A few good men at the right price, its baseball

A few good men at the right price, its baseball

The MLB Winter Meetings came and went, with a number of trades being initiated , with several teams coming away better off than they were last season in some respects , in terms of the makeup of their personnel. One of the biggest acquisitions made, was the signing of former New York Yankees’ first baseman Robinson Cano by the Seattle Mariners to a ten-year $240 million deal . A far cry from the desired $300 million contract that was being bandied about as the compensation package t that analysts said it would take for the Yankees to retain the player. Out of that deal, came what now can be stated as being bar, for other offensive players, by way of the deals now being set.

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The New York Yankees for their part, have made a number of moves sought to bolster what has been an aging roster that was uncompetitive and unproductive for much of last season. New York’s failure to reach the postseason was a further indictment of a number of issues that befell the team in 2013. Injuries may well have plagued the Yankees , but a lack of leadership from anyone on the roster , while Derek Jeter remained on the disabled list further emphasized what was wrong with this team on the whole. Manager Joe Girardi and his staff tried their best to motivate the players, but nothing at all seemed to work. Less we forget also, the franchise still has to deal with the issue of Alex Rodriguez and his long-term future with the organization , as he seeks to have his two-hundred and fourteen game suspension overturned by a special arbitrator appointed by the MLB hierarchy . The fallout from this all, could very well see a new change within the game should Frederic Horowitz rule in the league’s favor in upholding the player’s suspension.

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MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day-to-day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

Rodriguez and his lawyers, David Cornwell and Joe Tacopina have sought to make this a vendetta that the MLB hierarchy has , in seeking to drive the player out of the game. Alex Rodriguez’s candor in this matter, would suggest, that he has a great deal to hide , beyond the monetary compensation he is likely to lose , were the suspension upheld. Forty-three million dollars is the estimated amount, the player would lose, beyond his now tainted legacy. It has been baseball’s mishandling of the entire “steroids’ issue “ and the apathy shown by a number of the game’s fans , that this issue and the game itself , can no longer be taken seriously on its merits, much less with regard to the integrity of the sport , itself . The vast majority of the players have remained silent , their union simply disingenuous on the matter , and less we forget Bud Selig has continued to act like a buffoon from the very start , which has now led us to the present predicament .

While, I do not begrudge the New York Yankees their immense success over the course of their existence, it should not go without notice , that a great deal of the triumphs attained, were simply availed by way of the vast financial resources and the very fact that the organization has been simply been able to outbid an opponent in order to acquire a player. Repeatedly, we have seen this become the norm , but yet , the fans and league hierarchy ignore that fact and liken it to the cost of doing business . It has probably escaped the notice of MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner , that with more than one-quarter of the league’s thirty teams failing to show an operational profit , unless aided by the luxury tax system, the financial health of baseball would be in dire straits. In reality, the game is teetering on a precipice, with the hierarchy simply failing to address the issue.

Hal Steinbrenner as the lead managing partner of the familial holding company that owns the New York Yankees, has sought to reduce the team’s payroll in recent seasons , but in reality , it has become an act of futility , as GM Brian Cashman has been countenanced to carry on with the capricious spending the organization has been continually known for. One simply has to look at baseball’s payroll and the very fact of the ten highest paid players in the game , three of the players atop of that list, just happen to be on the Yankees’ current roster .

With Jacoby Ellsbury’s defection to the New York Yankees and the signing of a seven-year $153 million deal, questions are being asked, why would they sign a player who in recent years has been more known for his health issues , rather than his on-field performances ? Granted, Ellsbury was a part of the . Boston Red Sox’s World Series winning roster this past season, where his contributions played a part of the franchise’s postseason success. As to whether or not the player can make a solid contribution to the team this upcoming season , in spite of the offensive woes that befell the team for much of 2013, beyond the lack of in-depth pitching, remains to be seen.

The New York Yankees are likely to be competitive in 2014, but I do not believe that they are the best team in the AL East , as the season gets underway . That status will remain with the Boston Red Sox, whose manager John Farrell , proved himself to be the best manager within the division as well as perhaps the most adept in getting the best out of his players, no matter what type of adversity stood in their way. . As New York’s fortunes declined this past season, to the point where it appears that Cashman , the coaching staff and the lead executives seem to have no faith in the farm system , it not only shows how reliant this ball-club is on the revenues derived from its baseball operations , but also of their proprietary cable sports’ broadcast outlet the YES Network . Without the revenues of the programming entity , one seriously doubts that the Yankees could afford to keep up their vast spending on team payroll , without adding to the fact that in the past five years the franchise has paid over to the league hierarchy in excess of $150 million in luxury tax compensation. Baseball’s idea, of taking more out of the hands of the wealthy and simply giving not necessarily to the “needy” as they see fit .

Courtesy of New York Daily News

Yankees slapped with $28 million luxury tax bill for 2013 season

Because the Yankees have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times, they pay at a 50 percent rate on the overage, and their $28,113,945 bill was second only to their $34.1 million payment following the 2005 season. The Yankees are responsible for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all clubs since the penalty began in 2003.

By Mark Fiensand , New York Daily News

No wonder the Yankees want to get their payroll beneath the luxury tax threshold. The Bombers were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Since luxury tax penalties began in 2003, the Yankees have shelled out more than a quarter billion dollars, accounting for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all teams in the majors.

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The Dodgers joined the Yankees as the only teams to blow past the $178 million threshold this season, paying $11.4 million. The Dodgers’ total luxury tax payroll was $243 million — $9 million higher than the Yankees — but they were charged at only 17.5% since they were beneath the threshold in 2012. Having exceeded the threshold for four straight years, the Yankees paid out at a rate of 50%.

Should the Yankees somehow get their payroll beneath the threshold next season — that number rises to $189 million in 2014 — they would reset their tax rate to 17.5% and become eligible for some revenue-sharing refunds.

RELATED: NEW POSTING RULES HAVE YANKS WAITING

According to the AP, the Yankees’ payroll is now $177.7 million with only 15 players signed, and it appears their only hope to stay under $189 million will be a season-long suspension for Alex Rodriguez.

