War is coming ………….
If nothing else this season, will likely tell us a great deal about the teams who will seek to usurp the San Francisco Giants who are the reigning World Series’ champions. Bruce Bochy and his managerial staff will be looking to get his newly revamped team prepeared for the rigors of the 2015 regular season schedule.
The Giants with their World Series’ MVP and ace starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner will be looking to replicate the form shown during the postseason . Inasmuch, as the fairy tale of the Kansas City Royals may well have provided the fans of baseball something to be really excited about , at the end of the day, the Royals simply were not good enough to defeat the Giants in the “Fall Classic” .
With NL teams such as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers , San Diego Padres , Milwaukee Brewers , St Louis Cardinals , Atlanta Braves , Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals likely to prove to be formidable challengers to the San Francisco Giants this season, it certainly will be interesting to witness what unfolds over the courseof the schedule in 2015.
Bruce Bochy and Giants’ GM Brian Sabean have worked tirelessly to make the franchise one of the most competitive in all of baseball and that has certainly been the case over the past seven seasons with San Francisco having won three NL Pennants and three World Series’ titles during that time-frame. Dominance has been the name of the game, along with frugal spending and drafting of players and great acquisitions by the front office . Once the regular season gets underway for the Giants, it will be interesting to see how the team fares over the course of their schedule.
If there is one player that will have something to prove in 2015, then it would have to be the three-time AL MVP and New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez . A year-long league mandated suspension and Rodriguez will resume his already controversial and already tarnished baseball career under the microscope of the fans, print and television media alike. The player’s somewhat less than contrite apology, may well have fallen on deaf ears , but, it has been his temerity to challenge the Yankees’ organization in seeking to void certain incentives of his contract that may well leave many in bewilderment as to the size of Alex Rodriguez’s ego and the fact he still remains in denial, concerning his misdeeds.
Joe Girardi and his managerial staff get off to a 1-1 start to the exhibition season during the month of March. The team will begin a split series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, then have games against the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals to round-out their weekend schedule series of contests. It might not prove to be enough of a gauge, to judge where players might need to be, as they enter into their regular season schedule, but Girardi knows if the Yankees are to fare well and improve on last season’s disastrous showing in the AL East , then the level of their play will have to be great deal better than seen in 2014. From my own perspective I believe Alex Rodriguez will be hard pressed this season to reproducethe form , that once made him one of the best players of his generation , with or without the stain of the steroids, he is known to have to used at various stages of his well now well-chronicled career.
With the San Diego Padres having made a big splash during the off-season with the acquisition of several players. It will be interesting to how the managerial staff of Bud Black will fare with an entirely new roster of players. The Padres’ biggest acquisition was that of former Los Angeles Dodgers’ slugger Matt Kemp who is expected to be the focal pointof an offense expected to contend within the NL as well the NL West this upcoming season.
While I believe Bud Black to be a very good manager , I certainly do not believe , because the Padres’ front office have gone out to make some very ambitious moves, it will ultimately lead to success by way of their possibly dethroning the San Francisco Giants as the NL Pennant winners ! It is going to take a great deal more than a $94 million payroll to bring about the ambitions sought by the organization. Granted, with the acquisitions of Matt Kemp and Justin Upton the franchise may well have appeared to have placed themselves in something of favorable position , but as I alluded to before it will take considerably more than brandishing a near $100 million commitment to make it all a reality in terms of a World Series’ title .
The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants will be meeting on Saturday , 7th March in all NL clash at the Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona in a preseason Spring Training game as the two teams get to acclimatize themselves with baseball and something of a re-acquaintance of sorts among divisional rivals . On the mound will be James Shields of the Padres facing off against Madison Bumgarner. At this early a stage in Spring Training these type of games do not necessarily tell you a great deal about the teams as each seeks to find a rhythm with the view ahead, being the preparation for the regular season onslaught of a one hundred and sixty-two game grueling schedule, for all thirty teams within MLB.
