More Bang For The Buck … Or Let’s Just Say Simply More Fizzle For The Money ………… !

More Bang For The Buck … Or Let’s Just Say Simply More Fizzle For The Money ………… !

It’s not strange to realize at this time of the baseball season fans are opining on how their teams are doing and where the letdowns appear to be if those ball clubs aren’t faring well. Much of that could very well be put down to the fact that certain players haven’t been playing up to par. And nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to the highly paid players who’ve essentially been a bust over the course of the season.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Nothing could be more apparent at present than the premise prescribed when you have players such as Vernon Wells , Jayson Werth , Alfonso Soriano , Carlos Zambrano , Adam Dunn and Barry Zito simply coming up firing a blank . Having read an article in the sports’ pages of Tuesday’s edition of USA Today I thought it only appropriate to look at Bob Nightingale’s article more closely . Wells the the Los Angeles Angels’ slugger has had a monstrous and unproductive season for the team . At this juncture I’m not so sure if Arte Moreno as the team owner had it to do all over again the front office would have acquired the player from the Toronto Blue Jays by way of a trade .

Vernon Wells is owed $63 million through 2014 and it’s apparent that any takers for such a contract would have to be willing to undertake that commitment long term . How and why Mike Scoscia and GM Tony Reagins would have sought to add Wells to the roster under the premise that he would add some potency to the the team’s offense must now have the Angels’ fans in something of a quandary ! And though the ball-club now seems to be out of contention within the AL West in mounting a serious enough challenge to the Texas Rangers , it has to be said that trade has proven to be a monumental failure . Money can’t always by happiness but most certainly can buy great deal of damn misery as the Los Angeles Angels are now finding out .

It’s pretty safe to say that the Chicago Cubs have pretty much underachieved this season as can be attested to in their standing within the NL Central . And if nothing else the fallout after Carlos Zambrano’s meltdown in the game against the Atlanta Braves where the player abruptly left the clubhouse bailing on his teammates and abruptly announcing his retirement . However, in lieu of that the player has since reneged on that announcement simply stating that he was angry. Team GM Jim Hendry has , however , suspended Zambrano without pay but a grievance has been filed by the player’s agent Barry Praver with the union (MLBPA) on the player’s behalf , which will be forwarded to the MLB hierarchy .

The failings of the Chicago Cubs have been well chronicled and given the ball-club’s lack of success in the postseason they can either be lamented or simpy chided for their complete mediocrity .

As prolific as Alfonso Soriano was said to be while with the New York Yankees it has to be said the player has been less of an asset and more of a liability with the Chicago Cubs . From one moment to the next one never simply knows what to expect from the player. And it’s not as if this season has proven to be any different for Soriano as we have seen the Cubs simply give up on the year . And for team owner Tom Ricketts and his family even with the multi million dollar refurbishment of Wrigley Field , the loyal fans still coming to the ballpark in droves it has to be said that the fans are still be short changed by the organization at large.

Can someone please explain to me how it is that Mike Rizzo can still remain the general manager of the Washington Nationals ? Isn’t it enough with the hooplah over the drafting of Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg the organization has nothing to show for it at all ? Building for the future is one thing but I doubt that the fans will want to become members of AARP before this team actually shows some semblance of being competitive .

Last season the hooplah was the furor was with the Nationals acquiring Jayson Werth from the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent. The player lauded by the front office as being a leader and someone who would tutor the younger players on the roster , it has to be said that Werth has been a complete disappointment. And at seven years $126 million ($18 million a year), can we all agree that agent Scott Boras has found a way to con another idiotic general manager in baseball.

I’ve heard fans opine on the fact that when a marquee free agent hits a slump then he ought to be viewed as crap but what about the general manager who signed that player how should they effectively be treated ? Shouldn’t they also be denigrated and chewed out for their stupidity ? It appears the fans are not always willing to go that far but I would simply pose this question ….. why the fu#ck not ?

Another of Boras’ high profiled clients is Barry Zito and his season can be best described as being caked in utter bullshit ! To see the San Francisco Giants’ fall from grace though not quite out contention in the NL West divisional hunt or the wildcard berth is to witness a team that simply seems to have ran out of steam at present. As defending World Series champions it’s hard to imagine a team could be viewed as being self destruct mode . Zito , himself has $46 million remaining on a contract that if anything will be a boon for Brian Sabean and the organization at large .

If there’s to be an absolute baseline in mediocrity this season simply in terms of productivity from a highly paid player in baseball then that mantel would clearly belong to Adam Dunn ! Suffice to say his season productivity in terms of his BA ( .162 ) isn’t even in line with his own body weight . I am not about to lambast the player much less the Chicago White Sox organization at large . GM Ken Williams along team owner Jerry Riensdorf and manager Ozzie Guillen must’ve undergone a strange transformation of sorts , wherein , they felt that Dunn was still a valuable asset to this team at large . Clearly this season that simply has not been the case as the White Sox have simply struggled to remain competitive within the AL Central . Barely above .500 within the division with a 61-60 mark it has to be said that the team will have to fight tooth and nail to pass both the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers who lay ahead of them within the AL Central .

One could be critical of the job that Ozzie Guillen has done this season but in reality the failings of this team are not simply Guillen’s alone . It has been a collective effort all round much of that blame has to laid squarely on the players who have simply not stepped up to the plate . Adam Dunn being the primary example of that with his meager productivity this season and that of his teammates . But that asides if Guillen’s only premise is to be verbose and simply use profanity as a way of instilling his wishes from his players then you can comprehend why it is that the team has as such failed to respond with resolve throughout much of the season.

It’s hard to try and explain the reasons behind the failures of the aforementioned players other than to suggest that they’re simply not as good as advertized or previously thought . One thing is definitely certain, any organization choosing to take any of players mentioned had better make sure to be diligent in the process , and know exactly what the hell it is that they’re doing . This much I do know , given the actions of the general managers of the teams in question who sought the services of these high priced free agents, it is obvious that they simply craved the idea of having what they thought was a productive asset but instead they’ve simply ended up with a dud !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the points raised within this piece and that of Bob Nightingale’s article do you feel that it is primarily a general manager’s responsibility or that of the player to actually prove their worth ? Do bear in mind however , the premise behind any deal is that the player is being rewarded based on his ability and the executive in this case is simply being rewarded for his professed astuteness in making a deal that’s said to be beneficial for both parties. Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

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

Contact tophatal @ rapptu@gmail.com or via these social media services

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Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Los Angeles Angels’ Vernon Wells, a former Toronto Blue Jays, evades a ball from Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero during the second inning of their baseball game in Toronto, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young ….

(2) Vernon Wells (10) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a hit against the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game on August 13,2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images ……

(3) Jayson Werth (28) of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout after striking out against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park on August 16, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images …….

(4) Alfonso Soriano (12) of the Chicago Cubs makes an attempt on a line drive against the Washington Nationals on August 11, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Nationals 4-3 . Photo by David Banks/Getty Images ………..

(5) Pitcher Carlos Zambrano (38) of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The player would be ejected during the game subsequently announce his retirement but would soon renege on the comment . However he has since been suspended by the club without pay for 30 days. The suspension of which he’s now fighting having lodged an appeal through the union which will be reviewed by the MLB hierarchy . Mark Zarrilla / Getty Images North America ………

(6) Adam Dunn (32) of the Chicago White Sox argues with home plate umpire Bill Miller after striking out in the eighth inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 10, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(7) Dave Righetti (19) the pitching coach of the San Francisco Giants talks with Barry Zito (75) and Eli Whiteside (22) during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 31, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio . Zito would then be immediately be place on the team’s DL with a sprained right foot . The player’s productivity this season can be best described as meager when one bears in mind he’s due $18.5 million this year . Getty Images North America / Mark Parrilla …………..

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MLB news

MLB Results 16th August 2011

MLB probable starters 17th August 2011

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard

To read Bob Nightingale’s article in USA Today click on the link provided Zambrano contract among bad deals

Link provided … List of highest paid MLB players

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

For Whom The Bells Toll ……….. It Tolls For Thee !

There’s not a great deal happening in the world of sports at present and with the Opening Day of baseball (MLB) set for this Thursday beyond that there isn’t a great deal to actually have the sport’s fan greatly enamored. The NBA regular season is slowly approaching the final straight and there too a number of teams are striving to gain some form of momentum in order to have themselves playoff ready for the postseason .

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Slide show for your perusal

With the NBA postseason set to commence in the second week or third week of April (April 16th), it’s easy to understand why these teams contending for a playoff berth would want to hit form of consistency that sets them on the right track as the playoffs approach . My own thoughts are that the teams looking to make a postseason berth are going to have to raise the level of their game as the playoffs approach.

A work colleague of mine brought up the subject of the NFL labor dispute and the lockout and made the statement that how is that all of a sudden the league now sets to paint the NFLPA in a dark light bearing in mind that they were the ones who sought instigate the lockout because the Executive Committee of the union were unwilling to acquiesce to a number of conditions that league proposed ? With Neil being a labor relation’s lawyer I found it somewhat surprising that he raised that point ! One of the sticking points now appears to be the league’s wish to have a comprehensive drug testing policy as it relates to PED’s and in particular HGH . For some reason I was under the impression that the league already had what they’d deemed to be a comprehensive drug testing policy but obviously it’s no better than the policy that MLB hierarchy has in place . Now if this is one of the real sticking points said to be many that the league and the union are said to be far apart on then it this lockout suddenly becomes not merely about money but a great deal more.

I know that the league (NFL) does test for certain prohibitive substances , namely marijuana , anabolic steroids and certain other illicit opiates but if they weren’t already testing for HGH then this is the question I’ve got to ask what the hell is going on within the NFL and their own credibility as it relates to the use of HGH ? Given the fact that we’ve all seen the dangers of abusing steroids and in particular a number of these opiates how is it that they’ve continued to not address the issue of HGH being used by the players . I know that it’s use has to be closely scrutinized by a medical professional. But herein lies the caveat if it’s only now that the league hierarchy under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is prepared to address this issue then clearly there’s something that the NFL and owners weren’t prepared to make public unless they’re prepared to use it as leverage against the union. At the same time in the midst of this all Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams issued a public statement saying that it is his belief that a 2011-12 season will commence on time . Unless Bud Adams is actually fully aware of some upcoming turn of events then clearly the league feels that they now hold the upper hand in any proposed return to the table concerning resolving the labor negotiations.. I’m not so sure that now appears to the case as I do believe that Goodell and the owners have been out-maneuvered by the NFLPA headed by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith .