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The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers might well be, two of the biggest disappointments, in terms of their respective performances throughout last season within the AL . Combined payroll for the two teams, exceeded $240 million . General managers Jerry Dipoto and Jon Daniels saw little, by way of a tangible return, with both ball-clubs failing to make the postseason . Within the hierarchy of the Rangers , former team President and a minority stakeholder, Nolan Ryan was ousted from his position by his fellow partners , with Daniels, now being given a greater say, in the day to day running of the franchise. The off-season for the franchise has proved to be eventful , with the team sending every day utility player Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for slugger , Prince Fielder . As to what that may well indicate about the Rangers’ offensive woes last season , begs the question , with Fielder not providing much aid to the Tigers’ own issues in that category, something must be awry with the mindset of Jon Daniels and the organization.

Texas now adds a burdensome contract to its payroll , while simply having not achieved anything of merit by obtaining Prince Fielder, adding to the woes of an under-achieving franchise over the past five seasons. Albeit, that with back to back World Series’ appearances , the outcome with each , was profoundly disturbing in 2010 and 2011 , with the lack of effort from the franchise. . The Texas Rangers may well be lucky enough to actually do something exciting in 2014 , but based on their showing last season , I believe that their fans will be in for more of the same !

Angels’ owner Arte Moreno may well have decided to give Mike Sciocsia one last chance to prove himself as the manager of the team . Yet I felt , that he was extremely close to being fired , in spite of his relationship with the team’s owner and general manager Jerry Dipoto ! This season may well be the last chance for Sciocsia to get it right, albeit , that the fans of the Los Angeles Angels will point to the fact that Albert Pujols was lost to the club for a large part of their season. The lone bright spot for the franchise remains the rising profile of Mike Trout , who now , might just be the best player in the American League , in spite of the achievements of Miguel Cabrera over the last two years.

Mike Sciocsia’s tenure, as one of the longest-serving managers in the Majors has come at quite an expense for an individual , who is well-respected amongst his peers. However, but for the Angels’ lone success , in 2002 , the subsequent years for the ball-club have been very lean. The last postseason appearance for Los Angeles came in 2009 and the team’s foray was extended, until they ran into the New York Yankees in the ALCS , where they succumbed to the New York based franchise in six games , losing 4-2 . The makeup of this Angels’ lineup , built up around the power-hitting of Pujols , Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout, will have to be at its very best , along with a pitching lineup that must be effective and consistent throughout this upcoming season.

The Atlanta Braves proved to be a tremendous disappointment during the postseason , falling by the wayside in the NLDS, as they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their highly bankrolled roster of players . A great regular season during which the Braves laid waste to their divisional rivals within the NL East , with what appears to be the utmost of ease . GM Frank Wren , in seeking to make the Braves competitive this past season, the organization acquired both Upton brothers by way of trades, with Justin Upton leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks to make his way East , to be joined by his elder sibling BJ Upton . Adding that type of offensive firepower , to be alongside Brian McCann , Evan Gattis , Dan Uggla , Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward actually paid dividends during the regular season , but the team’s postseason was heightened by inconsistency alongside what turned out to be an exceptionally poor showing by the pitching lineup in that series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That divisional series’ loss by the Atlanta Braves was simply indicative of what I believe to have been a great deal of complacency on the part of Fredi Gonzalez and his staff. The team, was ill-prepared and there can no excuse for such a lackadaisical approach by the players and coaches . This off-season the team saw the departure of Tim Hudson as a free agent, who has since signed with the San Francisco Giants . Several other players have departed , most notably catcher Brian McCann who signed a multi-year deal with the New York Yankees and filling that role for the Braves will be Evan Gattis. Having also acquired pitcher Gavin Floyd and Ryan Doumit , this will bolster the Braves’ lineup and giving it additional depth in a number of needed positions. However, if the Braves are to not only repeat as NL East champions next season, then there will need to be a great deal more consistency from the pitching staff .

If there is said to be a franchise in need of a World Series’ win, then it would have to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. The acquisition of the franchise for an outrageous figure of $2.156 billion , all countenanced by Bud Selig , gives even greater credence that the game has lost touch with reality. Granted, the Dodgers’ principal owners, Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC, under that of parent company Guggenheim Partners Inc has a great deal of monetary backing ,with assets exceeding $125 billion , and a television deal in conjunction with cable giant Time Warner Inc , reputed to be worth over $ 8 billion over the next two decades. Stakeholders , such as Magic Johnson , Hollywood movie mogul Peter Guber , along senior managing partners Todd S Boehly and Mark Walter are intent on winning that elusive series . The fact that the Dodgers have not won baseball’s biggest prize since 1988 , only adds to the franchise’s allure . A quarter of a century is a long time to wait for one of baseball’s most venerable organizations to simply say we are champions . The expectations were high during 2013, during which the Dodgers’ fans were introduced to rookie sensation Yasiel Puig , who led the baseball franchise on an improbable fifty game stretch , where the team went 42-8 over that period .

The Dodgers’ ignominious failure against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS was as shocking , as it was simply ridiculous , in what was said to be an explosive Dodgers’ offense , that the Cardinals’ pitching simply closed the door on during the series , coming away with an all too easy 4-2 series’ victory . Don Mattingly , was clearly out of his depth , as Mike Matheny and the St Louis headed to their third postseason appearance in the past seven seasons . This off-season Mattingly , Stan Kasten and for Ned Colletti , their biggest priority , remains “inking” pitcher Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal , albeit , that the Cy Young Award winner is likely to be rewarded with the highest arbitration salary, ever given to a starting pitcher in league history. There seems to be some reluctance on the pitcher to accept what may well be the most lucrative contract in baseball history , which is likely to top Alex Rodriguez’s ten-year $275 million compensation package and currently the highest paid pitching contract, being the deal signed by Justin Verlander , which pays him an astonishing $180 million over seven years .

Kershaw and his agent J D Smart are fully aware that the Dodgers will move heaven and earth to get a deal done, at any price, as the pitcher is by far the best starter on the team’s pitching rotation . His amazing season in 2013 , speaks volumes as to his prowess , and over the past two seasons , he has been simply been the best starting pitcher in the game .

If the rumors are to be believed, that the Golden State Warriors` CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and his partners are likely to make an unsolicited bid for the Oakland Athletics. Lew Wolff and GM Billy Beane have not made any formal statements on this latest news concerning the franchise. If the rumors are to be believed, then Lacob’s preemptive strike and $600 million valuation of the franchise might be on the high side . Yet, given the issues that the Athletics are dealing with, and their being no aid from Bud Selig, in assisting the organization in their quest for a new stadium , now seems to be the norm , unless that ball-club just happens to be in a major ad-market .

