence of performance-enhancing drugs in the game of baseball remains such a big deal partly because the game of baseball continues to insist on making them such a big deal. To the extent that baseball fans do care about players using PEDs, the Biogenesis case is, at bottom, an acknowledgement that the game’s drug-testing regime doesn’t work. Suspending players in the absence of positive tests doesn’t prove anything so much as the fact that baseball has failed to bring this whole steroid thing to heel.

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Insomuch, as the All Star Game was meant to have some meaning. In light of the fact that we had participants associated with the ongoing scandal. To my mind , the event was demeaned by their being allowed to play . Besides, the whole voting process just happens to be one big joke to begin, with it being noting more than a popularity contest .

Friday , sets the ball rolling, as to the resumption of the season, with a number of divisional races seemingly up for grabs . One of the early questions that could very well be answered will be whether or not the Pittsburgh Pirates can stay in close contact with the St Louis Cardinals and somehow deprive them from winning the NL Central . Clint Hurdle and his staff must now wrestle with the demons of the past, that has repeatedly seen the Pirates fall by the wayside , leaving their fans with a great deal of angst. With Pittsburgh resuming its schedule with an away game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio, It will be interesting to see how prepared Hurdle`s players will be , as they take on a divisional rival .

For Mike Matheny and the St Louis Cardinals , they now seem to be the best team in the National League , which is reflected in their record (57-36) and their 7-3 run in their last ten games . Since assuming the role as manager from Tony La Russa . The young manager seems to have found his footing amongst his peers and he does seem to be getting a great deal of respect from some of the more experienced managers around the league. . I would certainly like to think that Matheny is in the running for NL Manager of The Year Award , but much of that I believe will be predicated upon the team finishes the season and quite possibly , whether or not they do end up winning their division . And one of the primary reasons behind the Cardinals` success this season , has been the all-round effort of the team in terms their pitching and offense , of which they rank amongst the top in National League as well as MLB overall. Leading the way for the team from an offensive standpoint are , Carlos Beltran , Allen Craig , Yadier Molina , Matt Holliday , Matt Carpenter and David Freese . As usual a dependable pitching staff also has a role to play. With seasoned veteran Adam Wainwright , Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook , Jaime Garcia and Tyler Lyons leading what might just be one of the best starting lineups at present in the Big Leagues . It would be remiss also not to include the efforts of the team`s closer Edward Mujica and the terrific season that he is said to be having , with 26 saves .

Next up for the St Louis Cardinals will be a home game against the lowly San Diego Padres to be played at Busch Park , in St Louis , Missouri. On the mound for the Cardinals will be Jake Westbrook , who will be facing the Padres` Jason Marquis . . The Padres will be looking to put the first half of their season in their rear view mirror , as they still remain deeply rooted at the bottom of the NL West with a 42-54 record . In a division, where four of the five occupants are no better than a .500 record . The Arizona Diamondbacks leads those occupants with a mid-season mark of 50-45 (.526) . All of this, is all the more bewildering because fans seem to be excited over the recent resurgence of the Los Angeles Dodgers(47-47) , who are still playing .500 ball in spite of the heroics of their rookie sensation Yasiel Puig . Am I actually missing something here concerning a ball-club with an almost $220 million payroll who were expected to contend for divisional supremacy and a great deal more ? As things now stand, if the Dodgers do fail to win the division or gain one of the two possible wildcard berths . Then in all probability, the entire managerial staff is likely to be shown the door by team President Stan Kasten , with GM Ned Colletti joining beleaguered manager , Don Mattingly .

For the Los Angeles Dodgers the second half of the season must begin anew , with several of their players who have been on the disabled list due to return to the lineup. The influx of that experience , along with the exuberance provided by Yasiel Puig, could go a long way in determining whether or not this team ultimately has what it takes to succeed . They will begin with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC , starting this Friday . Taking the mound for the Dodgers will be Ricky Nolasco against the Nationals` starting ace Stephen Strasburg , in what is sure to be a highly entertaining game .

Strasburg is now in the final year of a four-year $15.1 million deal and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season . The Nationals and in particular GM Mike Rizzo , and team owner , Ted Lerner , know that the organization can ill-afford to lose a player of Stephen Strasburg`s status , who along with Bryce Harper , are viewed to be the cornerstone of the Nationals` long and short-term future. Strasburg`s agent , Scott Boras is likely to drive a hard bargain , as he seeks to get the maximum deal possible for his young client , who is deemed one of the league`s brightest young pitching prospects .

In the AL , for much of the first-half of the season , the topic of discussion has been the play of the Baltimore Orioles` ….. Chris Davis and the fact that he leads the Majors in home runs (37) . Doubters , believe that a player , who for the first time in 2012 hit more than thirty home runs, is now projected to hit sixty-three for this season . My own belief, is that Davis will fall short of that target , while being in the running for the AL MVP . These doubters may have the inclination that Davis` own feats are mirroring that of former Orioles` player Brady Anderson, who in 1996 hit a career-high fifty home runs for the season. Prior to and subsequent to that year, Anderson had never reached that career peak in home runs. The common belief was that he may well have one of the common beneficiaries of steroid use . Albeit, that he never tested positive, once baseball`s steroid testing policy was introduced and then initiated. As to the testing protocols themselves, I still believe them to be archaic and still susceptible to cheating ! Chris Davis continues to profess his innocence, but the player as never once been critical of is players known to have cheated , or spoken publicly on the recent Biogenesis scandal and the spate of players now embroiled the game`s latest controversy .