Courtesy of NFL.com

NFL wants its players tested for human growth hormone

By Steve Wyche of NFL.com

The NFL believes now is the time to include human growth hormone testing in its banned substances policy and is pushing players to add it to a collective bargaining agreement — whenever one is reached.

The NFL and NFL Players Association discussed the policy before the union decertified March 11 and league owners imposed a lockout March 12, but no details were provided regarding where things stood.

News of the league’s insistence on HGH testing being part of the new CBA was first reported Thursday by FoxSports.com.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s vice president of law and labor policy, said Friday that the league has pushed for HGH testing since 2008, but with the opportunity to re-cast terms of a labor deal, it has become a priority. The NFLPA had resisted it in the past because of HGH testing methods and the reliability of results.

Blood testing remains the most reliable means to detect the presence of HGH, and that has been the sticking point — not both sides’ desire for fair play, Birch said.

“In terms of the policy, we’ve always been in lockstep with the players,” Birch said. “It’s an important tool in deterring — that’s maybe the most important part — and detecting those who are using (HGH). It helps the public understand what they are seeing is legitimate and that it’s not the result of artificial means. It’s equally important to players to know that someone hasn’t gained an artificial advantage over them.”

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Click on the link shown to read the article in its entirety.

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At this juncture the whole labor dispute nonsensical and personally with each passing day with the damage being done to the image of both parties , I now feel that the fans couldn’t give a sh_t how things turn out. It’s not as if the league or players have ever had the fans’ best interests at heart any time during their deliberations !

With the trial of Barry Bonds now hitting its stride it’s amazing to see to read or hear about the testimony now be given by the number of witnesses subpoenad to appear at the trial by the prosecution in this case the US Justice Department and the attorneys representing the People of the US. With Jason Giambi having testified that he was a recipient of steroids from Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson and Bonds’ former mistress Kimberly Bell testifying that in her time spent with the MLB slugger over the course of their relationship the player got considerably bigger. I can only surmise that apart from Bonds’ rigorous training regimen that she was trying to allude to the fact the player was using something illicit to spurt his growth or could it be that she was also taking about the size of his member ? And as absurd as this case has become I do believe that we’re going to hear a great deal more than goes from the sublime to the ridiculous !

The longer this charade goes on as to the money being spent on this case the more I continue to question the asinine stance of the MLB hierarchy under the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in particular the owners within the game , managers and the MLBPA under then Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA . If the NHL and the sport of hockey hasn’t gone through enouhh problems as it is ther Players’ Union hires Fehr to become their Executive Director ? Are they fu_king mad ? The game is still in a financially tenuous position and it’s not as if Gary Bettman as the NHL Commissioner has actually got them now heading in the right direction as of now is it ?

As it now stands the legacy of the game throughout the nineties and into the early part of this decade has been irrevocably damaged and harmed ! With the advent of the regular season about to start as of tomorrow I can’t help but wonder what the teams , owners , union , fans and the game’s hierarchy hope to see when in large part the fans are still being reminded of the inane stupidity of the league hierarchy’s lackadaisical approach to the steroid issue . Bud Selig and his then counterpart Donald Fehr and the union as a whole were complicit in perpetrating this fraud upon the public and wherein the teams and players had a financial windfall. Were this a white collar crime committed I can assure you that the FBI , Justice Department and dare I say it the idiots within both Congress and the Senate would be asking that there be indictments of all of the guilty parties concerned ! But instead those blowholes have remained mind numbingly silent , even with those odious and sleep inducing Congressional hearings that took place and was overseen by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the House Committee on Energy & Commerce . What was achieved by those hearings dependent upon one’ s views ranged somewhere between the idiotic with the grandstanding by those congressional committee members and the idiotic statements and testimony given by the league hierarchy and the players subpoenad to testify !

The one thing I for one question now is given what we may or may not know to be true is how the public view the records attained by players during the steroid era and how they ought to be viewed by the fans and public in general ? God knows the single season home run record as well as the home run record ought to have an asterisk placed at their side . I don’t state this as a damning indictment of Bonds alone . But I do feel if that he’s now to be viewed as the face of the steroid era along with Jose Canseco and several other players whom we all know to be associated with the illicit use of steroids amongst other substances banned by the game then we also ought to question silence maintained by players such as Derek Jeter , Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who’ve often been viewed as what’s right within the game but with their avowed silence on the issue , has to have the fans thinking up to a point whether or not they condoned the actions by their fellow players ? I mean even the most menial and lowly of the low within the union (MLBPA) as well as the marquee names have profited greatly from the era having seen their salaries rise not merely based on potential alone but from the stats that were achieved during the era . And with the idiot general managers then willing to pay exorbitant salaries to players while being lassoed in by uber-agents such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem and Leigh Steinberg making the players immeasurably wealthy beyond their wildest dreams . It now begs the question what credibility does the game of baseball really have as to its legitimacy in being viewed as the nation’s favorite pastime as well as the integrity of its players , managers and the league hierarchy itself ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As the NFL labor dispute continues to meander along whatever route it presumably takes how do you as such view the situation as a discerning fan of the game ? Do you also feel that the league’s stance with regard to them wanting to instigate a test for HGH via blood testing is the proactive thing to do by the NFL ? Or do you feel that a the federal laws in place as it relates to the use of steroids is enough of a deterrent to the players as a whole ? And what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the recently commenced federal trial of former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds ? Simply leave a comment on your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter as you’d deem fit .

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award finalists Nnamdi Asomugha (R) of the Oakland Raiders and Israel Idonije (2ndR) of the Chicago Bears pose with the Peyton family, Connie Payton (2ndL), wife of former Chicago Bears great Walter Payton, and her children Brittney (3rdL), Jarrett (3rdR) and Adolpho Birch (L) during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images North America Inc / Doug Pensinger ……..

(2) Birch (center) seen here with officials of the NFL and local dignitaries in Arlington , Texas prior to this past season’s Superbowl played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers . AP Photo Chris Morgan ………

(3) DeMaurice Smith (R), NFLPA executive director, arrives with NFL Players Association Spokesman George Atallah (L) and Kansas City Chiefs player Brian Waters (C) for an extra day of negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners during a 24 hour extension in negotiations. Brian Smialowski / Getty Images North America …..

(4) Former TN. Govenor Phil Bredesen, Honoree/Owner NFL TN. Titans Bud Adams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and current TN. Governor Bill Haslam present Bud Adams with the “Lifetime Humanitarian Award” at the 2011 T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala at the Hutton Hotel on March 28, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Rick Diamond / Getty Images ……

(5) Former Major League Baseball player Barry Bonds leaves federal court at the end of the day on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images ……..

(6) Major League Baseball player Jason Giambi leaves federal court after testifying during Barry Bonds’ perjury trial on March 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds’ perjury trial accusing him of lying to a grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs when he played for the San Francisco Giants enters its second week. The trial is expected to last two to four weeks. Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images North America ….

(7) Kimberly Bell the former mistress of Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds is seen here leaving the US Federal Courthouse in San Francisco , California, having given her testimony in the player’s obstruction of Justice and perjury trial . AP Photo / Phil Montgomery …

(8) Former Major League All Star Jose Canseco known steroid user whose revelations of widespread steroid and PED use amongst his peers in the league led to widespread outrage along with the watered down Mitchell Report and MLB ‘s inane drug policy . AP/Reuters / Keith Pettigrew ……….

(9) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (L) is pictured alongside then Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Donald Fehr during testimony at a House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on the Mitchell Report into the use of steroids in baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington January 15, 2008. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told the U.S. Congress on Tuesday that Major League Baseball’s players and owners must come together “in a well-planned, well-executed and sustained effort” to remove steroids from the national pastime . Andy Krupp /Reuters ……

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Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

🙂

NBA News

NFL News

MLB News

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😛

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Bubba Sparxxx ………………………….”Ugly ” .

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Dre Dre ……. feat’g ……… Snoop Dogg …………………… ” Let Me Ride ”

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TI ………… feat’g ………. Christina Aguilera ……….” Castle Walls ”

Could this better describe the situation now facing both the MLB and NFL and their respective images as they each perceive it to be ?
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Saving Face ………………. Or How Not To Win Friends And Influence People

Saving Face ………………. Or How Not To Win Friends And Influence People

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry considering the ludicrous events that’ve taken place over the past twenty four hours . First the bombshell within college football has Florida’s __ Urban Meyer announcing his stepping down as coach of the Gators’ football team albeit that he’ll still coach the team in their Outback Bowl meeting against Joe Paterno’s __ Penn State football team . While I find this something of a shock I can also see the comical side of this all given the ongoing criticism that has taken shape within the local press here in the Central Florida area. What might be even more impalpable is the way with which Meyer chose to make this announcement and the circumstances brought up to validate his choice.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Urban Meyer had once before resigned from his post citing the fact that he’d undergone health issues, now he states that because of his familial issues in being away from his children for days on end he feels that he now owes it to them and that he needs to be at their side. Am I missing something here because there are a number of college coaches around the game of college football that are in a similar position being that they are also parents ? So what is it here that Meyer is now trying to have us believe at this moment in time ? A 7-5 season for the Gators wherein they fell short not only in their national title aspirations but also within the SEC (Southeastern Conference) where the Auburn Tigers led by their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Cam Newton would prevail over Steve Spurrier’s ___ South Carolina Gamecocks in the SEC title game (56-17). Given that Newton was also once a member of the Gators’ football team before unceremoniously having to leave the campus over irregularities concerning a stolen laptop computer as well as allegations of cheating on a number of tests. What we now have within the local press are a number of journalists questioning Meyer’s choices as it regards game time decisions and his personnel. John Brantley , Tim Tebow’s successor has had something of an inconsistent season and although the coaching staff has used number schemes that didn’t prove effective it simply showed the frailties and weaknesses of this team and the play in particular of the Gators this season. So much for the pundits who lauded Meyer for having a top notch recruiting class this season as it now seems to have been to no avail.