In the A’s quest for a new ballpark to replacing the aging O Coliseum , it would appear that Alameda County and the state are noncommittal in aiding the franchise. More out of budgetary concerns and their own looming fiscal deficits , it is now time for team owners and the league hierarchy to show their alleged business acumen , instead of this continued asinine rationale that every damn sports’ venue has to publicly funded using taxpayers’ monies . Fans seem oblivious to this all , either through sheer apathy , stupidity or simply the fact that they do not understand or care . Personally, I believe it to be all of the aforementioned , given the idiocy I have witnessed and read in certain comments attributed to alleged knowledgeable fans of the Tampa Bay Rays and their idiotic sentiment that a new ballpark for that franchise ought to be paid for by using public funds. The locale barely supports the Rays, which annually ranks amongst baseball’s least supported thirty franchises, in terms of home attendance and overall support . As to the idiocy, that they are a viable brand in terms of market share for viewers. Consider the market that the Tampa Bay area covers, and that there is barely nothing else to compete with the Rays, in spite of the franchise’s limited success over the last eight years . The same can be said of the Oakland A’s and their continued struggles to compete with a number of the big market teams , but moreover with the likes of a Los Angeles Angels , Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants , in terms of their respective payrolls .

If Lew Wolff is receptive to this proposed bid, then it would mark a changing landscape within baseball , with the A’s following the sale of the Dodgers last season , which came out of that franchise having been placed into bankruptcy reorganization , because of the mismanagement of the ball-club by then owner Frank McCourt . Major League Baseball is now in need of leadership within its upper echelons , by someone who can lead , has an insight of the ever-changing economic landscape , but above all, a leader who actually is not afraid to confront the MLBPA (union) , rather than shying away from confrontation. All of the traits, that have been exhibited by Bud Selig throughout a great deal of his tenure, as the MLB Commissioner.

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Picture gallery .

Your thoughts on the points raised within this article , and what if anything, do you hope to see come out of the upcoming season within Major League Baseball ? Chime in with your comments on this and anything else you believe to relevant to the subject matter.

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(1) Robinson Cano is formally introduced by the Seattle Mariners during a news conference at Safeco Field in Seattle on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The second baseman is flanked by general manager Jack Zduriencik , left, and manager Lloyd McClendon . Cano having left the New York Yankees as a free agent, signed a ten-year $240 million deal with the Mariners and hopes to lead the franchise to their first postseason appearance since 2001 , where they made it to the ALCS , which resulted in a loss (4-1) to the New York Yankees . Dean Rutz/ MTC ….

(2) From left, New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart , manager Joe Girardi , shortstop Derek Jeter and first baseman Juan Rivera (54) wait out a pitching change after Girardi removed starter Andy Pettitte during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The 38-year-old Jeter hadn’t played the field since breaking his left ankle in the first game of the AL championship series last October. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(3) MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner is seen here with his wife Mildred Mariner at a public function . As the Chief Financial Officer for Major League Baseball, it is Mariner’s day to day responsibilities to deal with baseball’s $6.4 billion business concern, as well as making sure that the teams are adhering to the league’s rules , concerning their financial and fiduciary duties . Somewhere along the way Mariner was oblivious to the financial woes that befell the Chicago Cubs , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Mets and that now seem to be encircling the Houston Astros and the franchise’s owner Jim Crane . Getty Images / Phil North ….

(4) New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman presents Kelsey Ellsbury with flowers as her husband, center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury , right, looks on at his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on December 13, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras negotiated the deal for his client which puts the player almost at the forefront, in terms of the compensation packages paid for center-fielders . Getty Images North America / Maddie Meyer ….

(5) Atlanta Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez is seen here alongside player Justin Upton. The Braves’ preseason acquisition left the field after suffering a mild concussion in a collision with a teammate during a game played against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in Miami, Florida ,. Atlanta would go on to defeat Miami 4-3 in the contest . AP Photo / Christine Monroe ….

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw who was the runner-up in the 2011 Cy Young Award voting ballot , but won the prestigious accolade in 2013 , after a phenomenal year by the pitcher . Now in arbitration , Kershaw is likely to be the largest recipient of the largest offer ever made to a starting pitcher in league history. Meanwhile , the front office of the organization under the authority of Magic Johnson a minority stakeholder in the franchise has informed team President Stan Kasten that a sizable offer should be made to sign the pitcher , in what is likely to be the largest contract offer for a starting pitcher that is likely to top the $180 million contract currently in existence with Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander . AP Photo / Joe Morrison ….

(7) Golden Warriors’ CEO & Chairman Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , are two of the primary owners of the NBA franchise . Lacob a former senior partner with capital asset management company Kleiner , Perkins , Caufield & Byers LLC , is now said to mulling over whether or not it is feasible to make an unsolicited $600 million bid for the Oakland Athletics . Current A’s owner Lew Wolff has not issued a public statement concerning the issue , who along with GM Billy Beane are part of franchise’s ownership group , with Wolff being a majority stake holder. Getty Images / Paul Woodley …..

(8) Oakland A’s team President Michael Crowley , left , is seen here with Lew Wolff , center and GM Billy Beane . All three individuals have yet to issue a public statement concerning what is said to be an aggressive and audacious $600 million bid for the AL West based baseball franchise . Chronicle / Kristina Koci Hernandez ….

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Money ? We make it , we spend it , so what’s your beef ?

Money ? We make it , we spend it , so what’s your beef ?

By Tophatal

Well , with teams , now beginning to report for Spring Training and their schedules , it seems that baseball, and specifically the team owners and general managers will start as they mean to go on. With team payrolls being pared down in a number of cases , others have chosen to set themselves apart by seemingly agreeing to some of the most outrageous and ridiculous demands of the players and their agents. Nowhere, has this been highlighted more, than with the recent news of the signing of Felix Hernandez to a seven-year $175 million contract by the Seattle Mariners , that will make the Mariners’ starting pitcher , one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball , as well of the highest paid players in the game.

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The Seattle Mariners remain an enigma and a conundrum all rolled up into one , as they have been an omnipresent franchise , that seemingly wants to compete , but then shows no wish to do so , for one reason or another .

Mariners’ EVP & General ManagerJack Zduriencik , may well have felt that the franchise could not afford to have Hernandez test the free agent market , given the pitcher’s productivity over the past four years, but specifically, as he was one of the most productive starting pitchers in 2012 . What might be even more exacerbating, is the very fact with all of the resources at the Mariners’ disposal, it is now that they seek to offer Hernandez , such an exorbitant contract , while the team itself remains uncompetitive and ineffective .