Baltimore`s own ambitions this season, appear to be making the AL East division less of a two-horse race and more of a three-way suspenseful thriller, as they, the Tampa Bay and Boston Red Sox vie for divisional supremacy . The New York Yankees (51-44) , with the game`s biggest payroll , currently sits in fourth place within the division, just ahead of the last placed Toronto Blue Jays (45-49) . The Yankees` troubles notwithstanding , their constant belief that throwing money at a problem will be the best solution to an issue , seems to have cast doubts now on the prospective chances of the team actually gaining a post-season berth. They are already 6 ½ games out of first place, behind their heated rivals the Boston Red Sox . New York Yankees` manager Joe Girardi is under immense pressure to succeed , whereas , the team`s fans , ever more loyal , seemingly oblivious it would appear , as to the ball-club`s ongoing issues on an off the field of play .

Derek Jeter`s long-awaited return for his first start of the season was short-lived, as the player re-injured himself in his first game back . And beleaguered third baseman Alex Rodriguez , having come off in season surgery , is now toiling in the Minors , waiting for the call-up and thereby seeking to justify the $32 million salary he is due this season . Over the past three seasons there is nothing to remotely suggest Rodriguez`s contributions to the Yankees merits his outlandish contract or salary . Yet, this continues to be the all too asinine philosophy that baseball continues to live under with the owners and general managers believing that this type of business mantra serves it best .

New York will be the guests of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts over the next three days, starting on Friday. The two opposing pitchers will be Andy Pettite of the New York Yankees against Felix Doubront of the Red Sox. . And these series have always been highly entertaining, no matter what the environment might be for these two historic franchises .

Baseball continues to use creative accounting to hide many of its financial woes, which in essence, came about with escalating salaries and this constant need for general managers try to outdo one another in escalated bidding wars, for players who in recent years have failed to live up to the consistency expected . A clear case in point, can be made with the likes of, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran , Johan Santana , Josh Hamilton, Vernon Wells , Alfonso Soriano , and Barry Zito . Yet, through his own short-sightedness Bud Selig continues to maintain , that in large part, baseball remains a viable concern for the majority of the league`s teams. If only that were true, and baseball`s financial records were opened up for close public scrutiny. Unfortunately, that will never be the case, as long as the owners have their way and they are afforded antitrust exempt status by the US Congress .

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Picture gallery

In light of what you have witnessed during the first half of the season, what if anything are you most looking forward to ? Which teams or players do you believe will have the biggest impact during the second half of the MLB schedule ? Finally, are of you of the opinion that Bud Selig simply made the decision to postpone any suspensions until after the upcoming season , because pressure was brought to bear upon the hierarchy by the owners and players` union ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , whose indecision over suspending players involved in the Biogenesis scandal does seem to have demeaned the season and its remaining schedule . The MLB hierarchy , it is being reported has purchased documentation from parties of the now defunct South Florida supplements` company Biogenesis . In doing so , this does compromise the league`s ongoing investigation and its integrity. It must now be said that this sort incompetency should have been expected from baseball`s governing body and the lack of actual common sense and intelligence coming from anyone within baseball`s upper echelons . AFP/Thomson News Agency / Christian Asher ……

(2) National League’s Yadier Molina , right, of the St. Louis Cardinals, helps American League’s Robinson Cano , of the New York Yankees, off the field after he was hit on the knee by pitch from National League’s Matt Harvey, of the New York Mets, during the first inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game , on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(3) American League’s Mariano Rivera , of the New York Yankees, poses for photographers after the MLB All-Star baseball game, on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. Rivera was named the game’s MVP. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …

(4) American League’s Joe Nathan , right, of the Texas Rangers, is congratulated by American League’s Salvador Perez , of the Kansas City Royals, after the final out in the ninth inning of the MLB All-Star baseball game, on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in New York. The American League defeated the National League 3-0 . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(5) Mike Matheny is seen here having just been formally introduced as the manager of te St Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium , in St Louis Missouri,. Matheny succeeded Tony La Russa and has guided the team to the top of the NL Central with the ball-club having the best record in the National League . The Cardinals` manager is seen in some circles as a potential NL Manager of The Year . Getty Images / Paul Pearson …

(6) Bryce Harper , left , is seen here alongside teammate Stephen Strasburg . Both players in their first four seasons with the Washington Nationals have become All Star selections , as well-being fan favorites around te league as well with the Nationals` organization . It remains to be seen whether or not te duo will be around together long enough to guide the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title . Harper and Strasburg are both clients of mega-agent Scott Boras , a man known to drive a hard bargain with executives around Major League Baseball . AP Photo /Clark Marshall ….