No matter which way you seek to slice and dice it , the year-round fascination with the NFL continues unabated . Yet, this is the one time of the year , when you have to wonder , if there is any real sanity to the game . The litany of movements by way of trades to have taken place, now seem to be not only mind-boggling, but also appear to a case of desperation on the part of the teams coming to such a decision. I am still intrigued how Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly believes the team will be in a better position to win without, their Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy , having traded the player to the Buffalo Bills within the AFC East. The move will likely benefit the Bills, who are indeed in need of a great offensive force , after their rather lackluster season in 2012, where not only did the wheels fall off their wagon but the entire was simply nowhere to be seen on the field of play, as reflected in their year-end record .
For Rex Ryan the incoming head coach who succeeds Doug Marrone , fired by GM Dough Whaley , presumably with the view the new team owner, Terry Pegula wanted to start afresh, with an influx of new faces from the coaching staff on down to the player personnel roster . Given much Rex Ryan is known to have under-achieved with the New York Jets during the final two years of his tenure. I am not so sure there will be an immediate improvement in his record or that of the Bills’ fate this upcoming season.
The Seattle Seahawks’ failure in the waning moments of this past Superbowl provides with a story from two perspectives . It is that , of the losing team, having a chance at glory , taking the gambler’s route, failing , with the head coach , Pete Carroll falling on the sword, taking the blame for an utter ridiculous decision . The other was that of the winning team seeking to redeem itself after the allegations made , and yet to be founded, that there was any concrete evidence to suggest that orders came down from on high , head coach Bill Belichick or a member of his coaching staff ordered the tampering of the game or practice balls used in this most recent Superbowl. Granted, the stains of previous misdeeds have yet to truly dissipate , but I believe it to be more out of dislike of the Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, rather than the team itself . On the other hand, the NFL cannot hold itself up , to be a game or brand that is above reproach , especially when one continues to look at the misdeeds of not only the players, teams and executives , but also the hapless and rather idiotic edicts and comments provided by Roger Goodell as the NFL Commissioner .
Anyone who truly believes Goodell has been good for this league , must be greatly in need of psychiatric help , if nothing else. If the only thing the commissioner can point to , are the ever increasing revenues within the game as his only evidence of any meaningful success , then there is something clearly wrong within the league , itself. The alleged popularity of the NFL is said to be at an all-time high , but I would beg to differ when it comes to the demographics of its female fan-base ! If any male fan, can legitimately point to the fact, that females fans have not been disgusted by what they have witnessed by way of the behavior of players such as Ray Rice , Greg Hardy , Ray McDonald and Adrian Peterson to name but a few, and still suggest, the league still has an even greater appeal among females. Then , there has to be a great deal of apathy if not stupidity on their part !
The NFL cannot get out of the way of its continued ineptitude by way of the league hierarchy , complete lack any type of accountability by its leadership but even more so by the lack of real leadership show among the union from its highest ranks on down to the off field conduct of the players and continued asinine apathy of many of the NFL’s so-called diehard fans .
Just when you thought there might have been some semblance of sanity within the NFL , leave it to the front office of the Chicago Bears prove us all wrong . With the firing of both Marc Trestman and former GM Phil Emery , you would have the impression that the Bears would be right back on track . No, that could never be, as they are intent on proving us all wrong . Wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s tenure with the franchise has now come to an end , with the organization having sent the player to the New York Jets . All of this, while they still have Jay Cutler and his $17 million salary on a their books , with his being a complete waste of space during his entire stay with the NFC North based team .
I have always maintained , Jay Cutler was never that great a quarterback to begin with , in spite of the many great attributes claimants believed he had . If that were the case then surely the Bears’ quarterback would have led the franchise to at least moderate success. Instead , it has been Cutler simply falling short at just about every obstacle possible , and that is without taking into account Phil Emery’s ridiculous decision to make him among the highest paid players in the NFL not only by contract , salary , but also at his position . Not really all that difficult to understand why there are so many idiot front office executives within the NFL and why they have an IQ barely above that of the counterparts in Major League Baseball or perhaps a member of the Kardashian family. I would also place members member of Congress in among the idiot general managers of the NFL, but it is plain for everyone to see both legislative chambers of House and Senate , when left to their own devices , they are unique and have no need to be harangued any further because , we will always be able to gain even more mileage with their continued stupidity , no matter what the circumstance .