Now while Meyer has stepped down the talk of his successor is now rife as to who many believe should be the next coach of the Florida Gators. Amongs those being named are Jon Gruden , Bobby Petrino , Bob Stoops , Jim Harbaugh , Chris Petersen and Dan Mullen to name but a few . Gruden and Stoops to my mind won’t be particularly interested in the position given the fact that both are well compensated in their present jobs . Gruden is on air analyst with ESPN/ABC while Stoops has one of the most lucrative contracts in all of college football along with very lucrative endorsement deals with several high profiled businesses within state of Oklahoma . Somehow I for one don’t believe that the Gators can match that sort of financial wherewithal ! Gruden while in the service of ABC/ESPN is still being paid the remainder of his contract after his abrupt firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and if anything the former NFL coach probably covets any one of a number of vacancies that will arise once the season is over . So any talk of Gruden being interested coaching a college program seems to be out of the question and is simply just talk . As to who will ultimately succeed Meyer will rest in the interview process and the decision made by AD Jeremy Foley .

It’s funny but when I heard that the Washington Nationals had signed Jayson Werth to a lucrative seven year $126 million contract I thought that it was a mistake but then I realized who Werth’s agent happened to be and it was none other than uber-agent Scott Boras agent to the stars. This sports agent has been the main provocateur within the game that has seen salaries now escalate to unheard of heights. Need I remind you that he has been influential in making Alex Rodriguez the highest paid player in the game and will have amassed in excess of $500 million in earnings from the game as a salaried player without taking into account off field endorsements. As this idiocy now prevails within the game no one from the game’s hierarchy much less the MLBPA , __ general managers or team owners seem to question the direction that the game is taking in terms of its financial viability. I understand that the Nationals and in particular the team’s GM Mike Rizzo wants to make a big splash but given the fact that Nationals have struggled to be competitive over the past few seasons, I see nothing really changing in spite of the signing of Werth and the promise of Stephen Strasburg . And less we forget that the organization is also counting on former high school phenom Bryce Harper to provide an impact for the team and at the same lure the fans to the Nationals’ Ballpark in Washington, DC.

Fans around the game have to be perplexed by what they’re now seeing as teams now seek to make their best attempt to be viewed as viable contenders. Am I mistaken here but the usual suspects will always be around no matter how many of these teams look to be part of what’s turning out not to be a level playing field at all. Now as the Winter Meetings have ended amongst the team owners and general managers the most prized free agent still remains on the open market and two teams are left standing to battle it out with the prize being the signature and services of Cliff Lee are the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers . And while Lee remains coveted the Rangers and in particular team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels . And the team has offered the pitcher a six year contract that’s estimated to in the region of $120 million , it’s said that the Yankees are prepared to offer Lee a seven year contract paying between $130 to $145 million , with the seventh year being an option year for the player and team.

One tries to assimilate this and make some sense of it all but I for one no longer find it a complexity at all. It merely now boils down to the avarice of the owners , players and the game’s hierarchy itself. No one seems to question the fact that the teams are now spending money like it’s going out of fashion but then again given the mendacity with which the government has chosen to run up the federal deficit and national debt should we be at all surprised to see the idiocy now taking place within the game of baseball ? I know at the end of the day the decision to be made by Lee will be his alone but at the same time even if his wife still has her doubts over the behavior of the New York Yankees’ fans and the profanity laced taunts she faced while attending the ALCS games at Yankees’ Stadium . It goes without saying that the player may well err on the side of wanting the money over remaining in Texas with the team where his postseason performances prior to the World Series were very exhilarating .

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Picture gallery for your perusal

The future of the Gators may well be bright but we won’t actually know that until a new coach is hired by the AD and the identity that he wishes to bring to the team. As to how the Gators’ fans may well now view this all remains to be seen but as of now the well wishers are there for Meyer and for what he’s achieved for the program . But there also the detractors who no doubt feel somewhat betrayed by his actions . Make of it what you will . As to what’s now transpiring this off-season within the game of baseball let’s just say that even with Carl Crawford’s signing by the Boston Red Sox and their seven year offer of $140 million this won’t be the last time that we’ll see these type of maneuvers take place within the game. This off season Scott Boras made sure that the game of baseball remains where it is right in the doldrums and the fans of the game have remained bewildered by what has taken place . That my friends is how one saves face while not wanting to win friends and influence people !

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the Urban Meyer stepping down as coach of the Gators’ football team and your own thinking as to the Washington Nationals signing of Jayson Werth ? By all means simply leave a comment on this topic and as always thanks for the continued support.

😛

Alan aka tophatal ……………… 🙂 ___ 😦 __ 😛

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Tiara

Eye candy …. Tiara

We All Get Wasted ……….. It’s The Lifestyle of The Student Athlete

We All Get Wasted ……….. It’s The Lifestyle of The Student Athlete

There’s a very interesting song that was released off the well critiqued and received CD by rapper Gucci Mane called the ‘State vs Radrick Davis’ . One of the songs in question became a noted club anthem called ‘Wasted’ and it essentially chronicled the party life of the club goers and their rather excessive life styles. In saying that I’d associate it also with that of the life of the student athlete who if we’re to believe receive a college scholarship but in large part many of them end up failing to obtain their degrees and fulfilling their obligations to the schools. That being said these schools tend not to lose out because the tens of millions of dollars that comes their way each year by way of endorsements , the rights’ fees ,of course tv revenues courtesy of the NCAA and independently in some cases more than makes up for that loss.

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Slide show for your perusal.

Within the last couple of days Sports Illustrated printed an article that will be in their November issue, wherein they interviewed an agent by the name of Josh Luchs. In this interview Luchs detailed his involvement with college athletes who were primarily football players entering and about to leave the college stage to enter the NFL . As an inducement Luchs had been paying players to actually sign with him in order for representation at the next level. Some of the noted players in question whom he named were Ryan Leaf , Jonathan Ogden and Tony Banks . Now this may well be only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in terms of the players that he’d represented or had been involved with at the time and in terms of the monies involved it’s not completely chronicled as to how much was involved . But one can be assured that the amounts had to have been substantial to say the least and that Luchs was adequately compensated in terms of his own fees at the end of the day.

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated in conjunction with Dan Patrick _ article posted by Andrew Perloff

Josh Luchs offers insight into world of agents and NFL players

NFL agent Josh Luchs joined the show to talk about the Sports Illustrated cover story on the underside of the business.

Luchs tried to explain why he paid players. “I loved the players and I wanted to help them,” Luchs said.

Luchs also talked about why he started. “I got sick of not being paid back,” Luchs said. “I got sick of being lied to.”

Luchs said that a lot of agents are doing this, but he said it’s hard to prove. “It’s very hard to keep track of … it’s not just the agents any more,” Luchs said, pointing to all the runners and marketing people.

Dan asked about the part of the story that claimed Mel Kiper had a relationship with his former boss, agent Gary Wichard. Dan asked Luchs if thinks Kiper overrates Wichard clients.

“There are plenty of other agents in this business that believe that he does,” Luchs said.

Luchs said he does believe Kiper may have overrated Jimmy Clausen. But it’s not that simple. “I think Gary can be very persuasive and he was able to persuade Mel,” Luchs said.

Luchs said it’s not easy to fix this problem, and college coaches can’t do anything about it. “I truly don’t believe that they’re capable of preventing that from happening,” Luchs said.

Luchs said states need to make tough laws against this and follow through and enforce them.

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Now one could decry Luchs for being a ‘tattle tale’ as he’s no longer an involved being a big time agent. But here to my mind is where the rubber hits the road if Luchs was involved with players at the time and he was knowingly giving them money and other gratuities then where the hell was the oversight from the collegiate establishments that these very same players were attending ? Furthermore if as it’s my belief much of what Luchs states in his interview has veracity to it then there’s the likelihood that the colleges knew of his interactions with the players an chose to ignore it. At the end of the day if it benefits the program by way of the success achieved on the field and the financial returns are more than equitable then everyone seated at the table wins. And that obviously included the NCAA , the governing body for collegiate athletics across the nation.

Now in raising my next point which is to suggest that if Luchs was one of many agents out there conducting business and he’s now prepared to open up Pandora’s Box on this issue then quite possibly many of his peers at the time involved in the sports’ agent business were also conducting themselves in such a way . The likes of Drew Rosenhaus , Tom Condon , Chuck Greenberg , Scott Boras and Leigh Steinberg no doubt and would probably tell us that they’re above reproach and wouldn’t contend with enabling an athlete to contravene and then violate NCAA rules. Well if that’s the case then clearly there’s now something deeply amiss with the current situation at the collegiate athletics level. Because the very same practices to which Luchs prescribed are the very same themes that have come to the fore in the investigations of several athletics programs in the last few years bring about severe sanctions against those schools but yet no punishment against the agents who may or may not have been involved. Many of the agents in question will have a number intercedents act on their behalf in approaching the athlete indirectly to discuss being represented. The strange thing is , if this is in some cases being done openly on campuses then what are the AD’s (athletics directors , compliance officers and coaches doing about it ? Clearly nothing in the cases of schools such as USC , U Conn and the University of North Carolina to name but a few. And whilst we’re at it where is the NCAA in the midst of this all , other than their rather asinine notion that their investigations and then watered down punishments meted out tends to stop this all ? It hasn’t happened and has never been much of a deterrent to the schools or to the agents themselves. The whole system is corrupt from the NCAA on down and it’s a sad indictment of collegiate athletics as a whole.