(7) New York Mets` pitcher Johan Santana is seen here with manager Terry Collins after the player threw a no-hitter against the St Louis Cardinals in the Mets` 8-0 victory over the NL Central team on the 1st June 2012 . In recent years, Sanatana`s career with Mets has proven to be something of a major disappointment with the player having spent more time on the DL (disabled list) than he has been on the playing field for the New York Mets` franchise . The pitcher is currently the highest paid player on the Mets` roster , further underscoring the current mentally of the front office and of former GM Omar Minaya who signed the player to what can best described as an utterly stupid and undeserved deal (six-year $137,500,000) . AP Photo/ Paul Davis ….

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tophatal ……… 07/18/2013

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Something Else That The State of California Is Well Known For Accepting Mediocrity While Trying To Assuage Us With Their Greatness & Narcissism .

Something Else That The State of California Is Well Known For Accepting Mediocrity While Trying To Assuage Us With Their Greatness & Narcissism .

Well not unlike the state legislature of California that faces such acute financial problems we now have the Los Angeles Dodgers facing woes of its very own. Now it’s a fact that Los Angeles Dodgers will now officially file for bankruptcy . I was repeatedly told by patrons within this medium that bankruptcy would and could never happen . If that’s the case then explain to me how it is that in the last twenty four months the following teams in Major League Baseball each had to file for bankruptcy . In the cases of the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers Chapter 11 ( Bankruptcy Protection & Reorganization) was seemingly the only way out from financial mismanagement by their then owners . Now with that in mind it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that now two of the games most storied ballclubs are effectively in the same boat. And as acute as the situation now appears to be with the Los Angeles Dodgers , it could very well be far more grave for the New York Mets and their situation. The club is defendant in a civil suit alongside principal owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as part of the fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal . Much of what we know concerning the Dodgers has been the mismanagement and the very fact that MLB hierarchy simply suborned much of the absurdity that has taken place ever since Frank McCourt assumed control of this team with his purchase of the organization from Fox Inc whose parent company is News Corporation .

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From my own standpoint this should be a fucking wake up call for the idiots who carry on as if they’re in the know when it comes to the economics of the game but instead they’d rather talk about the shit like the future of the game and the young prospects there . That’s like trying to search for the leprechaun’s pot of gold in the hope that at the end of the day things will be great . Let’s get real here the owners as we know them to be are not that business minded in spite of their apparent wealth and alleged entrepreneurial acumen . And not to be left out of this all has to be those asinine general managers within the game . Baseball has and will always continue to shoot itself in both feet because its hierarchy simply isn’t bright or astute enough to either do or know what is actually appropriately the right thing to do !

Once MLB Commissioner Bud Selig saw fit to bring in former diplomat C Thomas Schieffer to oversee the day to day running of this team we all knew that the Dodgers and Frank McCourt had reached the point of no return . But if anyone with the slightest bit of common sense could see that the writing was on the wall and the sense of foreboding for the organization. And while this was all going on what might be even more contemptible was the fact that GM Ned Colletti , COO Geoff Wharton , CFO Peter Wilhelm , CRO Michael Young and Tommy Lasorda simply chose to remain silent . Which begs the question what is it with the damn stupidity that obviously had to be taking place within the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers ? . From my own standpoint this is something that is long overdue and had to happen for baseball and the fans to finally sit up and take note ! Are some of the so called intellectual fans out there and those who claim to be insiders are simply that naive ? I’ve no doubt that the so called analysts at Fox and ESPN will now try to regale us with what they see as a painful episode , all the while these very same ingrates undoubtedly chose to ignore this story once it came to the public forefront .

Over the coming days and weeks I’ve no doubt that this all well be thoroughly discussed and written about all with a view to seeking a reason why this had to happen to one of the most storied teams in all of baseball . Well when you have a sport that shows no transparency on any level whatsoever what the fucking hell would you expect ? It’s not as if the league hierarchy itself during Selig’s tenure has ever been known to be completely open with regard to its business practices much less has a propensity for actually telling the truth on any level.

It is extremely sad to see a once great ballclub simply fall from grace and then think that Frank McCourt and the Dodgers’ hierarchy are solely to blame because much of what we know to have factually happen has been due to the inaction of the hierarchy of the game. It’s all too little too late for the organization , even with the Dodgers having now filed for bankruptcy protection . It will now be extremely difficult for the team’s creditors to actully recoup monies owed given the debt amassed by Frank McCourt which if we are to believe could very well exceed in excess of $600 million and that’s simply a conservative estimate as neither the ballclub or the league hierarchy have chosen to be completely transparent and the mere fact that Selig now wants to be seen as a knight riding into the rescue when nothing could actually be further from the truth . Instead this has more to do with the league wanting to give its image a raise in its already diminished and tarnished profile . And here was I thinking that the league handled the ” steroid issue” with about as much deftness as a blind man playing hopscotch in the midst of a minefield ! There has been more blowblack and utter cluster fucks dug up here than can actually be found in a whore’s closet !

Courtesy of The all St Journal

Baseball Blasts Dodgers Bankruptcy Loan

By Patrick Fitzgerald and Marie Beaudette

Major League Baseball on Tuesday moved to intervene in the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy case, blasting owner Frank McCourt and claiming it has a “cheaper, no strings-attached solution” to the team’s financial woes.