While I believe Felix Hernandez to be one of the top line starting pitchers within the game today , I do believe that with the escalating salaries , the game is now at a point where the failure of the league hierarchy , and the failure of the team owners and general managers to rein in their costs, will bring about a financial catastrophe, that it will simply will never recover from. Bud Selig and his union counterpart , Michael Weiner of the MLBPA continue to dance their merry dance around this particular topic without achieving or suggesting how there can be a level playing field and economic competitiveness amongst the teams. The Mariners as a franchise , barely broke even , having earned profits of $2.2 million on revenues of $225 million. And for the franchise’s managing partner, Howard Lincoln and the front office executives who preside over this franchise , have done so ineffectually without having achieved anything of not over the past decade. All of the goodwill that could have been sustained within the community has been eschewed for incompetence and excuses from the executives, right down to the coaching staff of manager , Eric Wedge . Wedge’s managerial career is not overly impressive but , he seems to fit the model sought by Jack Zduriencik, and the Mariners ambitions to be viewed as a success. Somehow , I find it fitting that a franchise as unambitious as the Mariners should now find themselves in such a predicament !

The pitching staff , led by Hernandez , Hisashi Iwakuma , Blake Bevan , Erasmo Ramirez, Hector Noesi and a bullpen made up of relievers , Stephen Pryor ,Charlie Furbush, Oliver Perez , Lucas Luetge , Carter Capps , Josh Kinney and closer , Tom Wilhelmsen . Pitching was not a real forte of the Mariners in 2012, albeit , that Hernandez was the lone standout from a rather mediocre staff .

And while Eric Wedge could attest to the fact that he had a young team, to work with 2012 , what could not be hidden , was the mere fact that his players performed poorly, while never being contention within the AL West at any point of the season. From an offensive standpoint, with a team ERA of .234 , the Seattle Mariners , were at the bottom end of the baseball’s thirty teams . Behind , Dustin Ackley, John Jaso, Kyle Seager , Casper Wells , Jesus Montero and Michael Saunders , this team simply struggled throughout much of the season. It should come as no surprise, in light of this all ,Safeco Field , in Seattle , Washington , saw an average attendance of just over 21,000 per home game ,which was amongst the lowest in all of Major League Baseball (MLB) , in 2012.

As to what this season may well hold for the Seattle Mariners , could very well be determined by team’s showing , when they open their regular season schedule , which begins , with a four game series against the Oakland Athletics at the O Coliseum , in Oakland California , on the 1st April, 2013. In the franchise’s recent history , postseason appearances have been few and far between , with the Mariner’s last such appearance coming in the 2001 postseason , with Seattle reaching the ALCS , where they would fall in five games to the New York Yankees . It is highly debatable that the team can mount a formidable enough challenge within the AL West , given the strength of the Oakland A’s , Los Angeles Angels , Texas Rangers , and that is with due respect to the division’s newest member , which will be the Houston Astros .

In terms of the team’s off-season transactions , the franchise did nothing major , but history tells us they have prudent in a number of their trades while not seeking to overpay for the talent in question. Financially prudent , or simply a franchise being far too cheap , while making themselves available as a recipient of the league’s luxury tax sharing revenue scheme ? All of this while the Mariners are still in part , owned by the Japanese games’ manufacturer Nintendo . Beyond that , is there anything else that needs to be said ?

It seems somewhat ironic former Boston Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling would now come forward suggesting , that the team’s medical staff was encouraged by management , for he and other teammates to use illicit substances, specifically to aid him , in his recovery from injuries suffered while a player for the franchise . These claims, date back to 2008 , when Schilling was a starting pitcher , on the roster of the ball-club. Now, what might see somewhat exacerbating is the very fact that this is the first time we have heard these claims from the former pitcher and baseball television pundit , because earlier statements forthcoming from Schilling , would suggest that he has never witnessed or heard a player use any illicit substance , be it PED’s or any other prohibited substances that have been banned by baseball.

Courtesy of The Boston Globe

Curt Schilling says Sox medical staffer suggested he use HGH in 2008

By Peter Abraham , Boston Globe
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was standing in the clubhouse at Fenway Park early in the 2008 season when a member of the team’s medical staff suggested he try human growth hormone to help overcome a shoulder injury.

“There were a few people around and I was shocked,” Schilling said Thursday. “After this person left, I turned to a teammate and said, ‘Can you believe that?’ It came out of nowhere.”

Schilling reported the incident to Theo Epstein, then the team’s general manager. Epstein was required to inform Major League Baseball, and an investigation subsequently took place.

“Our office was notified,” said MLB vice president Pat Courtney. “We take any report like this seriously and there was an investigation.”

Courtney would not say what the results of that inquiry were because it was a personnel matter between a team and its employee.

Schilling said the person no longer works for the Red Sox, something that two baseball sources confirmed. The team has made a number of changes in its medical staff in recent years, but none apparently was a direct result of the 2008 investigation.

Schilling said “two or three” investigators from MLB came to Boston to speak to him.

“I don’t remember who they were,” said Schilling. “I was trying to downplay the whole thing because I wasn’t playing at the time and I didn’t want to cause any problems in the clubhouse.

“Had I known Theo was going to report it to MLB, I would have never said anything. I was kind of mad that he had to do that.”

Schilling did not identify the person who suggested HGH to him, telling the Globe only that it was not former medical director Thomas Gill, former head athletic trainer Paul Lessard, or former strength and conditioning coach Dave Page.

Schilling responded to a Twitter user who asked why he wouldn’t expose somebody who suggested he use a substance that is banned by Major League Baseball.

“Because outing the person would not do anything for anyone,” Schilling wrote. “It wasn’t anyone in uniform, nor the baseball ops group.”

Schilling said he was taken aback by the suggestion, and that it was not made in a joking manner.

“It was right out in the open, it was sort of a conversation between 1½ people,” he said. “There were people listening. It was the last thing I expected.”

Schilling initially spoke about the incident Thursday morning during an appearance on ESPN Radio. Shortly thereafter, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he was surprised by the news.

“Certainly this is something to look into, but it came from out of left field, to use a baseball cliché,” Lucchino told reporters at a Jimmy Fund event in Boston.

Later in the day, Lucchino said he did recall the incident and that the investigation by MLB was conducted “in a timely manner.”

Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million contract before the 2008 season and passed a physical. But he never pitched because of a torn rotator cuff and a biceps injury.

There was a dispute at the time about what course of action to take with Schilling. Gill advised a course of rest and rehabilitation. Dr. Craig Morgan, who had twice operated on Schilling’s shoulder, suggested another surgery.

A third-party, Mets team physician David Altchek, agreed with Gill. Because Schilling was 41, the thought was that surgery would mean the end of his career.

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At this point I truly believe that Curt Schilling has a great credibility and integrity problem, with these latest claims. Five years after, he has retired , it is now, that he feels it appropriate to make these claims without providing any proof whatsoever to substantiate his statements . But herein, lies the conundrum for Schilling , he has been subject as to his own integrity , and the very fact that he and his former business partners in a games’ manufacturing venture filed for bankruptcy (debts incurred $165 million with assets of $15.6 million) , after his company 38 Studios Inc , which was clearly mismanaged by the partners , having received in excess of $100 million taxpayers’ monies from the state of Rhode Island , with their being little oversight coming from the state’s Department of the Treasury and Finance . Schilling has suggested that his creditors were overzealous in their actions seeking repayment , without ever wishing to work with his company’s executives in coming to an amicable solution in resolving the business’ financial woes . Financial mismanagement , and incompetence , is no excuse for repeatedly berating his creditors as well as the state of Rhode Island .

Curt Schilling, makes these allegations, as it relates to his career in 2008 , when he was a starting pitcher on the Red Sox’s roster , From my own standpoint has a credibility and integrity issue , as it relates to these claims , while at the same time the former pitcher and now tv analyst did suggest , that he at no time had ever witnessed a teammate or close personal friend use any illicit substance banned by MLB . Yet , he we are five years on from his retirement, and we now find Curt Schilling placing himself in the midst of another embarrassing episode for the game of baseball. As to a formal response from the Red Sox organization , I am pretty sure that the ball club’s legal counsel will have been consulted by team owner, John Henry and his partners as to any legal recourse that they can now seek to take against the former Red Sox player in the form of libel and slander . . It is at this point, I would like to know your opinions on Schilling’s statements and whether or not you are of the opinion they are valid and have any veracity to them at all ?

Well, with the New York Yankees’ third basemen , Alex Rodriguez quite possibly now being sidelined for the entire 2013 Yankees’ regular season schedule , the team’s senior managing partner Hal Steinbrenner is now voicing his concerns , over the player’s health and long-term future with the well-respected franchise. With Rodriguez’s name once again being associated in another steroid scandal , for which he maintains his complete innocence. One now has to wonder what the future now holds for the third baseman and his long-term aspirations .

Courtesy of NY Daily News

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner says Alex Rodriguez’s alleged ties to Miami lab ‘a concern’, says team will cooperate with MLB probe

Steinbrenner, who spoke to reporters outside the team’s minor-league complex Friday afternoon, also mentioned that the Yankees have had ‘one or two conversations’ with second baseman Robinson Cano about a contract extension.

By Anthony McCarron , New York Daily News

Hal Steinbrenner says there’s not much to say on A-Rod matter because ‘I know as much as you do.’

TAMPA — Alex Rodriguez’s link to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic is “a concern” for the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner admitted Friday.

But, the Yanks’ managing general partner added: “It’s out of our hands. We’ll cooperate with MLB in any way we can, any way we’re asked to. Other than that there’s not much to say. I know as much as you do.”

Rodriguez, who has admitted using PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas, was listed among records at Anthony Bosch’s now-shuttered clinic in Miami, according to a report in the Miami New Times. As the Daily News reported Jan. 26, Major League Baseball and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating Bosch, an A-Rod associate, for allegedly supplying performance-enhancing drugs to players. Through a statement from his PR firm, Rodriguez denied being treated or advised by Bosch and claimed that the Biogenesis records are “not legitimate.”

However, Yankee teammate Francisco Cervelli’s admission via Twitter that he consulted with Biogenesis, along with Brewers slugger Ryan Braun’s confirmation in a statement that his name had indeed appeared on Bosch’s client list, would appear to undermine Rodriguez’s claim.

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It now seems mind-boggling and absolutely idiotic that Hal Steinbrenner insists on taking this stance in light of the ball club’s previous experience with the player and his admittance of guilt in his use of steroids , having previously denied any use on his part. With Rodriguez’s name now associated with failed Miami medical concern Biogenesis , along with that of Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers , Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez Yankees’ teammate,Francisco Cervelli. Either after the third baseman’s less than contrite public apology in February , 2009 , it were as if Hal Steinbrenner and the entire New York Yankees’ organization were satisfied with the apology and the actions or one should say lack of action taken by the ball club and league hierarchy.

It should be noted , that less than six months later, Rodriguez’s name would be linked with now incarcerated Orlando medical professional Dr. Anthony Galea , who treated several prominent athletes and celebrities ,but with the doctor’s incarceration , having been found guilty of distributing of narcotics , the sale a transportation of hallucinogens , steroids , Oxycontin , PED’s and other banned substances as constituted by the league hierarchy. Now comes this idiocy and the league and Yankees are now standing back seeking the wheels of the legal establishment to take its course before they deal with the player . However, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , as usual, has issued his latest statement which more often than not, has the commissioner simply making a complete ass of himself, as he has repeatedly done, more often than not , with such issues. Selig has stated that baseball will conduct their own in-depth investigation , but if it is anything like of the alleged investigation of the Miami Marlins and the “ fire sale” initiated by the ball club , has me wondering how competent is this hierarchy to begin with ? They are definitely not as meticulous or as prudent, as the commissioner would like to have us believe and boy , does Bud Selig like to blow smoke up everyone’s ass , more often than not !

For the past two seasons Alex Rodriguez’s contributions to the New York Yankees can be best described as being anemic , but his postseason foray of last season , clearly shows that the player’s skill-set has been steadily on the decline for several years . With the Yankees having to pay Alex Rodriguez in $28 million for this season, and with their being $114 million remaining on the player’s existing $275 million contract. The contract makes the third baseman the highest paid player in baseball. With resources to the New York Yankees and having baseball’s highest payroll , it has me wondering whether or not the franchise can still continue to squander their resources on a player whose best days are behind him and most certainly not ahead of him. With Rodriguez having to undergo hip surgery, and clearly the belief his use of steroids quite possibly playing into his health issues , something even beyond the naiveté of the Yankees has to be clearly amiss. As a replacement , the Yankees acquired free agent Kevin Youkilis , who should prove to be a more than worthy replacement for his sidelined colleague. And while it was wildly being speculated upon that Hal Steinbrenner might seek to void the Alex Rodriguez’s contract , any move initiated by ball club would be met with stern resistance by the players’ union headed by Executive Director Michael Weiner .