NCAA President Mark Emmert who took over from his predecessor Dr Myles Brand a little under six months ago hasn’t really had time stamp his identity on the institution and at the same time one seriously doubts if the NCAA are at all serious in dealing with many of the ongoing issues that collegiate athletics faces. The body itself (NCAA) seems to be intent on spending more time on renewing multi-billion dollar television contracts and seeking out new corporate partners in terms of marketing the NCAA brand than they are prepared to do, than dealing with such instances as the interaction between an agent and athlete , while they are in school or about to enter college having just left high school. And if you think that these agent are merely using the college campuses as their stomping ground then think again ? Many of them are out there at high school games seeking out and looking for the next ‘big thing’ . And to be sure, many of the agents out there would be hard pressed to deny that isn’t the way they tend to conduct their business. I’m sure that agents such as Drew Rosenhaus have interacted with the parents of kids whilst they were in high school as well as the kids themselves and seeking them out surreptitiously merely to discuss their needs.

Now while no one is denying the fact that attending college on a student scholarship isn’t a noble thing, one has to ask this question if the student is there merely to hone their skills and allegedly gain an education. If the scholarship itself is of value then why not as part of the scholarship throw in a stipend for the athlete in order to negate the incidents that have arisen in the cases of athletes such as Reggie Bush and O J Mayo ? It may not deter what we know has happened but if in part a stipend were included in the scholarship with clear guidelines as to what is acceptable as a parameter then surely this would be of assistance to the athlete and actually be a way to avert any temptation there might be to accept money and representation from an agent while in college ? Clearly this is something that hasn’t arisen at any level for discussion or has been seriously looked at .

From my own perspective I view the NCAA as a broken down archaic system that simply doesn’t want to change as they are completely comfortable with their being . Concerns that they may well have, seem to be only their financial well being and in making sure that everyone on board the gravy train is well taken care of except the students themselves whose interests they are actually there to represent. Now if ever there was a clear definition of the word oxymoron then I’d nominate and place the NCAA atop of any list along with US House of Representatives and US Senate . Each of the three bodies in question to my mind on their best day have been about as much use a bucket being used to bail one’s self out of a capsizing boat. I mean what use are these bodies when even they themselves fail to act and do the right thing when the appropriate action needs to be taken ?

As to the athletes themselves they’re asked to be held accountable for their actions but clearly when temptation is placed in their way especially when it’s financial how can they deny any of it at all ? OK so the consequences can be grave but at the same time what of the actions of the individuals who have lured them into making that questionable decision ? No punishment there and until the NCAA and schools are prepared to address that particular then I say ………..’ let the party continue and let ’em all get wasted’ !

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

With Luchs having now given this interview do you feel that anyone of note from the NCAA on down to the schools will show any interest in anything has said ? And what thoughts if any do you have on how the agents themselves are said to conduct their business in terms of interacting with these agents ? Furthermore do you feel that it’s time for commissioners of MLB , NBA , NFL and NHL to step in and act in conjunction with the NCAA to stop the actions of agents where they actually are getting the college athletes to break NCAA rules ? Chime in with a comments as to your own thoughts on the matter and as always thanks for the continued support .

NB:

Click on the link provided to read related articles concerning Josh Luchs’ claims.

Links to Josh Luchs ………..

Alan aka tophatal …………… 🙂

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Gucci Mane _____ “Wasted” feat’g …… Plies

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So Tell Me Why It Is We’re Suppose To Listen To Anything That Scott Boras Has To Say ? Is It Pertinent ?

So Tell Me Why It Is We’re Suppose To Listen To Anything That Scott Boras Has To Say ? Is It Pertinent ?

It amuses me when I read how ‘uber-agent’ Scott Boras now deems it appropriate for MLB to set into motion where he thinks that the hierarchy ought to have a salary structure in place for rookies entering the draft. Am I missing something here ? This is the same Scott Boras who originally wanted a signing bonus of $25 million signing bonus for his then client Stephen Strasburg who would then sign with the Washington Nationals . But I digress , what we have here is bloviate who finally realizes that economy of the game is now stifling his earning potential and power.

Scott Boras, chided for bonus demands for amateur clients, says the Major League Baseball draft needs restructuring. "In this system, everybody thinks this is about money. No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes," he says.

Scott Boras, chided for bonus demands for amateur clients, says the Major League Baseball draft needs restructuring. “In this system, everybody thinks this is about money. No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes,” he says. photo appears courtesy of USA Today Jason M. Millstein ……….

More caustically , need I remind you that of the eight highest paid players in the game, 6 of those players’ contracts were negotiated by Boras, himself. Now far be it for me to suggest that Boras is solely to blame for the financial mess within the game. But in large part the idiocy of this all ‘falls squarely on the shoulders of the general managers’ and ‘owners’ who acquiesce and allow Scott Boras to dictate the price being paid. A statement that can be directly attributed to Boras was that “…….the market can bear whatever it can bear ” !. And this all is borne out by the fact that Boras feels that teams such as the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels , New York Mets , Philadelphia Phililies and St Louis Cardinals are able to afford the ‘multi million dollar contracts’. So needless to say , Alex Rodriguez’s ten year $275 million contract negotiated by the player on the advice of Boras , with the Yankees’ intermediary and GM Brian Cashman , was something that the agent felt proud of. Wouldn’t ‘you’ , if your commission is in the range of anywhere between 3-6 % of the contract’s worth ? Never mind what the player will be able to earn via the prospective commercial endorsement contracts that may well come their way.

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Courtesy of USA Today Thursday’s edition 03/11/2010

Panel Part IV: A less-costly process for draft

By Bob Nightengale , USA Today

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Agent Scott Boras is the man baseball loves to hate.

It’s not enough that he’s blamed for baseball’s escalating salary structure, but he’s considered in some quarters almost personally responsible for ruining Major League Baseball’s amateur draft with outrageous bonus demands for amateur clients.

The draft was designed to provide baseball’s greatest amateur talent to its worst teams, but often the best player is bypassed by cellar dwellers for financial reasons.

The Washington Nationals might have reveled in No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg’s dazzling debut Tuesday, but seven months ago there was the daunting prospect they couldn’t afford him.

“If we had the same rules as the NBA and NFL,” Detroit Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen says, “the Washington Nationals could have either taken Strasburg or traded down. They could have gotten a couple of players who already are in the big leagues or prospects.

“But the way it’s set up now, they had no choice.”

Strasburg, represented by Boras, signed a four-year, $15.1 million contract, the richest in draft history, minutes before the Nationals lost the rights to negotiate with him.

And yet three months later Strasburg’s contract was dwarfed by a pitcher not subject to the draft. Cuban defector Ardolis Chapman signed a $30 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

“There’s no question,” Boras says, “the draft needs to be completely redone. It’s not working.”

Major League Baseball can’t agree more. But the $7 billion industry question is, how can it be changed? There has been talk of a hard slotting system similar to the NBA’s or an international draft.

TORII HUNTER: Candid comments cause stir

Key ideas

USA TODAY’s eight-person committee emerged from a four-hour roundtable discussion with imaginative solutions.

•The elite players in the draft, a consensus top 40 chosen by scouting directors, would be granted free agency, just like the international players. There would be no worldwide draft, but the disparity between American and foreign players would be greatly narrowed.

•The rest of the players would go into two eight-round drafts — one for collegiate players, one for high school players. The worst team would get the No. 1 collegian and the No. 1 high schooler. Players drafted would not receive a signing bonus but a three-year contract for $30,000 a season. If clubs want to retain the player after three years, they would pay $150,000 for the following season and $250,000 apiece for the next two years.

•The players who aren’t drafted can either go to college or enter a developmental league for 60 days, giving every team another chance to sign them. If not selected, the players would get the message that pro baseball might not be in their immediate future.

“This system allows us to make less mistakes,” Boras says. “It allows players the opportunity to get a qualified amount of money to play baseball and allows the elite players to be separated and treated the same as the international player.”

“It’s a whole different level of thinking,” Milwaukee Brewers pitcher LaTroy Hawkins says. “I love it.”

The idea is to ensure that only the truly elite players are drafted. There would be college scholarships awaiting those who don’t make it. And fewer kids would be deceived about their chances of being a big-leaguer.

“In this system, everybody thinks this is about money,” Boras says. “No, this is about saving money. It allows for less mistakes. It’s about not seeing kids get hurt.

“They’re drafting kids and taking them out of college. They’re saying, ‘You have a chance to play pro baseball,’ when truthfully they don’t. Right now, 98% of the kids that are signed are later released. Let’s stop sending false messages that players drafted in rounds nine through 50 are going to be in the major leagues.

“We’re spending 45% of our money on players drafted after the fifth round. Owners say our draft budget went from $5 million to $9 million because of you. I tell them, ‘No, the $5 million you spent (on one player) was right. The other $4 million you just wasted.’ ”

Improving scouts’ efficiency

The committee also says this system would increase the efficiency of the top amateur scouts.

“Given the system now,” Chicago Cubs special assistant Gary Hughes says, “I didn’t see all of our guys. Or even close. Maybe 10%. So you better have good scouts. There are guys that won’t draft a player unless they’ve seen them. And shame on them.”

Says Boras: “The problem with the draft is that the man who best knows the commodity is completely removed. When a guy with the experience of someone like Gary only sees 10% of the guys they sign, something is wrong. With this, you’ll have more eyes on fewer guys.”

Every player drafted will also be provided money for college costs. This provides a safety net for players who fail to reach the big leagues and benefits baseball in its efforts to persuade athletes to avoid other sports.

“I know if I hadn’t made it to the majors,” Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter says, “I’d be 28, 29, with no work experience. I’d be fortunate to make $30,000 a year because that’s the only thing I know.

“That’s why I really want my kids to go to college.”

The concept, the committee acknowledges, will need fine-tuning. But it wonders if the proposal will be taken seriously by owners, particularly considering it is largely Boras’ brainchild.

“You know what you need,” Hughes told Boras. “You need to sell that to (well-regarded baseball executive) Roland Hemond and have him believe in it too. Let him sell it, because you’ve got no chance.”

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This is part of a five part series of articles written over the course of this week delving into the game of baseball. Different journalists from the paper have contributed to each of the articles in question along with an empaneled group who discussed the game.