At the time of the NFL Draft in April , it will be interesting to see if Jay Cutler will remain a part of the Chicago Bears or dangled as trade bait as the franchise seeks to move on from his years of inconsistency and lack of positive results .
It’s nut-crunching time in the NBA as the teams begin to enter the home stretch of the season. If franchises are indeed looking to play themselves in the conference and divisional contention . Then now would be the time to let their intent be known . Now is not the time to be raising the ” White Flag of Surrender” , unless you happen to be the Denver Nuggets , Los Angeles Lakers , Minnesota Timberwolves , New York Knicks , Philadelphia 76ers , Orlando Magic , Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings .
The aforementioned teams , have not only been a drag on the league this season, but in reality, anyone trying to suggest that something meaningful can be taken out of their play and the NBA in general, has definitely been missing the fact, that the quality of the basketball overall, has been dire, particularly within the Eastern Conference , which continues to be a monstrous eyesore for anyone watching the games in that conference . Things are liable to get a great deal worse , before we are likely to view them as getting any better .
As the debate rages on , </aas to who this season ought to be named League MVP , there can be no denying that over the past fifteen games played by Russell Westbrook . The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard has been putting up astonishing numbers , a great deal of it being achieved in the absence of his teammate Kevin Durant .
Westbrook has not only willed his team to some astonishing victories , but he has led by example , being extremely unselfish in aiding the Thunder achieve their goals. GM Sam Presti and head coach Scott Brooks must feel privileged in the fact , knowing with the loss of Kevin Durant the franchise has a player who has not only assumed the mantel of leadership , but has willingly embraced with open arms and actually flourished in the role. Unfortunately , in today’s NBA, there might be less than a handful of players in the league capable of such a role. Yet, here we are as fans, now mulling over who should be the League MVP for this season ?
As the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to make their way up the Western Conference ladder. The Golden State Warriors led by point guard Steph Curry have basked in the limelight of being not only the best team in the conference but by far the best team in the NBA throughout much of the regular season , up to this point in time. Curry, alongside , James Harden , Russell Westbrook and LeBron James are considered the front-runners the league’s highest regular season individual award . It will be very interesting to see how things pan out , and how the voters go about making their decision , as to who this season’s winner of the League MVP will be .
Phil Jackson the Zen Master , has seen the New York Knicks’ season blow up in their faces and yet the continued idiotic excuses of Jackson, having a plan is not unlike, the current Congress’ views on the world and where this country stands , as the “moral beacon of light ” to the rest of the world . No substance and absolutely , no real , planned strategy of note . Unless, Jackson was of the opinion , he would be to able throw fecal matter ($hit) up against a wall, then working with what sticks. I truly believe, this has been the premise the famed head coach chose to go with ! How else can you explain the idiotic hire of Derek Fisher as the team’s head coach and then seeing the team simply make one big pratfall after the other, throughout the course of this season ?
Heading into the month of March , and still there are no signs of life with the Knicks . Granted , the loss of Carmelo Anthony due season-ending surgery , led to even further disasters, but in reality , so much burden had been placed on the shoulders of the player , there was no damn way in hell, he alone could have led this team to any semblance of success , but yet anal retentive fools, were still buying into this plan of Phil Jackson. He’s been a legendary coach , but that is all he has been. Jackson is not a great assessor of NBA talent and it is something that alleged fans, seem to be forgetting or simply have no damn idea what they trying to elicit, by way of making an argument for their premise. last victory for the New York Knicks came by way of a rather curt performance in a home win over the Toronto Raptors on the 28th February . Next up for Derek Fisher and his players will be a road contest against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver , Colorado on Monday evening. I would hazard guess and suggest is not likely to end favorably in the visiting team’s favor !