The office of baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who has been sparring for months with embattled Dodgers owner Mr. McCourt, said in court papers filed Tuesday that acting in the best interests of baseball, the league will provide the Dodgers with a “less expensive and otherwise superior” bankruptcy loan.

Mr. McCourt placed the Dodgers into Chapter 11 protection on Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., in a last-ditch bid to avoid having the team seized by the league.

The league says Mr. McCourt has “siphoned off well over $100 million” of the Dodgers’ revenue and has driven the team to a “liquidity crisis so severe that, absent extraordinary measures, the club would be unable to make its payroll.”

The team turned to a hedge fund manager owned by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which is providing a $150 million in so-called debtor-in-possession, or DIP, financing for what the league says is an “excessive” fee.

Major League Baseball blasted Mr. McCourt, saying he has placed his own financial interests over that of the club. While the Dodgers say they conducted an extensive search for financing, MLB says Mr. McCourt never approached the league, “an obvious source of a DIP loan,” according to court papers. A McCourt spokeswoman declined to comment.

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So what now for the Dodgers and how does the hierarchy deal with this all ? In seeing the Los Angeles declare bankrupcty it now leads to Frank McCourt will either sell the team or perhaps seek a cash infusion . Creditors will no doubt be very weary of the situation and given the fact that should MLB have to fully intervene then teams around the league will be on the hook as they hierarchy seeks to pay off many of the Dodgers’ creditors monies owed . Amongst those still owed monies by the ballclub are ex players Ted Lilly , Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones are said to be owed in excess of $24 million as well as broadcaster Vin Scully some $150,000 . This now begs the question, if McCourt is still able to meet payroll for the month of June then what of the ensuing months and where indeed will those funds actually be coming from ? We know that the $3 billlion deal that McCourt had been counting on as part of a negotiated tv contract deal with the local Fox affiliate left a great deal to be desired as much of those funds were due to pay down debt inucrred by McCourt and associated business interests .

Seemingly , when I’ve asked how it is that Frank McCourt was simply allowed to violate league rules in using the ballclub as collateral in multiple business deals repeatedly . But yet somehow the league hierarchy under Bud Selig has simply kept silent on this issue . If anything this all now leaves this ballclub in a complete mess and there’s no way in hell that any potential free agent would seek to even show an interest in the Dodgers . Given the financial uncertainty of this team, who the hell would want to be playing in the hellhole of Los Angeles with the current regime in place ? What might be even more worrying is where this now leaves the future of the coaching staff under Don Mattingly and the potential free agents with the Dodgers at present ? This once proud franchise has no one but to blame but itself but I would also say that due diligence was certainly not used by Bud Selig and the owners when they gave their approval in the sale of the Dodgers to Frank McCourt. The owner came into the organization with a great deal of baggage that if anything should have been a precursor of the mess that would become a part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ current debacle . Multiple litigant problems many of which McCourt was a plaintiff and some where he was a defendant but if anything the league hierarchy should have been fully cognizant of those issues .

I’m not so sure what the rest of the season holds for the Los Angeles Dodgers and at the same time what are the poor and disenfranchised fans to think about this mess ? I’m sure as such that they are no doubt being very vocal and vehemently against Frank McCourt still being in control as the owner of this team . Furthermore , I can’t help but wonder what the future now holds for the players not only on the team but also for the prospects and farm system of the organization as a whole ! Baseball has simply been a mess not solely because of the financial ramifications that has befallen the teams in large part but also because of the idiocy shown by the league hierarchy and the intransigence of the MLBPA .

I’ve long maintained that Bud Selig has been a poor commissioner for baseball and about as out of touch as to the acute problems that the sport now faces ! It’s no use living in the past without having learned nothing from those events and herein lies another of the many problems that the game faces , it is that nothing at all has been learned by the owners the union (MLBPA ) or the league hierarchy itself as they merely seek to carry on business as usual . If there are any potential suitors for the Los Angeles Dodgers it will be very interesting to see what sort of value is placed on the organization and whether or not that suitor would indeed be willing to pay the price being asked as to the potential value of this team .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the plight of the Los Angeles Dodgers ? And where would you apportion blame for much of the fallout for this monumental financial disaster that has now encircled the ballclub ? Simply chime with a thought on this topic and anything else you feel pertinent to the subject matter broached in this piece .

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

Picture and slide show for your perusal .

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(1) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trent Oeltjen smiles at some Dodgers fans late in the baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Monday, June 27, 2011 in Minneapolis. Oeltien was 4-for-4 with two singles, a triple and a home run in the Dodgers’ 15-0 win. AP Photo/Jim Mone …..

(2) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 27: Tony Gwynn (10) of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning on June 27, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Dodgers defeated the Twins 15-0. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …….