Legal recourse, could be sought even with their being a moral’s clause written into the third baseman’s contract , but such a protracted legal case would turn the game on its ear , especially given the current weakness of baseball’s hierarchy under its commissioner, Bud Selig. . It is here where there seems to be a real divergence in the claims being made by Major League Baseball , and what we now know are the real facts , and that is , for all of claims in terms of the league’s ongoing success in the continued clamping down of the illicit use of steroids , players are still finding ways of “ cheating the system” , and they are being aided either by unscrupulous agents or “pill clinics” across the country , but it would now appear to centrally located within the state of Florida . Meanwhile the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney General’s Office has yet to arraign , indict or prosecute anyone successfully in this regard , leaving it instead in the hands of the US Justice Department to go after such individuals . Which begs the question, what is it that State Attorney General , Pam Bondi and FDLE Commissioner , Gerald M Bailey hope to achieve, when they seek to do very little within state of Florida , has become the epicenter for “steroid” , illegal sales, and distribution of such narcotics and steroids , specifically.

One should note, that over the past thirty months in excess of 156 players have engulfed by baseball’s testing policy , with the vast majority of those players being caught at the Minor League Level . The high-profiled stars at the major league level are seen for what they are , “ cheaters” , who have been able to use the law or in so many cases the incompetence of the league hierarchy , to simply outsmart the game’s custodians . And you wonder why , Bud Selig , still comes across , looking like the complete and pompous ass , that he is ? > A case can be made that baseball’s incompetence has really played in the news and the idiocy we now see encompassing the game , yet no mention has been made of this by the television analysts , who currently cover the game . I have never been an admirer of anyone of the baseball analysts or on air commentators who spend more time pontificating and speaking of a once glorious past within the game that was a complete fraud to begin with ! Make of it what you will , but let’s call it for what is really is , just goddamn apathy and not much else beyond that !

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Picture gallery .

Do you believe that the Seattle Mariners can justify their offering Felix Hernandez such an exorbitant contract given the team’s lack of competitiveness in recent years ? And do you believe that Curt Schilling’s statement can be taken at face value given his proclivity for sensationalism ? Furthermore , with the likelihood of Alex Rodriguez missing the Yankees’ entire regular season schedule in 2013 , do you believe that franchise would be within their right to “ void his contract” , even if it meant having to defend their action in a civil litigation ? Chime on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2012, file photo, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez reacts after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Seattle. Hernandez and the Mariners are working on a $175 million , seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball , according to a person with knowledge of the deal’s details. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren …..

(2) Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge reacts to a question from reporters, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the team’s annual media briefing prior to the start of baseball spring training . AP Photo/Ted S. Warren ….

(3) Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik talks to reporters, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at the team’s annual media briefing prior to the start of spring training baseball. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren …

(4) David Reed, 7, of East Helena, Mont., pumps his fist as he pulls a Seattle Mariners baseball from a gift bag presented to him by Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush , left, and outfielder Casper Wells during the Seattle Mariners Caravan visit to Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Reed has been in the hospital battling T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia since October. AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Dan Pelle….

(5) FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona answers questions during a news conference at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. Owners of the Boston Red Sox thought the team wasn’t marketable after the season and needed to “sexy players”, former general manager Theo Epstein says in a new book co-written by former manager Terry Francona. “Francona: The Red Sox Years” is co-written by the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Jan. 22. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ….

(6) Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (38) throws out the first pitch after being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins during the game on August 3, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Schilling now claims that during the 2008 season he was encouraged by the team’s medical staff to used banned substances to aid him in his recuperative process having suffered a number of injuries during the season . The claims though unsubstantiated , have become something of water cooler subject of debate and conjecture . Getty Images North America / Jared Wickerham ….

(7) (L-R) Manager Joe Girardi , Mark Teixeira, Hal Steinbrenner and General Manager Brian Cashman pose for a photo during a press conference to announce Teixeira’s signing to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 6, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images …

(8) FILE – In this Oct. 14, 2012, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out during the second inning of Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers in New York. When the Yankees re-signed Rodriguez in December 2007 , they expected him to set home run records . Now some in the team’s management hope he never plays again, so much of the $114 million he’s still due can be covered by insurance. Not only is he injured, he’s at the center of performance-enhancing drug use allegations. AP Photo/Paul Sancya, …..

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If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll.

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How High Would You Like My Boot To Go With Your Celebratory Ass Kicking ?

How High Would You Like My Boot To Go With Your Celebratory Ass Kicking … ?

By tophatal ……..

Well it’s that time of year again and the Spring Training schedule will soon be upon us both Citrus and Grapefruit Leagues take shape as the teams ready themselves for games and then regular season schedule set to begin on 4th April , 2012 . Given the fact that the end of the regular season in 2011 was exhilarating , this year has a great deal to live up to and then some. Granted , with the idiocy in recent weeks with the overturning of Ryan Braun’s 50 game suspension by arbitrator Shyam Das , whose decision is binding . I’d dare say that baseball is now in need of a real PR uplift ! But then again, when the game is actually mired in controversy I sincerely doubt that the MLB hierarchy would know how to be proactive !

Suffice to say Bud Selig and Rob Manfred are either two of the stupidest senior executives in all of sports or this is simply what we should now come to expect from the commissioner and his now almost two decade tenure as the game’s highest ranking executive . I’d say the latter myself , given Bud Selig’s lack of intelligence and those who have countenanced his leadership. Can you here me on air baseball analysts at ESPN , Fox and TNT ? Keep on kissing and worshiping the porcelain chamber that the commissioner continues to defecate and urinate in , as you’re all deserving of that to no end !

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Slide show for your perusal .

Ah , PR and the game of baseball , I would say that now becomes an oxymoron because the commissioner , team owners and the MLBPA (union) have done the game a great disservice in spite of the year end and postseason heroics of 2011. And 2012 will need a number of great highlights throughout to keep the fans enthralled if it’s to be the equal or surpass the events of last year.