The New York Knicks may well have their eyes on the future , seeking to build by way of the NBA Draft and free agency . Generals go into battle , equipped with battle tested troops , armaments and a plan of action . Unfortunately, the Knicks entered this season, with nothing more than a a soup ladle, players not hungry or skilled enough to get the job done and coaching a staff , among the most incompetent in the entire NBA. How could anyone actually buy into the idiocy, Phil Jackson and his ego would be able to gain this franchise any semblance of success ?
By clicking on an individual frame you can see that picture in a reformatted size along with its narrative.
As we come out of a Winter of sports’ stories, which in many ways covered the gamut of social and competitive issues. What are you most looking forward to seeing, during the coming months within the sports’ world ?
(1) Players from the Kansas City Royals celebrate their victory over the Baltimore Orioles , which guaranteed their appearance in the 2014 World Series . It was not to be for the AL Pennant title holders , as they fell to the San Francisco Giants in a thrilling seven-game series . AP Photo / Mitch Cooper .
(2) San Francisco Giants’ GM Brian Sabean , left, is seen here alongside team manager Bruce Bochy , who looks admiringly at the NLCS Pennant Trophy , the third title won by the paring for the franchise in the last six years. Last season , the Giants would also go on to win their third World Series championship during the same time-span , leading to one of the richest eras in the Giants’ long and storied history. It remains to be seen how San Francisco will fare in 2015, but rest assured , the managerial staff will have the team prepared for each competitive adversity likely to be thrown their way. Getty Images / Danny Fisher
(3) Feb 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) sits in the dugout as he waits to hit in the batting cage during Thursday mornings workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field . This season Rodriguez and his teammates will have a great deal to prove after a disastrous year in 2014 and rather lackluster performances by the team leading to a poor finish and record in the AL East. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
(4) SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 19: Matt Kemp (27) meets with Manager Bud Black (20) of the San Diego Padres in the clubhouse after trying on his new uniform top after being traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park on December 19, 2014 in San Diego, California. Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images
(6) Rex Ryan who has replaced Doug Marrone as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Ryan will be expected to lead a newly revamped roster , as they seek to stop the continued recent dominance of the New England Patriots within the AFC East. The Bills have not won the the divisional title in several seasons and their last postseason appearance came in 1999 . Getty Images / Chris Thomas
(7) Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch recently signed a four-year deal to remain with the Seahawks. Lynch sought a contract to make him at least one of the top five running backs in the NFL in terms of salary and contract value . A franchise tag was being bandied about by the Seahawks’ front office and in part by head coach Pete Carroll.
(8) Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler is seen here with his now former teammate Brandon Marshall . The wide receiver was recently traded by the Bears and the common consensus appears to be, the veteran quarterback will not be far behind , with his being shown the door. It is unclear however , if the front office will seek to use Cutler as trade bait for a team, in search of a veteran quarterback . Chicago for some inexplicable reason made the player one of the highest paid quarterbacks by salary and contract value . Cutler’s NFL career has been highlighted by a great deal of inconsistency and lack of postseason success . AP Photo / Mark Curry
(9) Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is a ” man on a mission ” and that quest would appear to the the NBA title . However , over his last fifteen games the point guard has put up astonishing figures , leading the league in scoring , while being one of the leading candidates for the League MVP . Getty Images / Paul Miller
(10) In this June 10, 2014, file photo, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson smiles during a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. Jackson hears the question every time he walks around New York: How are the Knicks going to do? The Knicks’ President answers this way: “We believe we’re going to be a playoff team, and then we don’t know how far we’ll be able to go.” AP Photo/Seth Wenig
(11) NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 13: Head coach Derek Fisher and associate head coach Kurt Rambis of the New York Knicks look on before a game against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on October 13 , 2014 in New York City, New York. Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
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