(3) Alexi Casilla (12) of the Minnesota Twins is out at home as A.J. Ellis (17) of the Los Angeles Dodgers defends home plate in the sixth inning on June 27, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Dodgers defeated the Twins 15-0. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …………

(4) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 27: Ned Colletti, General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches batting practice before the game against the Minnesota Twins on June 27, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ……

(5) LOS ANGELES, CA – FILE: Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaks at a news conference at Dodger Stadium prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was reported that the Dodgers have filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court June 27, 2011. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(6) Bud Selig commissioner of MLB , whose tenure as the game’s highest ranking official has been steeped in a great deal of controversy . In the last twenty four months three major league teams have had to file for bankruptcy protection under the commissioner’s watch but he and the league hierarchy have done little to try and rein in the financial mismanagement that now seems rampant not just amongst the teams but also at MLB’s headquarters . AP Photo / Carl Nash …….

(7) Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly (L) and general manager Ned Colletti of the Los Angeles Dodgers attend a press conference announcing that Mattingly will manage the Dodgers in 2011 after Joe Torre retires at Dodger Stadium on September 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images North America / Lisa Blumenfeld ….
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Who’s Minding The Store ………….. ?

Who’s Minding The Store ?

I really like to understand how it is that with the financial uncertainty that still swirls around the Los Angeles Dodgers that Newscorp through its Fox subsidiary would see fit to loan Fank McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers $30 million to meet the organization’s expenses in terms of paying the team’s salary and that of the other anciliary employees . With the league hierarchy of baseball having brought in C Thomas Schieffer a former Texas Rangers executive as well as being the former US ambassador to Japan to oversee the day to day operations of the Dodgers I would be under the impression that given the Dodgers’ ongoing financial difficulties the league would want to make sure that McCourt would be able to guarantee the repayment of any loan taken out by him to meet the team’s expenses. Not only that but given the fact that Frank McCourt and his now ex wife Jamie McCourt between 2004 through to 2009 had borrowed in excess of $100 million from the team without there being any record to indicate that this sum had been repaid . Now should he be unable to meet the team’s payroll over the coming month there is an even greater chance in all likelihood that the league may well have no other option but to seek the sale of of the Los Angeles Dodgers but first they would have ask McCourt to completely relinquish control of the team.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Clearly there’s something still amiss concerning the Dodgers , their finances and the mere fact that it has taken MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and his associates within the league hierarchy to even intervene in this situation leads me to believe that their business acumen and what we’re told are sound business practices are complete and sheer utter stupidity . From business standpoint I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of the owners around the league as well as the general managers would know the actual difference between a baking sheet and a balance sheet !

As this ongoing saga continues the less faith I have in the game’s integrity and that of the league hierarchy ! Bud Selig has become a clown of inconceivable magnitude and the fact that given the idiocy of the actions of the executives within the Dodgers’ organization most notably GM Ned Colletti , CFO Peter Wilhelm and Frank McCourt , whose own actions have been so egregious and clearly premeditated I cannot understand how it is that there seems to be no punishment of the owner for his misdeeds other than the mere fact that the league has essentially taken control of the organization. There is a great deal that McCourt has chosen not to be made public and at the same time it would appear that the league wants to cover up many of its own ineptitude in the handling of this situation. Frank McCourt states that the league hierarchy all along has had within their possession a $3 billion television contract deal that would supply the beleaguered organization with all the revenues needed to meet its financial obligations . However , in light of that all the Dodgers prior to this all Frank McCourt had stated that the Los Angeles Dodgers were never in any financial danger but records simply do not bear that out with there being multiple loans taken out by Frank McCourt using the team as collateral .

The league has a mandate that no team can have a debt ratio of more than 10 ten times its earnings but clearly with the Dodgers have contravened the rules in this instance. Bud Selig for his part has yet to make it fully public as to full extent of the problems of the Los Angeles Dodgers but clearly given the wide and varying reports by from various news sources the severity of the problems were so extensive that McCourt was simply being economical with the truth. Now it remains to be seen how long Schieffer will be overseeing the Dodgers’ operations and whether or not the team will in fact end up being sold. Frank McCourt’s ex wife Jamie McCourt has made a request of the judge who presided over her divorce proceedings to seek the court to enforce the sale of the organization . The judge may well not proceed with such an adjudication given the situation at present wherein the league has taken control over the organization. But it would not surprise me that the league’s own legal counsel could well seek out potential buyers for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However , with McCourt stating that he would fight tooth and nail to retain control of the team even if it meant taking legal action against MLB this situation could become a great deal more contentious were the two factions to enter into litigation.

At some point during the season we are liable to see several teams’ fortunes wane in terms of their performances .
Races within the divisions are steadily heating up but it’s still far too early to state what the outcomes will be with regard to where the teams will be at the culmination of the regular season .

Now as we enter the month of June and with the All Star Game set for 12th July to be hosted at Chase Field in Phoenix , Arizona it will be interesting to see what manner the protests will undoubtedly take in terms of the response to that state’s newly enacted law to enforce the state’s unpopular enforcement of the legal right of police officers to request a suspect to prove that they are a legal resident and not an illegal alien. As popular as this law may well be in the eyes of many it certainly has become very unpopular amongst many Latin American players within MLB. And the very fact that the ACLU and La Raza have chosen to closely monitor the actions as the state legislature and Gov Jan Brewer seeks its strict enforcement . I’ve no doubt that this issue as volatile as it has become should be dealt with at the Federal level of the government but given the inactivity and the partisanship within the Senate , Congress and the mere fact that no Presidential administration has seen fit to tackle this matter head on. I am really beginning to think that the mind numbing idiocy shown by the all levels of the government are completely at a loss to actually explain fully what their policy is with regard to illegal immigration !