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It now makes me wonder, what it is that Boras is now aiming for ? Because before this , we’d never have heard the agent make this sort of announcement at all. The owners themselves, while on the outside looking in, may well feel happy. But at the same time I’ve got to wonder what Bud Selig and the league’s hierarchy must think of this all ? When it came to dealing with the financial aspect of the game MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been as about insightful as the government is now seen to be , when dealing with the fallout of the US economy. He’ll give us a great many platitudes as to the overall health of the game. But needless to say the commissioner fails to let you know that in 2008 he was compensated rather handsomely . Handsomely, to the tune of $17.5 million as a matter of fact. Well, from Selig’s point of view , baseball has been very , very good to him. And no doubt in 2009 he had to have been paid immeasurably more. In 2010, who knows what the figure will be ? As to the likes of such teams, as the Kansas City Royals , Tampa Bay Rays , Minnesota Twins , Oakland Athletics , Pittsburgh Pirates , San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are left to eke out whatever they can by way of the monies they receive concerning the tax revenue sharing scheme officiated by the league.

Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig and actress Sarah-Jessica Parker take part in an on field presentation during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig and actress Sarah-Jessica Parker take part in an on field presentation during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaac ...............

Now comes the hard part, how amenable is baseball to changing the the salary structure for rookies ? And down the line are they willing to instigate a ‘hard and fast salary cap’ in the game ? This may well be the only way to stave of financial disaster for some clubs within the game. As amenable as Bud Selig continues to be , at the heart of it all he still remains a used car salesman. Even as the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers , the club was essentially being ran as if it were a used car sales’ lot. And even now is it any different under new ownership ? And much of Selig’s alleged business acumen is derived from his car dealerships within the Milwaukee city area. What’s the saying …….’if you’ve seen one used car salesman then you’ve seen them all’ ? Well not much has changed with Selig in that respect, as he’s now got much larger car lot to preside over. And it just happens to be the game of baseball and the consumers coming unto the lot happen to be the fans of the game who attend the ballparks up and down the country to derive whatever pleasure there is to be had. As to whether or not the fans are now getting value for money, that remains to be seen.

Scott Boras as an agent , has simply been a facilitator of the utter madness that has overtaken the game with regard to the inflated salaries and the game’s finances. And he above all people should realize that he’s played a part in what has almost caused the ruination of the sport. Instead he’s been acting as if he’s now a savior with an idea that could make the game better for us all. Somehow Boras comes across to me , more as a con-man more than anything else. But as I’ve alluded to earlier it has been the owners and general manager more than anything else that that have made the ridicule that it has now become. I mean Selig derives pleasure in what he states has been the healthy state of the sport and its stringent drug testing policy. But if he were broached on the subject of the finances of the game he’d be at a complete loss to really tell you how many clubs within the game are actually profitable at present. And this is a sport that has revenues in excess of $ 6.5 billion a year. If the vast majority of the 30 teams can’t even eke out a profit , then what hope is there for the game ? Never mind the fact that the GM’s act like an out of control corporate executives who believe they’re in control of AIG or GM . Thankfully, there’ll be no government bailout here, should things start to go ‘south’. But then again , who’s to say that Selig won’t have the temerity to come cap in hand seeking assistance from the Federal government ? Stranger things are known to have happen and will continue to happen within the game.

Funny thing is, Scott Boras has me wondering whether or not I should now be listening to anything that he has to say. It’s not as if he’s ever had the game’s best interests at heart. But then again which entity within the game , ever has ? The hierarchy of the game ? The ‘owners’ ? The players and their union ,the MLBPA ? You tell me ?


NB:
In order to read each of the articles covering the five day series just click on the link provided here. A Day To Day Look At The Game of Baseball . Click on the aforementioned link and then from there take your pick as to which of the series in question is of interest to you. Or you may choose to read all five in question.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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‘Money Makes The World Go Around’ …….from the movie ‘Cabaret’ as sung by Joel Grey & Liza Minnelli . I wonder if this is what ‘both’ Boras and Selig have in mind as it concerns the game of baseball ? Given the fact that by their way of thinking there’s still a great deal of it within the game for all thirty major league teams. If only all of that were true ? What do you think ?


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English glamor model Danielle Loyd . Need I say anymore on the matter ? In order to view Danielle’s gallery in full just click on each picture individually. Oh my, Danielle what fine assets you have ? All the more for us all to view and play with.
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You’re Sick ? Go To Your GP ….. You Want Funny ? Go See A Comedy Show ……….. You Want Sanity In Sports ………. Well , That’s Something Else ……….. I Ain’t Got No Answer For That ………….

You’re Sick ? Go To Your GP ….. You Want Funny ? Go See A Comedy Show ……….. You Want Sanity In Sports ………. Well , That’s Something Else ……….. I Ain’t Got No Answer For That ………….

Just when I thought there was sanity within the world of sports . Something ludicrous happens to upset the apple-cart once again. First of all MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is back on his pedestal preaching that the AL East‘s Tampa Bays is in urgent need of a new baseball facility, to house the team and to be also in with a chance of staging MLB’s mid-season showcase, the MLB All Star Game. There’s absolutely nothing like an idiotic commissioner who’s completely oblivious to the dire economic situation facing the vast majority of the teams across the league. You get the impression that either Selig’s head has been buried in the sand , much like an ostrich . Or from the mere fact that he’s been away from the game was just suddenly inserted into the position of commissioner and asked by his members to just do the job without seemingly rocking the boat. Proving to me once again that the game’s hierarchy (MLB) much like the very owners themselves, ‘are a bunch’ of blithering idiots !

Allan ‘Bud’ Selig , Commissioner of Major League Baseball, seated alongside President & Chief Operating Officer  Bob DuPuy . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Roger Scott ……………..
Allan ‘Bud’ Selig , Commissioner of Major League Baseball, seated alongside President & Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Roger Scott ……………..

Given the fact that the Rays have one of the lowest payrolls in the entire league, as well as having a fan-base that is ‘below the league average’. It would appear that none of this seems to matter at all to Bud Selig. He’s entrenched himself with the notion that bigger is better and that money should be of no object to the teams with baseball. Well , Mr Selig , the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays while being wealthy, they haven’t the advantages or the vast financial resources ‘bestowed upon teams’ such as the Boston Red Sox , New York Mets , New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels or the Los Angeles Dodgers for that matter. Rays’ principal owner Stuart Sternberg has done his leveled best to provide the fans within the community a brand and product that they can support wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, that’s not being reciprocated by those who turn up in attendance for the games at Tropicana Field. In large part, the only time that the Rays plays in-front of a packed sold-out crowd , is either when the Yankees or Red Sox are in town, as part of their regularly season scheduled games. Or when the Rays’ front office decides that a pre-game free admission concert is apt, in luring some additional fans for a game. If that’s not an indication as to how dire the situation is for the organization. Then obviously, as commissioner, Bud Selig doesn’t know what the hell is going on within the game !

Stuart Sternberg (3rd from l) With Partners Timothy Mullen, Randy Frankel, Andrew Cader, Gary Goldring and Stephen Levick
Stuart Sternberg (3rd from left) with Partners Timothy Mullen, Randy Frankel, Andrew Cader, Gary Goldring and Stephen Levick. photo appears courtesy of Sports Business Daily / Jennifer Santieri ............


Suddenly from his podium , Bud Selig believes he can dictate the city of Tampa , the state and to the Rays what’s needed in order for them to be deemed a contender, as a future recipient of being bestowed the staging of an All Star Game. The fact of the matter is , the cash strapped city and the state of Florida with a burgeoning deficit have no place to go but to place the burden of building a new facility for the team upon its residents. And given the fact that statewide the unemployment level is close to the national average of 9.8% . I hardly think that it’s appropriate for this burden to be placed upon the residents of the community as well as the entire state. But an idiot such Bud Selig wouldn’t know this ! He and his moronic minions seem to have no sense of duty or morals when it comes to exacting their form of extortion upon the fans and the general public. One wonders what might happen were Congress and the Senate to rescind MLB’s ‘anti-trust exemption status’ ? That would obviously put the cat amongst the pigeons and have the league’s hierarchy, as well as the owners running for the hills. But alas, both legislative houses appear to be in bed with the league when it comes to this very issue. MLB’s lobbyists on K Street in Washington D.C. would make sure that event would never take place within either legislative body.

Kings' GM Geoff Petrie   seated  alongside team  coach Paul  Westphal  and  the  team's  owners  Gavin  &  Joe  Maloof.   photo  appears  courtesy  of  Associated  Press/   Ryan Murphy  ............
Kings' GM Geoff Petrie seated alongside team coach Paul Westphal and the team's owners Gavin & Joe Maloof. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Ryan Murphy ............

So it has now come to this, wherein the Sacramento Kings has essentially given up on the NBA season ? The Western Conference team within the Pacific Division has raised the ‘white flag of surrender’ , having traded away their best player in , Kevin Martin and three others to the Houston Rockets in order to obtain Tracy McGrady and his rather ‘outlandish ‘ and ‘exorbitant’ $23 million contract. Salary dump on the part of the Rockets and their GM Daryl Morey. McGrady ,himself, had become something of a diversion and malignant cancer within the Rockets’ locker room. As to what this might suggest to the Kings’ fans is open to a matter of conjecture and a great deal of debate. Suffice to say, it wouldn’t at all surprise me if the fans were to begin hanging effigies of the Sacramento Kings’ ownership and that of their front office in the rafters and outside ARCO Arena , in Sacramento.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Reports: Rockets trade McGrady to Kings

Houston (AP)—Published reports say the Houston Rockets have traded Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract to the Sacramento Kings for guards Kevin Martin and Sergio Rodriguez , center Hilton Armstrong and forward Kenny Thomas.

The Kings also reportedly will get forward Carl Landry, Houston’s most productive bench player this season, and seldom-used forward Joey Dorsey.

The deal was first reported by KRIV-TV and the Houston Chronicle early Thursday morning. ESPN.com reported that the New York Knicks will work with the Kings and Rockets on Thursday morning to acquire McGrady in a three-team swap.

The seven-time All-Star is making an NBA-high $23 million this season, the last year of his contract.