It says a great deal when as an organization you have all the financial resources available but somehow as owner the parent company somehow appears to be disinterested or simply wants to maintain the status-quo in keeping things just as usual . The Seattle Mariners owned by the multi-billion dollar gaming company Nintendo Inc of Japan . However the ball-club is overseen by a managing partnership presided over by Howard Lincoln , Chuck Armstrong , Minoru Arak awa and John Ellis . GM Jack Zduriencik in conjunction with Eric Wedge as team manager are handed the reins to run the AL West team as best they can . Suffice to say , it’s hard to see how an organization that hasn’t been a part of the postseason in a number of years can be considered even anywhere near legitimate contender within AL much less the rest of baseball is as perplexing as trying to elicit interest in the campaign of Rep Ron Paul (R-Tx) . He may well say all of the right things but no one seems to be interested the congressman at all . In politics , it’s never been about the campaign or ideology but how damn well deep your pockets are in order to actually be heard and then some ! Paul’s campaign treasure chest is minuscule in comparison the leading Republican Presidential nominee candidate Mitt Romney . And as we can see , the former Massachusetts’ governor is about as clear as many of the underlying issues as Stevie Wonder would be in a room full of naked strippers . Romney’s insight on so many of the issues are like that of a male who suffers from ED when in the presence several voluptuous females premature ejaculation tends to be the next step on that roller coaster . Oops !

In 2011 the Seattle Mariners finished so far behind the pace within the division that by the midway point of year end they were already a non-factor factor as a contender within the division. And it’s not hard to understand why this team performed so miserably , that beyond pitcher Felix Hernandez there was very little to be interested in beyond the performances of the starting pitcher and the always consistent …. Ichiro Suzuki . All-round the Mariners struggled right across the board from its pitching to the offense and so much more .

The projected starting pitching rotation will be headed by Hernandez alongside Jason Vargas , Hisashi Iwakuma , Kevin Millwood and Hector Noesi , with the projected closer thought to be Brandon League .

Ichiro Suzuki , a former AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP has been his consistent self throughout much of his career . A batting champion , hits’ leader and some might say the best hitter within the AL . And that is now with due respect to both the AL batting champion in 2011 …… Miguel Cabrera and the accomplishments of the players within the AL .

Now if the Mariners are to show any signs of real competitiveness within the AL West against the likes of the Los Angeles Angels , Oakland Athletics (A’s) and Texas Rangers then the team’s overall performance will have to greatly improve beyond what was shown last …. season and when adjudged against the rest of the MLB . The offense of the Mariners alongside Ichiro , will have to come from the likes of Dustin Ackley , Franklin Gutierrez , Justin Smoak , Chone Figgins and Brendan Ryan . And that is going to be no small task when one considers what was added to the offenses of the Angels and Rangers in particular .

For Eric Wedge and his coaching staff he can now go about in preparations judging the roster along with the none roster invitees to gauge what he will have at his disposal this season . Chances are the manager will want to no doubt improve upon last season’s 65-97 mark that saw the Seattle Mariners with one of the worst records in all of Major League Baseball (MLB) . And unfortunately this now seems to be mirroring the Mariners’ ambition and appetite as it relates to the game over the past few seasons . It has been over a decade since the organization made a postseason appearance back in 2001 when they lost in the ALCS (4-1) to the then rampaging …… New York Yankees . For the Bronx Bombers however, their foray in the 2001 World Series would come to an untimely end against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a memorable series .

As a fan of the game I have become attuned to the idiocy and apparent apathy of the fans who’ll simply accept the mediocrity and mundane when it comes to their teams ! They claim to be passionate but show as much discourse when their teams are being routed and beaten like a damn pinata , only to excuse it all by saying well we’re looking to improve over the course of time ! How stupid can those fans actually be ? And that has clearly been the case with the Seattle Mariners’ fans over the years as they have seen players come through their system only have success elsewhere , while team remains in the doldrums . Safeco Field home to the Mariners during their heightened years of consistency , once held sway to yearly attendances that were amongst the highest within the league but as of late and that hasn’t been the case with the team averaging 23,411 per home game in 2011 . That figure was amongst the lowest of the 30 ball-clubs within Major League Baseball this past season . My standpoint , if you’re not going to be passionate about your team but continue to accept their mediocrity then you’re simply not a fan at all , merely a curious observer whose intent is to accept what’s being served upon a platter by that organization especially when it is an inferior product ! Apathy clearly does make the heart grow fonder , and nowhere is that more prevalent than within the game of baseball !

Now I know that the Mariners are averse to spending money on players the way that New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers are known to have done . But Christ almighty, when you have a multi-billion dollar corporation such as Nintendo as an owner , you have to admit that they are in essence poorly serving their fan-base if they are not willing to spend even a nominal sum to obtain the best talent available on the market ?

I get the feeling that with this being Ichiro’s final year with the Seattle Mariners , as he can become a free agent in 2013 . It may well be now or never for the organization in terms of making a successful run at making the MLB postseason . I certainly don’t believe that this team is simply good enough to challenge the likes of the Los Angeles Angels , Texas Rangers within their division , much less the likes of the Tampa Bay Rays , Yankees , Red Sox , Detroit Tigers or the Toronto Blue Jays for that matter and that’s not based on last season’s standings at all ! It simply comes from the fact that this organization shows that continually they have no passion or ambition to be successful and that it is in spite of the claims of Howard Lincoln , Jack Zduriencik and even the team’s manager Eric Wedge . Much like the French , during WWII by mid-season the Mariners may well be raising the white flag of surrender as they often have done over the past decade ! This organization is spineless as it is gutless and it seems to the prevalent not amongst their front office but also amongst their fans as well members of the roster . I may well be proven wrong this season as it relates to the Seattle Mariners but I seriously doubt it ! A kick in the ass would be kindest thing that could be done to this organization and that still wouldn’t be enough to motivate this team or their long-suffering fans !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As a fan of the game are you hoping to see the Seattle Mariners have some semblance of success or do you believe that this team will fade by mid-season and simply finish at the back of the pack not only within their division but amongst the AL teams and all of baseball ? Also do you believe that quite possibly by the trade deadline we could see Ichiro being dealt elsewhere should the front office get an inquiry from a AL or NL contender ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki , from Japan, throws during spring training baseball Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 in Peoria, Ariz. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..

(2) PEORIA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ….

(3) Manager Eric Wedge of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …….

(4) Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …

(5) Jesus Montero (63) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) ….