DHS Chief Janet Napolitano who oversees the INS has been ambiguous at best in explaining the administration’s policy . Insofar as I think that the laws of the land have to be strictly adhered to , there has to be some latitude given to how a state can deal with problems that they deem acute within its own borders. I certainly don’t believe that Bud Selig ought to be forced to take a stance because a number of players oppose this statute no matter what their ethnicity. And even light of Carlos Santana making his outrageous statements at a ball game at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia , clearly shows how volatile this issue has become. However, someone ought to remind Santana that the state of Georgia has seen its own fair share of what he deems to be racial injustice as during the Civil Rights’ era within the state and in particular the city of Atlanta were one of the major epicenters of African American defiance as to the racial injustice that swept the South and across the nation at the time.

Given the history of the game and presumed journey that it has taken over the course of its history there’s no denying that baseball as far as it has come socially and economically there are still a number of issues that remain to be resolved. Jackie Robinson’s entry into the MLB opened up the game for all minorities but bear this in mind the game at the time though inclusive when Hank Aaron broke the alltime home run record he was being vilified the torrents of racial abuse , racial epithets death threats directed at the Hall of Famer would give the impression that in surpassing Babe Ruth’s feat was seen as an abomination by those who felt it beneath them to see an African American break one of sport’s most hallowed records. Now in this modern day and age it is not about the intolerance but what there is to be learned by all parties concerned.

It would appear in the aftermath of the game collision between Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins and the San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey . Giants’ GM Brian Sabean had a few choice words for the Marlins’ utility player and the fact that he felt that Cousins’ actions were unsportsmanlike . Many would disagree with Sabean’s view of the incident but when one takes into account what this loss means for the San Francisico Giants and their season then you can understand the general manager’s ire . Having lost Posey for the year and the players productivity it lessens the possible chance of the Giants quite possibly making the postseason either as a division winner or the wildcard entrant within the NL.

The Giants on a three game win streak but have lost 6 of their last 10 games over that span . For manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff the loss of Posey has to be a tremendous disappointment for the team . And it goes without saying for the fans they cannot be pleased with the loss of a fan favorite . While the debate goes on as to whether or not the league hierarchy needs to do more to protect catcher when at home plate protecting his position from a base runner heading home . I for one believe that the catcher knows of the imminent dangers that are presented in such a scenario . It has become one the traits of the game and there is not much that can be done to avoid such instances as both the catcher defending the plate and the player heading for home know of the prevailing dangers .

Collisions within baseball are part of the game just as much as fighting has become a part of an NHL . From my own perspective it would simply make no sense in changing the rules to supposedly make the game safe for its participants . What might need to be done is the for officials in such instances prior to the game to advise both coaching staffs that there is a need for their players to be aware that no unsportsmanlike conduct will be tolerated on the field . Safety has to be a priority which of course the players and managers are obviously aware of but with hindsight there becomes the issue if what we know to be right from wrong . The collision between Cousins and Posey wasn’t a premeditated act as both players were simply doing what would be normally asked of them . It goes without saying however that the game’s hierarchy may well now begin to monitor such instances to see if there is a flagrant act on the path of a player when such an instance arises between the catcher and an opponent at home plate.

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Frank McCourt the beleaguered owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers who could be close to losing control of the team either through its forced sale by the courts or from an unsolicited bid by a group of investors. courtesy of LA Dodgers . …

(2) Jamie McCourt arrives with her attorney, Dennis Wasser for a non-jury divorce trial at Los Angeles County Court August 30, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The trial, being presided over by Judge Scott M. Gordon in California Superior Court, is to decide whether Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team or his estranged wife and former Dodger CEO Jamie McCourt still has ownership stake in the team. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America ….

(3) Hall of Fame player Ernie Banks (left) is seen here with Carlos Santa (center) and Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia which commemorated the annual Civil Rights’ Game . The rocker would give a passionate but totally unwarranted speech that in part denigrated the state of Georgia with his insipid remarks calling the state and its occupants racists . AP Photo/ Chris Myles …

(4) Brian Sabean, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the San Francisco Giants, watches batting practice before Game Three of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs between the Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies at AT&T Park on October 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

(5) Catcher Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, the National League?s rookie of the year in 2010, suffered a leg fracture and torn ligaments when Florida’s Scott Cousins barreled into him at home plate in the 12th inning of the Marlins-Giants game May 25, 2011. Courtesy of ABC News ……

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NB : It is being reported that former MLB players Orel Hershiser and Steve Carlton have formed to a consortium in conjunction with billionaire Ron Burkle to make a formal offer to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers should the league see fit to put the organization up for sale.