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Westphal   (right)  seen here   with  Mayor   of Sacramento ,  Kevin  Johnson.    photo  appears  courtesy  of   Getty  Images/  Ivan  Bressloff  ............
Westphal (right) seen here with Mayor of Sacramento , Kevin Johnson. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ivan Bressloff ............

And though the Kings were recipients of not just McGrady but also the Rockets’ productive bench player Carl Landry and as well as seldom used forward, Joey Dorsey. As to the opportunities that this opens up for Kings’ coach, Paul Westphal remains to be seen. But it’s clear with the acquisition of McGrady , which isn’t being viewed as a long term solution to the team’s problems. But it should gives him enough time to assess the roster and that of the commitment shown by the players. For team owners Joe and Gavin Maloof and that of GM Geoff Petrie , these have been exacerbating times. And that’s just not from competitive standpoint but also from financial one as well. The organization has struggled with declining attendance and at the same they’re still at an impasse with the city of Sacramento and the inadequacies of their facility- ARCO Arena. And that is in spite of speaking directly with the city’s Mayor Kevin Johnson on this very issue. Johnson ,himself, was once a player in the NBA and he had quite a distinguished career playing for the Phoenix Suns for the majority of his professional career. The parlance between the two sides with them being unable to come to some sort of amicable agreement , puts the city at odds with the NBA franchise.
And it adds to the possibility that once the Kings’ lease at the ARCO Arena has expired , the Maloofs may well look to relocate the franchise either win another part of the state or move across the country altogether. No doubt city of Las Vegas mayor, Oscar B Goodman , would like nothing more than to welcome the Maloofs and their NBA franchise to the city, as its newest professional sports franchise. With the Maloofs already having ties to the city and the state through their hotel , casino ties as well as several other business interests. The synergistic fit would be of benefit to both parties. But for the moment that doesn’t appear to be on the horizon , as of yet.

<strong> Tracy McGrady (#1)</strong> of the Houston Rockets drives the ball around Tyson Chandler (#6) of the New Orleans Hornets on December 26, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports on February 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade between the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Knigs, and Knicks.  photo appears courtesy  of  Getty  Images/  Chris  Graythern .................
Tracy McGrady (#1) of the Houston Rockets drives the ball around Tyson Chandler (#6) of the New Orleans Hornets on December 26, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports on February 18, 2010, McGrady was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade between the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Knigs, and Knicks. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Chris Graythern .................


As I alluded to earlier , it’s my belief that the Sacramento Kings have given up on the season and the thought of being competitive throughout its remainder. I could well prove to be wrong in my assumption but in all likelihood it’s safe to say that the organization is looking forward to the future and to build the team around their ‘sensational’ rookie Tyreke Evans . It is clear to those with any knowledge of the team and the thought process of both Westphal and Petrie, that this is now best way forward for the franchise. It is sad however, that a player of Kevin Martin’s caliber is lost to the team. As to whether or not a player of McGrady’s clearly declining abilities can reasonably contribute anything to this team , remains to be seen .

Well it appears what semblance of sanity one thought there was within the Knicks’ has left the building, just like ‘Elvis’. Apparently not wanting to be left of back pages of the venerable New York City newspapers and their wonderful sport’s sections. New York Knicks‘ President of Basketball Operations and GM, Donnie Walsh entered into the fray and took Tracy McGrady of the Kings’ hands. And for that the Maloofs and Geoff Petrie will be eternally grateful. As to what this says about the Knicks as an organization, can be best summed up by saying …..’fu_k why did they get rid of Zeke’ ? If he can f_ck up the Knicks, the way that he did , then why the hell did they hire Donnie Walsh to begin with ? I hear can hear Spike Lee now saying, ……… ‘we’re legitimate contenders for the championship . T-Mac’ll ‘take us’ to the promise land’.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

AP source: McGrady to Knicks in three-way trade

By Chris Duncan, AP Sports Writer

Houston (AP)—The New York Knicks have acquired disgruntled guard Tracy McGrady and his massive expiring contract in a three-team swap with the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings, a person with knowledge of the negotiations tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke Thursday and requested anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced.

The Knicks will also get Sergio Rodriguez from the Kings, though the lure of the deal was McGrady and his expiring $23 million contract.

The Rockets will get guard Kevin Martin and forward Hilton Armstrong from Sacramento and forward Jordan Hill , Jared Jeffries and draft considerations in 2011 and 2012 from New York. They’re also relieved to have finally found a taker for McGrady, the troublesome seven-time All-Star they’ve been trying to trade for almost two months.

The Kings will get New York guard Larry Hughes and Houston forwards Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey.

The Knicks have been courting McGrady—or at least the financial benefits of his contract—almost since the moment in late December when the Rockets granted him an indefinite leave and announced they were trying to trade him.

While interested in seeing McGrady play for the last two months of a lost season, New York is more interested in dropping their payroll and becoming a major player in this summer’s free-agent sweepstakes.

Jeffries and Hill will make almost $10 million together next year so by including them in the deal, the Knicks will open enough salary cap space to offer nearly two maximum contracts to the free agents available after the season, starting with LeBron James .

The Knicks and Rockets had reportedly been working on a deal for a while, but couldn’t finish it without involving another team.

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Click on the link shown to read Chris Duncan’s article in
its entirety.
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God knows what Mike D’Antoni must be thinking at this moment in time ? I mean he couldn’t get the team’s current roster of players to play as a cohesive unit,under his tutelage as their coach. Who in the hell thinks that the addition of McGrady will actually improve this team one iota ? ‘Not I’, said the fly ! And I hear that both Condoleeza Rice and Jessica Simpson feel the same way ? Now that’s the sort of assurance that’s welcoming to the ears of the devoted Knicks’ fans.

With McGrady’s contract now in its final year , it’s quite obvious that the Knicks feel that they’ll be in play to be part of the LeBron James sweepstakes and when he comes up for free agency. But much of that’ll now also be predicated upon the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations taking placce between the NBA hierarchy and the NBPA under the auspices of NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter . The tension between Hunter and NBA Commissioner David Stern seems to be at ‘fever’s pitch’ and but a moment away from reaching ‘boiling point’. And it would appear that the union is unlikely to fall into line and acquiesce to the league’s demands of a ‘20% pay cut across the board that’d be retro-active’ . And this would also take into account maxed out contracts for players with tenure in the league. Call me naive but does anyone really believe the union will allow that to happen concerning its members ? Never mind the fact that Stern keeps on reiterating that the league is on course to lose in excess of $400 million for the fiscal year of 2010 ? Somewhere along the lines the NBA executives and GM’s seem to have forgotten about budgetary restraint for some reason ? They went on spending sprees the way that former Filipino ‘First Lady ‘ Imelda Marcos spent money on her vast array ‘haute-couture’ fashion accessories and shoes. That asides, until Stern allows the NBA’s books to be publicly scrutinized there’s little reason to be believe what he’s saying is true. Much like our Federal legislators and senior government officials, there’s very little to believe what they now say, that actually passes the ‘litmus test’ , when it comes what’s truthful and what is essentially ‘a white lie’ !

Scott Boras   with  client  Johnny   Damon   and    Damon's  wife  Michelle
Scott Boras (left) with client Johnny Damon and Damon's wife Michelle. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images / Russell Shaw .................

I’ve always maintained that the three most despised people in the world of baseball, are Barry Bonds , Mark McGwire and sports agent Scott Boras . If you need any proof of the latter ? Then consider this, Boras as agent for Johnny Damon , has been unable to land his client with a ‘team’ in MLB. And the reason you may ask ? Well it is this, Boras is under the impression that his client is still worth at least $8-$10 million a year for a player who’s up there in years and declining in talent. But somehow, he and Damon are of the opinion that his client is worth that sort of money in today’s economy and free agency market. One begs the question then what would either Albert Pujols or Joe Mauer be worth ? $15million , $20 million or $25 million a year ?


The asinine attitude of both Damon and Boras doesn’t bear explaining , except to say that they overvalue their self worth through their sheer stupidity and perception of grandeur ! As to whether or not Damon is signed by a team prior to the opening of Spring Training , remains to be seen.

These are but a few of my own observations as to the perceived sanity or lack of it thereof in the world of sports. Is there anything that you’ve observed that has made you wonder what the hell is going on within this particular environment ? Chime on with a comment that you , I and others may discuss within this forum. I look forward to reading your responses in due course.

NB Both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are the respective owners of their own cable sports programming outlets, namely NESN (Red Sox) and the YES Network (New York Yankees). Each of these entities provides both organizations with a vast mountain of cash to facilitate their financial well being and also to replenish their respective rosters as they would deem fit.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………

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Drake feat’g Timbaland ….. ‘Say Something’

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One  man's  wish  but every  man's   dream  and  that's  to  have  <strong>  Esther   Baxter  </strong>  .  And <strong><em> who  wouldn't  want  to  ? </strong> </em>  I   know   I  would  !
One man's wish but every man's dream and that's to have Esther Baxter . And who wouldn't want to ? I know I would !

So This Was Meant To Be The House That Scott Boras Built ?

So This Was Meant To Be The House That Scott Boras Built ?

While, I can understand ‘uber-agent’ Scott Boras’ reasons for always wanting to do what’s best for his client. I fail to understand how in this day and age, he expects to get ‘premium dollars’ for an ‘aging star’ in, Johnny Damon . Granted, the now former A’s , Red Sox and now New York Yankees’ player still plays with ‘passion’. One has to admit that Damon’s best days are now far behind him. If anything the only tangible value, is that as a veteran, he can teach the younger players what it takes to win. Having experienced those scenarios as a player , firstly with the Boston Red Sox, then as a New York Yankees’ player, there is a still a great deal that Damon has to offer as a player. He may not be as quick in the outfield, as he once was. And his offensive prowess at he plate may no longer be there. But as a passionate student and player of the game, Johnny Damon still has something to offer.