(6) Pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2012 in Peoria, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……..

(7) Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is flanked by CEO Howard Lincoln (L) and COO Chuck Armstrong as he receives his Gold Glove Award prior to the Seattle Mariners’ home opener against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on April 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images North America /Otto Greule Jr ….

(8) Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is presented with career stolen base number 400 by President & C.O.O. Chuck Armstrong (L) and GM Jack Zduriencik prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Safeco Field on July 1, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. …….

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Now batting way above the Mendoza line we have Denise Milani and her ample assets . Lovely !

In The Words Of Steve Urkel …… Paraphrase ….. Did They Just Do That ?

In The Words Of Steve Urkel …… Paraphrase ….. Did They Just Do That ?

I simply don’t get ! I just don’t get at all , how is it that an abomination can continue to take place and the fans are subjected to such diatribe both on and off the field of play ? I look at the Seattle Mariners and I can only think that the fans are gluttons for punisment ! This is a team that for all sense and purpose shouldn’t be playing in the major leagues but for some reason here they are stinking up the joint and there’s nothing to suggest that they are about to improve anytime soon .

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Slide show for your perusal .

It is hard enough to believe that talented players such as Ichiro Suzuki , Felix Hernandez , Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda whose talents are simply being wasted on this team and in large part by the organization . Eric Wedge may well have had a well chronicled career as a manager but this might well be his finest hour in terms of the sheer ineptitude and effort being put forth by himself and his coaching staff . To suggest that this team is bad would be an understatement to say the very least as they have simply underachieved in almost every aspect of the game from their offense , to their pitching to their defense . Suffice to say if there’s a worse team in the league at present based on their play then I have yet to witness it .

1

” So Carl you’re saying I can’t have sex with Laura unless the Mariners start winning ” ?

Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik has simply squandered what acumen he’s said to have in terms of the moves made in assembling this team. And granted the front office led by Howard Lincoln as its senior partner is answerable to a board of directors who to my mind would rather endure the mediocrity knowing full well that they can somehow profit from it all from a financial standpoint. The league hierarchy of baseball continues to reward underachievement by way of the luxury tax sharing scheme for the small market teams . But somehow fans of the game simply don’t want to discuss this as they would rather continue to see the obvious imbalance while suggesting that’s just the way that things need to be done.

The Seattle Mariners reside in the AL West where let’s suggest say the baseball being played there isn’t of the highest caliber . You would be hard pressed to remain awake while the Texas Rangers , Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics lay siege to each other as they seek divisional supremacy. It is hard to believe that the Mariners are on a 10 game losing streak and are now 13 games behind the division leading Texas Rangers ( 56-42). The more one looks to assess the strengths of the Mariners it is the more one asks how is it that this has been allowed to happen ? Certainly as I alluded to earlier there has been nothing to suggest that the ownership is ambitious and wants to win but yet the fans who are asked to attend the games at Safeco Field are continually asked to endure this debacle while everything thing seems to be falling asunder . Needless to say Eric Wedge will continue proffer up statements that the team is giving the fans their best effort possible as they seek a real sense of purpose . I personally am not buying it and I seriously doubt that a genuine baseball fan would as well !

There’s simply very little reason to believe that the Mariners are capable of competing within the division and acquitting themselves with any real dignity . They have an upcoming series against the Boston Red Sox . And if anything their task becomes tougher as the Red Sox would like to increase their lead over their rivals within the AL East . It will be interesting to see how the team acquits themselves against the division leaders and whether or not Eric Wedge gets the best out of his players .

For much of the season there have been highs and lows for Seattle Mariners , perhaps more highs and than lows . And this certainly has been borne out by the team’s record of 43-54 a mere one game lead over A’s who are rooted at the bottom of the AL West.

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Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is flanked by CEO Howard Lincoln (L) and COO Chuck Armstrong as he receives his Gold Glove Award prior to the Seattle Mariners’ home opener against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on April 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images North America / Otto Greule

There’s a great deal to take away from this all as we can learn something about the plight of the Seattle Mariners because there are a number of teams around the league that are in a similar state . The problem is many of their fans would rather not acknowledge that fact and simply have their heads up in the clouds simply hoping for something better and that the change is just around the corner. And for that venerable patron who’s so wrapped in his own little world do remember to pray for your Kansas City Royals as I think that divine intervention may well be the only way to help their sorry ass out ! Have you seen them play lately ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

There is no denying that the Seattle Mariners are having an abysmal year but in your mind what are the primary cause for the organization’s sub-standard play this season ? Do you believe to be the players or the very fact that over the past few years the owners have failed to address the needs of the team overall ? Do leave a comment as to your thoughts on this subject matter .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Jaleel White (aka Steve Urkel) seen here in a scene from the hit sit-com “Family Matters” alongside Reginald Veljohnson (aka Carl Winslow) ….

(2) Toronto Blue Jays’ Mike McCoy, right, celebrates as he crosses the plate to score the game-winning run in front of Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo during eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday July 21, 2011, in Toronto. The Blue Jays defeated the Mariners 7-5 . AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn ….

(3) TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 21: Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners runs to first during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays July 21, 2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Brad White/Getty Images ….

(4) TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 21: Doug Fister (58) of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays July 21, 2011 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Brad White/Getty Images ….

(5) Edwin Encarnacion (10) of the Toronto Blue Jays slides safely into second avoiding the tag of Dustin Ackley (13) of the Seattle Mariners during MLB game action July 20, 2011 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Brad White/Getty Images ….

(6) New manager Eric Wedge (R) of the Seattle Mariners is introduced to the media by Executive Vice President & GM Jack Zduriencik at Safeco Field on October 19, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. Otto Greule / Getty Images North America ….

(7) Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (51) of the Seattle Mariners is flanked by CEO Howard Lincoln (L) and COO Chuck Armstrong as he receives his Gold Glove Award prior to the Seattle Mariners’ home opener against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on April 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images North America / Otto Greule ….

(8) SEATTLE – JULY 16: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) of the Seattle Mariners throws out Elvis Andrus (1) of the Texas Rangers on a ground-out at Safeco Field on July 16, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …
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My How Times Fly And Things Change ……………….

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

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

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Slide show for your perusal .

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

Courtesy of AP Sports & Yahoo

Rangers CEO Greenberg leaving organization

By Stephen Hawkins , AP Sports Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

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

Picture and slide show details below.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Alan aka tophatal

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