Finally An Act of Rationale By MLB And In Particular Bud Selig Who Shows That He Might Indeed Have A Backbone

Finally An Act of Rationale By MLB And In Particular Bud Selig Who Shows That He Might Indeed Have A Backbone

I’ve read with a great deal of glee where the MLB —- hierarchy has now chosen to intervene and take over the day to day running of the operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers and not a moment too soon ! Given the financial situation of the organization and wherein the league hierarchy under MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has sat idly by as Frank McCourt has brought the organization to the brink of bankruptcy . In the last eighteen months two major ballclubs have been placed within the bankruptcy in order that they may have a stay from their creditors while being able to reorganize themselves . First off were the Chicago Cubs whose previous owner billionaire commercial real estate developer Sam Zell placed the team into bankruptcy protection in order to stave off creditors of the Cubs’ parent company (The Tribune Group) at the time going after the team to make the debt payments due. And while this maneuver worked it did cause and cost the company financially a great deal of bad PR that it could have well done without. But what might be even more gave glaring, it gave further credence as to the fact how dire the financial situation was for a number of teams around Major League Baseball .

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Slideshow for your perusal .

Courtesy of MLB.com

Selig to Appoint a rep to oversee Dodgers

By Ken Gurnick , MLB.com

LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball has taken over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday.

“Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club,” Selig said in a statement.

“I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days.

“The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

McCourt issued a brief statement late Wednesday night that read: “Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner’s action today.”

In an e-mail message sent to Dodgers employees on Wednesday, McCourt said, “In light of the Commissioner’s announcement today, I ask that you please continue to conduct business as usual with our complete dedication to the game and our loyal fans. Each of you has represented this organization with class, and while this is no doubt a challenging time for all of us, I truly appreciate your efforts.”

McCourt, owner and chairman of the Dodgers, bought the club from News Corp. on Jan. 29, 2004, and the club reached the postseason in four of his seven seasons as owner.

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If one of most renowned teams in baseball has to be forced into bankruptcy through the financial mismanagement of its parent company then what must that forebear for other organizations around the league at the time ? Given the Cubs’ history and perceived financial resources as it was believed to be , this was nothing more than a shot across the bow of the teams who faced much starker situations but who’ve yet to make it known to the public. I’ve heard it said that the hierarchy of the league wouldn’t be prepared to contract teams but that it is utter stupidity by anyone who believes that it can’t , or won’t happen. If it is the league’s wish then it will happen especially in the light of the economic uncertainty and the whole financial mismanagement of teams around the league at present. With the Cubs having been reorganized whilst in bankruptcy protection it was bought by Tom Ricketts and his family (founders of online stock trading company TD Ameritrade) for an unprecedented $ 850 million . Paring down costs to an extent while still trying to remain competitive has been of the highest order for the Ricketts as they seek to make the Chicago Cubs relevant again within the league .

The second such team , with which bankruptcy was forced upon them, were the Texas Rangers who at the time were jointly owned by Texas multi millionaires Tom Hicks and Ken Gillette . Their combined worth an estimated $2.5 billion but somehow they couldn’t make this organization a viable going concern , from a financial or competitive standpoint but yet somehow through their idiocy they managed to offer Alex Rodriguez what was at the time the richest contract in professional sports , a ten year $250 million contract . Rodriguez barely lasted three years with the organization although he managed to win AL MVP award with the Rangers . I can only surmise that Scott Boras as A Rod’s agent at the time , proved what most people may well have known , that in the state of Texas not only are the businessmen dumb but they lack real business acumen also ! Once again through financial mismanagement by an ownership group another team was brought to near extinction and each time MLB Commissioner Bud Selig sat idly by . Having been forced into bankruptcy for failing to meet their financial obligations the team was bought by consortium led by Nolan Ryan and former Rangers’ executive Chuck Greenbeg . A much needed change in fortune has taken place for the Rangers both financially and competitively on and off the field of play but it doesn’t change the fact that the game’s hierarchy and team owners have been less than truthful as to their overall financial plight .

It’s becoming increasingly clear for all who care to take notice that the game isn’t as financially sound as Selig makes it out to be , nor are the owners being financially prudent and fiscally responsible. It’s not just about the economics of the game or the fact of the now overall plight of the economy at but all but the lack of financial oversight and sound business practices that is taking place in almost every aspect of the game. The GM’s around the league have become opulent and ostentatious and it would appear that the owners alike choose not to pare down their expenses but if anything in number of cases pass on those costs to fans through higher priced tickets and in the prices that they pay for concessions and memorabilia . Well now that fans in large part are refusing to meet those demands , it is now becoming clear that the owners and in particular the league hierarchy have seen the light . Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case for Frank McCourt and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office who’ve amassed a debt now close to $1.3 billion collectively and who this past month borrowed in excess of $30 million from the local Fox tv station affiliate in Los Angeles to meet the team’s budgetary expenses for the month. Need one ask what would have happened had the MLB hierarchy chosen not to intervene and bring some sanity back within that organization ? Because clearly the likes of McCourt , GM Ned Colletti and Tommy LaSorda have lost their frigging minds if they think that they can continue to exist in such a way while trying to play down their financial plight !

And although it has been reported that McCourt will seek legal action in US Federal Court to stop the league from intervening and taking over the day to day running of the Los Angeles Dodgers I think that given his recent lack of success in the courtroom and the the financial maelstrom that he has brought within the organization , I find it hard to believe that any presiding judge hearing hearing this case would in fact choose to side with the plaintiff ! If anything the judge might be more likely to side with the defendant in the case given the severe financial problems that McCourt and his fellow executives have placed the organization in.