New York Yankees' <strong>Johnny Damon</strong> follows through on his two-run RBI single during the fourth inning of Game 6 of the American League Championship baseball series in New York. A  person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Atlanta Braves have made an offer to free agent outfielder Johnny Damon. The person spoke Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010,  on condition of anonymity because no agreement has been reached. photo appears  courtesy of  Associated Press/ Elise Amendola ......
New York Yankees' Johnny Damon follows through on his two-run RBI single during the fourth inning of Game 6 of the American League Championship baseball series in New York. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Atlanta Braves have made an offer to free agent outfielder Johnny Damon. The person spoke Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, on condition of anonymity because no agreement has been reached. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Elise Amendola ......

Now the inherent problem for Damon as a player is that his agent Scott Boras is one of the least admired men in sports. Albeit , that he’s one of the most successful and respected sport’s agents in the world of sports. To ascertain Boras’ power in the game, is to know how much he can seemingly control the fate of many of the league’s most aspiring teams. When it comes to dealing on behalf of his clients, Boras possesses and elicits the bravado shown by an all-out predator, looking to devour its prey. His take no prisoner’s mentality has made Scott Boras ‘the scourge of the league as well as many of the fans , coaches and general managers within MLB. The one constant with Boras, is that it’s all about the money and nothing else simply matters. That has been Boras’ mantra throughout the course of his career .


Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

AP source: Braves make offer to Johnny Damon

By Charles Odum , AP Sports Writer

Atlanta (AP)—The Atlanta Braves appear interested in adding Johnny Damon to the top of their lineup.

The Braves have made an offer to the free-agent outfielder, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no agreement had been reached.

Atlanta’s offer is believed to be for one year and include deferred money. Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, has said he is seeking at least a two-year deal.

The 36-year-old Damon hit .286 with 24 homers for the New York Yankees last season and likely would bat leadoff for the Braves.

Atlanta added another former Yankees outfielder in December when it acquired Melky Cabrera in a five-player deal that sent right-hander Javier Vazquez to the World Series champions.

Nate McLouth is set as Atlanta’s starter in center field, and is the probable leadoff hitter if the team does not add Damon or another outfielder. Matt Diaz is expected to get most of the playing time at one corner outfield spot.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said last week he envisions Cabrera playing all three outfield spots and possibly sharing a position with Diaz.

Cox said the team is prepared to give 20-year-old outfield prospect Jason Heyward a chance to win a starting job in right field. Heyward made only a brief appearance at Triple-A last season and has fewer than 200 at-bats above Class A.

“Well, there’s no reason not to give him a crack at making it,” Cox said. “If he is too young, that’s fine, too. He can spend some time in Triple-A. But if we think he’s ready and he can help us, then let’s go.”

Heyward (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) has the power potential the Braves need in their outfield. He was voted baseball’s top prospect by Baseball America after hitting .323 with 17 homers and 63 RBIs at three minor league stops in 2009.

“If he makes the team, he’s playing—lefties, righties, everybody,” Cox said.

The Braves’ willingness to give Heyward an opportunity could keep them from engaging in a bidding war for Damon. According to reports, Detroit and Tampa Bay also have interest.

Boras did not return a call to The Associated Press on Wednesday. Braves general manager Frank Wren had no comment on Damon.

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Scott Boras and his client Alex Rodriguez . The Yankee slugger may well be Boras' most high profiled and well known client. But Boras also represents Manny Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixiera , amongst others . And in each case the players in question are amongst the highest paid in the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Hugh MacIntosh ..................
Scott Boras (left) and his client Alex Rodriguez . The Yankee slugger may well be Boras' most high profiled and well known client. But Boras also represents Manny Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixiera , amongst others . And in each case the players in question are amongst the highest paid in the game. picture appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Hugh MacIntosh ..................

Power as they say, lies in the hands of the individual who knows how to use it, even when it’s not being used wisely. Boras’ biggest claim to fame, may well be his list of clients and the fact that he’s now twice laid the groundwork and negotiated for his client, Alex Rodriguez to be paid two separate contracts that will pay him gross, in excess of $ 500 million over the course of his career. Firstly , when Rodriguez was with the Seattle Mariners and then left the team as a free agent, to sign what was then the biggest and most lucrative contract in baseball and in all of sports in North America. Rodriguez was signed to a 10 year $252 million contract by the Texas Rangers. The ‘team’ at the time under the ownership of Tom Hicks , aspired to be one of the up and coming and one of the more ambitious organizations in baseball. The fact that Hicks made a ‘big splash’ with the signing of Rodriguez, just goes to show how ill fated the endeavor would turn out to be. ‘A-Rod’ wasn’t complemented by roster that was anywhere near competitive. And nor was the team even good enough to win its division (AL West), much less the AL pennant or World Series. The idiocy of Hicks, not only as an owner but also as a businessman , knew no bounds. His excesses and failures in sports have far outweighed the successes. And it still remains that way to this day.

Damon  and  his   wife   Michelle  at  a  formal   gathering  .  photo  appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press /  Matt Hollingsworth  ..........
Damon and his wife Michelle at a formal gathering . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Matt Hollingsworth ..........

The second time around that Boras was again able to deliver Rodriguez with another blockbuster contract , was when the player re-signed with the New York Yankees for another multi year contract that will pay him $275 million over ten years. Again, still the most lucrative contract in all of sports , in terms the salary paid to a player. The fact that when Rodriguez was traded away from the Rangers to sign with the Yankees after four years with the Rangers, alludes to the fact what a poor businessman Hicks was from the outset. He was bamboozled by little more than a slight of hand trick by Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras. The agent knew ‘a sucker when he saw one’ and Hicks and the Rangers’ organization took the bait , hook , line and sinker.

Over the course of his career as an agent , Scott Boras has negotiated on behalf his clients’ contracts to be estimated upwards, in excess of $ 2.8 billion. Clearly with that sort of business acumen, along with it comes a great deal of power and influence. And if anything, that has been how Boras has been able to become one of the pre-eminent agents in all of sports and most certainly the most powerful and influential in all of baseball . Consider this also, of the 8 highest paid players in the game , six of those players are in fact clients of Scott Boras ? I’m not suggesting that ‘he has a monopoly on the major stars’ within the game. But he’s now as close to it as one would’ve thought possible.

With Damon now a free agent and still with a desire to play , both player and agent are finding it all the more difficult to gauge the interest of teams who might desire the aging veteran. So much so, that Damon’s demand for a two year $16 to $20 million contract to return to the Yankees must’ve been met with derisions of laughter. If the Yankees were unwilling to re-sign their World Series MVP Hideki Matsui , to anything beyond a one year. Then how in the hell was it that Damon and Boras were expecting Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman to open up the checkbook for anything more ? And even after offering the player’s services for less, Boras was still turned down by the Yankees and Cashman. Clearly there was an impasse there , as to what both parties felt what the player was worth.

<strong> Michelle  Damon </strong>  seen  here in a  photo-shoot   for   Sports  Illustrated .   The  model  and  aspiring part-time  actress  obviously  has  the   ball  player wanting to  show  us  all  that he  can  catch   off  the   field  as  good   as  he's  able  to  do  so  on  the  field. <em> Pretty   good  eh  ? </em>   photo  appears courtesy  of  Sports  Illustrated .................<strong>Michelle Damon </strong> seen her doing an expose'  for   Sports Illustrated.  I can  only assume  that   Damon  is  in  need of  the  money  to   keep  his   wife   in  the  life  of  luxury  to which  she  has  now  become accustomed  to  ?   photo  appears  courtesy of  Sports Illustrated  ....
Michelle Damon seen her doing an expose' for Sports Illustrated. I can only assume that Damon is in need of the money to keep his wife in the life of luxury to which she has now become accustomed to ? photo appears courtesy of Sports Illustrated ....

Now as the list of prospective clients are beginning to thin out as to quite possibly where Johnny Damon may well end up playing this upcoming season. Boras has approached the NL East’s Atlanta Braves and AL Central’s Detroit Tigers to gauge both teams’ interest in his client. As of now , no final public statement has been forthcoming from Braves’ GM Frank Wren or Dave Dombrowski of the Tigers. If Damon isn’t signed by baseball’s start of the Spring Training, then there’s the belief that he may well miss the start of the regular season and then await the call of a team wanting a the veteran – to replace an injured player or to bolster an aspiring team’s roster in need of that veteran presence. There’s also a slight possibility that Damon could return to the team where he first made a name for himself in the majors. And that would be with a return to the Oakland A’s. As to whether or not the fans and the organization would welcome the return of a former ‘prodigal son’ , remains to be seen. But in all likelihood , that scenario remains nothing but a remote possibility. And given the fact that the A’s aren’t known as a team to spend lavishly on its roster, Damon’s asking price would have to come down considerably , if the team were prepared to sign him.

This may well have been the house that Scott Boras built but now even he has to admit that he can now no longer ‘brow beat’ and ‘bully teams’ and ‘their general mangers’ into signing his clients at the premium top dollar rates. Not in these uncertain economic times and that’s even with Boras’ now ill fated assignation that the market can continue to bear whatever the going rate is for top line talent on the open free agent market. It’s my belief, that Boras is as conceited and condescending as he looks, that even he would scare the likes of Rasputin and Sung Myung Moon ! But that may well be taking it too far, as the majority of general managers were already gullible enough to begin with – when they first began to deal with Scott Boras, as an agent. Need I say anything more on the matter ?

Winter Wonderland And The Lunatic Fringe Of Major League Baseball …………………

Well, the winter meetings are underway and therein the MLB executives such as the general managers will gather together to discuss ‘their state of affairs’.And no doubt try to arrange several major deals amongst the desirable free agents that are liable to be on the market this winter.

Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, left, looks on as newly signed Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro displays a Red Sox uniform during a news conference at Fenway Park, in Boston, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. After cycling through seven shortstops since the middle of the 2004 season, the Red Sox announced on Friday that they have given Scutaro a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Steve Senne .......
Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, left, looks on as newly signed Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro displays a Red Sox uniform during a news conference at Fenway Park, in Boston, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. After cycling through seven shortstops since the middle of the 2004 season, the Red Sox announced on Friday that they have given Scutaro a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/ Steve Senne .......