Now while all of this plays out as a comedic and public spectacle there are also calls for the O’Malley family to once again assume control of the Los Angeles Dodgers . As the previous owners of the ballclub I certainly don’t think that they would want to re-enter the fray of owning the organization once again, on any level, be it for the long term , or short term merely as a custodian ! If anything this situation is best left in the hands of Selig , the hierarchy under his authority . If anything it’d open up his eyes and that of the owners now knowing as such that they could be on the hook for the organization’s debt and mismanagement . One thing I do know, it’s highly unlikely that the Dodgers’ creditors would be liable to write off the vast majority of that cumulative debt as it presently stands as they too have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders and board members . Obviously that’s something that McCourt and his fellow executives didn’t take into account in terms of their own fiduciary responsibilities as it relates to their own consortium of partners in the Dodgers’ ownership. Living big and spending big doesn’t guarantee success if you simply don’t know what the hell you’re doing to begin with !

It’s certainly funny that given the Dodgers’ plight and that of the New York Mets who have their own vast problems from a financial and competitive standpoint but this might be one of the rare times that Bud Selig has chosen to show publicly that he indeed has a backbone ! God knows that this man has cowered his way under pressure and has acted oblivious to many of the problems that he has either created within the game through lax oversight or showing his complete naivete’ ! One only has to look at his handling of the steroid issue and the fact that he was absolutely powerless because he chose to be confrontational not only with the MLBPA but also with the Congress and in particular with two of its most powerful legislative bodies in the House Government & Oversight Reform Committee as Senate Judiciary Committee . You piss off the hand that feeds you in terms of providing you with your sole reason to exist throught antitrust exemption , you often in the end tend to make even more enemies than you actually want or need . Something that not even Selig would now care to openly admit to at this juncture .

Courtesy of The New York Times

Madoff Profits Fueled Mets’ Empire, Lawsuit Says

By Alison Leigh Cowan & Richard Sandomir

A lawsuit brought by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme contends that the owners of the Mets used the profits from their years of investing with Mr. Madoff to enhance their personal fortunes, enrich a number of family trusts and financially fuel their array of businesses — all in the face of repeated warnings that Mr. Madoff’s investment firm might have been a fraud.

The lawsuit, unsealed in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Friday, says the owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz , their families and their businesses “made so much easy money from Madoff for so long” that despite the many warnings — from within their own inner circle, and by other investors and financial institutions — they “chose to simply look the other way.”

“There are thousands of victims of Madoff’s massive fraud,” the lawsuit states. “But Saul Katz is not one of them. Neither is Fred Wilpon.”

Since Mr. Madoff’s arrest in December 2008, Mr. Wilpon has portrayed himself as a victim of the fraud, one he conceded was carried out by a man who had been his friend for many years. On Friday, in a personal statement and through their lawyers, Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz decried the trustee’s legal assault.

“The trustee’s lawsuit is an outrageous ‘strong arm’ effort to try to force a settlement by threatening to ruin our reputations and businesses, which we have built for over 50 years,” Mr. Wilpon and Mr. Katz said.

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If ever there was a cautionary tale to be learned as to the world of sports and how the excess of greed can turn a once beloved spectacle into a crevasse of bungling ineptitude then Major League Baseball would be it. From the cheating , lying and bungling ineptitude of the owners , players , union and the hierarchy itself and their overall unwillingness to act in a proactive manner whenever there is a real problem within their midst. Instead they each tend to act as if there’s nothing wrong at all , until it’s all too late and by then the damage done tend to be irreparable . And when I say damage done it’s not only to the game in terms of its competitiveness , financial stability but also to its very own image and the fact that the vast majority of the fans can and do no longer trust what the game says it stands for or the very people who are entrusted to oversee and maintain its very existence and livelihood .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Do you feel that the intervention now undertaken by Bud Selig and the league hierarchy will ensure the Los Angeles Dodgers’ long term existence and livelihood. Or do you feel that the Dodgers ought to have been left to their own devices and let them sink or swim dependent upon what they chose to do in order to survive ? And do you believe that in the long term contraction within the game will become more likely in light of the financial problems that are now coming to light concerning a number of teams within the game of baseball ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter and as usual thanks for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) MLB commissioner Bud Selig (left) watches the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13, 2010 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images North America / Michael Buckner ……

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (R) greets Don Newcombe, former Brooklyn Dodgers teammate of Jackie Robinson, before the game with the St. Louis Cardinals as Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Stephen Dunn ……..

(3) Cubs GM Jim Hendry (left) is seen here alongside team owner Tom Ricketts at the team’s headquarters at Wrigley Field , Chicago , Illinois , speaking to the convened press . AP Photo / Tom Scott ….

(4) Nolan Ryan team President & lead managing partner of the Texas Rangers is seen here with Chuck Greenberg a former executive with the Texas Rangers . Greenberg a respected sports attorney and agent abruptly left the Rangers’ organization earlier , this year. Dallas Morning News / Michael Ainsworth ……

(5) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, GM Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Getty Images North America / Andrew Burton ……

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