At a time when all four major high profiled sports are facing a major economic crisis. Only the buffoons within MLB would try and tell you the exact opposite to what’s happening out there. Simply put, Bud Selig and Bob DuPuy are about as cognizant as to what’s happening in the game of baseball, as Stevie Wonder would be, in a darkened room filled with several poisonous snakes. Suffice to say, that if they were bitten, they still wouldn’t get it and that’s how idiotic both of these individuals happen to be ! And along with them following suit ,are the owners in tow, along with the bumbling entity that calls itself the Major League Baseball Players’ Union, otherwise known as the MLBPA.

Baseball commissioner , Bud Selig , seated  left  and  MLB Chief  Executive  Officer  Bob  DuPuy.   Selig is  due to step   down   from  his  role  as baseball  commissioner   in 2012.  A  position  which  he has  held  first on  an interim  basis and  then  permanently  from 1993 to  the present day.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Roger  Scott  ................
Baseball commissioner , Bud Selig , seated left and MLB Chief Executive Officer Bob DuPuy. Selig is due to step down from his role as baseball commissioner in 2012. A position which he has held first on an interim basis and then permanently from 1993 to the present day. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Roger Scott ................

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Yankees finish organizational meetings

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is ready to start making offseason moves.

The 2009 World Series champions set their 2010 budget parameters during the third day of organizational meetings on Friday.

“Now we’ll go out trying to execute some game plans,” Cashman said. “We have our priorities and we’ll starting working through the winter.”

New York signed free agent pitchers CC Sabathia(notes) and A.J. Burnett(notes), and first baseman Mark Teixeira(notes) during the 2008 offseason. Cashman said there are not as many glaring needs this year, but added the Yankees are “not the perfect beast, either.”

“Thankfully we have a lot of answers already on our roster, but there’s still areas of need that we need to address,” Cashman said.

Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon(notes) and 2009 World Series MVP, designated hitter Hideki Matsui(notes), are both free agents. Left-hander Andy Pettitte(notes) hasn’t announced whether he will return for next season.

“I’ll talk with all the agents involved, as well as the other agents on the rest of the free agent market and at the end on the trade market,” Cashman said.

Outside free agents like outfielder Matt Holliday(notes) and pitcher John Lackey(notes) could get some consideration during baseball’s winter meetings next week.

“We’ll meet with agents, meet with clubs,” Cashman said. “You never know what will materialize.”

The Yankees are also expected to monitor the trade status of Toronto ace Roy Halladay(notes).

Senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, who oversees player development, spent an hour during the final day of meetings Friday with Cashman and other high-level team officials at the Yankees spring training complex.

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Now if there was a warning sign for the game of baseball to heed , then it had to have been when on the cusp of the beginning of last season. When the New York Yankees once again entered the fray and spent over $423 million to secure the services of Mark Teixeira, A. J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia on their way to securing their 27th World Series title, with a six game series’ win over the Philadelphia Phillies in their showcase event of ‘The Fall’. Hitherto, uber-agent,Scott Boras and several of his colleagues were extremely happy with the course of events that unfolded with regard to these signings. Now come full circle and players such as Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays ,Jason Bay of the Boston Red Sox and the St Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday are amongst the most desirable players that are liable to be on the market this winter. Of the triumvirate mentioned, only Halladay isn’t a free agent. Although it’ll take a great deal to pry away the player from the Blue Jays, as they’re no doubt seeking the most desirable value possible in terms of replacing their ace pitcher.

It’d appear that the premium prices will once again abound this off-season if the comments by Boras are anything to go by. It is his belief, that the game is as healthy as it’s ever been. As to how he comes by this notion is anyone’s guess. But bear in mind, what Scott Boras wants, is nothing more than getting the best possible deal for his client or clients as the case maybe. That way his commission remains above the norm, in terms of services rendered on behalf of his client. Selig , as commissioner of baseball and Bob DuPy as the game’s Chief Executive Officer, merely sit and aside and watch things unravel infront of their very eyes. Never mind the fact that many of the mid and small market clubs are now struggling to make ends meet. Granted, MLB at present has what it calls a ‘luxury tax’ that in essence is nothing more than a way to penalize clubs such as the Yankees and the other large market teams, who are able to avail themselves of the best talent available by plundering the rosters of other teams within MLB, as they see fit. Be it through free agency or via a trade. Selig and his minions would have you believe that this is best and only way to keep the game on an even keel and as a viable healthy option. In many respects it’s no different from the somewhat asinine format the federal government took in bailing out the financial and automotive industries without any real guarantees in return. Selig, informs us that the recipients of this particular revenue streams, has to use the monies to bolster their rosters. But more often than not .that money is being used to do precisely the opposite. It actually finds its way into the pockets of the owners , who then offer no explanation to the fans, who have to endure the abject futility of those teams and their on the field performances.

Taken  from last year the  Mets' front office hierarchy  from  left  to right  , Senior VP Player Development  ,  Tony Bernard ,  team owner  , Fred  Wilpon and   General Manager, Omar Minaya.   Having   spent  in  excess  of  $450 million  dollars   alone  in  signing  free agents  over  the  last  three  and  half  years  .  The  New  York Mets  have  had  little   show in  return   for  the  vast   financial  outlay  made  to  acquire  those players.  Albeit that they're   now  charging  premium  prices   for their  monstrous  new  venue  Citi Field   in  New  York   City.  The  cost of  which  was  in  excess  of   $ 675  million  and  was  totally   financed  with  public  money   via  bonds and  the  introduction  of several  tax increases and  new  service  charges  initiated  by  incumbent  Mayor ,  Michael Bloomberg.    picture   appears   courtesy  of  New York Daily News/ News/  Terry  Simmons   ........................
Taken from last year the Mets' front office hierarchy from left to right , Senior VP Player Development , Tony Bernard , team owner , Fred Wilpon and General Manager, Omar Minaya. Having spent in excess of $450 million dollars alone in signing free agents over the last three and half years . The New York Mets have had little show in return for the vast financial outlay made to acquire those players. Albeit that they're now charging premium prices for their monstrous new venue Citi Field in New York City. The cost of which was in excess of $ 675 million and was totally financed with public money via bonds and the introduction of several tax increases and new service charges initiated by incumbent Mayor , Michael Bloomberg. picture appears courtesy of New York Daily News/ News/ Terry Simmons ........................

Funnily enough, an ardent Oakland Athletics’ fan has tried to suggest that his team is always and has always been competitive. Well, if one counts that having the management and ownership year in and year out, simply either trade away their best players or simply allow them to leave as being competitive. I’d hate to think what he’d define success as being ? Suffice to say that the A’s , much like the rest of the ‘bottom feeders’ within major league baseball are now part of what I’d like to call the haves and have nots. The A’s and other teams in the same tract aren’t liable to be able to compete with the financial behemoths of the game such as the Yankees, Red Sox , New York Mets ,Philadelphia Phillies, and the Los Angeles Angels. Who year in, year out, are part of the mix, when it comes to postseason aspirations. Albeit , that as of late the Mets and its ownership have been about worldly wise in terms of common sense . As was shown by Sarah Palin and her high profiled interviews with CBS news’ anchor person, Katie Couric. Let’s just say, the faux-pas made by both the Mets and Palin, has been of the highest comedic order, thought possible !

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated (SI)

Report: Selig tells owners he’ll step down as MLB commissioner in 2012

Chicago (SI.com) — Bud Selig plans to step down as commissioner of Major League Baseball when his current contract expires on Dec. 31, 2012, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The 75-year-old Selig, who has been commissioner since 1998, declined a request from a group of five MLB owners to stay on beyond that time, the newspaper reported Saturday, citing unnamed sources. He reportedly told the owners he would step aside then because he had other things he wanted to do, such as teaching and writing a book.

If he stays on till 2012, Selig will have been baseball’s top boss for 20 years, including six years as interim commissioner from 1992 to 1998.

His time in office has included such events as the players’ strike in 1994, the introduction of the wild-card system and inter-league play, and investigations into steroid use. He received a three-year contract extension last year.

And the fans and press alike await with baited breath as to what will surface from these meetings. I can’t help but wonder who in reality the game of baseball really thinks it is now fooling ! Selig and the entire cabal within the game seem to be oblivious as to what’s now happening around them. And it will end in their own self inflicted wounds and implosion , if they’re not prepared to face the acute problems that have already begun to encapsulate the sport. From the ‘steroid issue’ to the distrust between the game’s hierarchy and the MLPA. To that, of the mere fact, that they refuse to address the severe financial plight of the vast majority of the teams within baseball.

Uber-sports agent Scott Boras,  seen here  with perhaps  his  most famous  client ,  Yankees'  All  Star  slugger  and 3rd baseman,  Alex  Rodriguez.    Boras   represents   several  other   high  profiled  clients  in the  world  of  baseball ,  including  Daisuke  Matsuzaka,  Johnny  Damon,  Manny  Ramirez,  Mark  Teixeira,   C.C. Sabathia  ,  Barry  Zito  and   a slew of  other players.   General  Managers  around the  league   have   stated  that  Boras  is  a  hard   task master  when  it  comes  to  negotiating  on  his  clients' behalf.    But  time  and  time again  they   continue  to 'cave in'  and  acquiesce  to  his  demands.        picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/Keith  Willens   ...................

Uber-sports agent, Scott Boras , seen here alongside perhaps his most recognizable client , that of Yankees’ All Star slugger and 3rd baseman, Alex Rodriguez. Boras also represents several major league stars in the game ,such as , Barry Zito, Manny Ramirez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and Manny Ramirez , to name but a few. However, we repeatedly hear of general managers around the league complain that Boras and his negotiating tactics, have been underhanded and duplicitous in driving up the asking price of his clients during the negotiation process. But needless to say, repeatedly they’ll ‘cave’ in to his demands and finally acquiesce. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Keith Willens …….

Needless to say, it’s not only the lunatic fringe within the game but the erstwhile observers outside the game such as the baseball writers who march the goose step alongside Selig and his minions. And who in essence have refused to even report many of the problems that have been rife within the sport over the last decade, at least. The lunatic fringe and the lunatics are running the game of baseball. And no one within seems to be of the mindset to even care about its well being.