Lose Yourself ………

Lose Yourself …………

By tophatal ………

So baseball’s postseason finale has ended and the St Louis Cardinals reigns supreme over the baseball world . For manager Tony La Russa he joins a select band of managers to have won multiple World Series with one team and also having won in both the American and National Leagues . That asides it was a night for rejoicing within the city of St Louis and across the state of Missouri but most certainly for the ardent Cardinals’ fans who happened to have witnessed the team’s game seven triumph 6-2 over the Texas Rangers .

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The Rangers for their part throughout the series had their chances to take the championship when they had it within their grasp. It all came to no avail as Ron Washington’s team simply had trouble putting away with the St Louis Cardinals . The offense during game seven for the Rangers was non existent as Nelson Cruz , Josh Hamilton and Michael Young simply offered nothing by way of productivity when it mattered most . But it would also be prudent to add that the bullpen of the Texas Rangers also played its part in this loss. Two consecutive appearances in the World Series for the Rangers and on both occasions the same end result , a loss for the team. This has to be a tremendous disappointment for the coaching staff , in particular for team president Nolan Ryan , general manager Jon Daniels and the entire front office of the organization .

For David Freese of the St Louis Cardinals he finds himself on the list of Cardinals’ legends who have been named World Series MVP . Certainly the out-fielder as a hometown hero can now look to his future with this organization as being one , where he may well never have to buy a drink again while he remains a player with the St Louis Cardinals . And while the fans now await the decision by the front office and in particular that of general manager John Mozeliak and the De Witt family as the proprietary owners of the ball-club and their willingness to re-sign Albert Pujols who’s now an unrestricted free agent.

Pujols in his postgame interview was quick to point out that all he was concerned with , was relishing the aftermath of the team’s latest —- triumph and his wish to be part of future postseason victories at the highest level of the game. If Freese was seen as the hero of this series for the St Louis Cardinals then most certainly Chris Carpenter cannot have been that far behind . His pitching performances throughout this series almost certainly guaranteed the team making it as far as they reached. Never mind the heroics of the team during the last day of the regular season . And we can all attest to the fact the failings of both the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox still reverberates around the game , most notably so within the front office of the Red Sox . With the departure of their former general manager Theo Epstein to the Chicago Cubs , the promotion of Ben Cherington as his successor and the organization’s decision in not extending Terry Francona’s contract . One can allude to the fact that this is now a time of upheaval within that particular organization. It remains to be seen what now transpires concerning the free agents on this Red Sox roster and the decisions that will be made by the front office executives and coaching staff.

Now with the free agency period for baseball set to commence at midnight Monday 31st October it remains to be seen what moves will be made by the respective general managers and teams around the league as they seek to make themselves better for the upcoming season . We have already seen where the Philadelphia Phillies have chosen not to pick up the options on pitchers Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt . GM Reuben Amaro Jr. and the coaching staff will no doubt seek to bolster the roster through free agent acquisitions and quite possibly assessing their farm system and prospects .

Courtesy of MLB.com

La Russa announces his retirement as skipper

Steps down after three titles in 33 seasons, 16 with Cardinals

By Joey Nowak of MLB.com

Tony La Russa, the third-winningest manager in Major League history and most assuredly a future Hall of Famer, announced his retirement as a manager on Monday, fewer than three days after winning a World Series for the third time in his 33-year career, the past 16 of them with the Cardinals.

The surprising announcement was made during a Monday morning news conference at Busch Stadium.

“There isn’t one [factor] that dominates [my decision],” La Russa said. “They all just come together telling you your time is over.

“We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it’s time to end it and I think it’s going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what’s going on here.”

He said that he’d made his decision to retire in August, informing general manager John Mozeliak at that time. He said he told his coaching staff of his decision on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to what’s ahead,” La Russa said. “I’m ready to do something different.”

La Russa, 67, steps down with 2,728 managerial victories, ranking behind only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). Only Mack has managed in more ballgames. The Cardinals skipper is also the only manager in Major League Baseball history to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second to win a World Series title in each, as well.

La Russa’s Oakland A’s won the World Series in 1989. Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson won World Series titles with Cincinnati and Detroit. The Cardinals’ championship was their second in the past six seasons.

La Russa said that he did not consider continuing in order to get the 36 wins he would have needed and pass McGraw on the all-time list.

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From my own perspective I cannot see how the St Louis Cardinals can be a success without Albert Pujols within their midst . It would be an economical and competitive suicide on the part of the of this organization. And anyone who believes that to be the contrary would either have to be a complete idiot or simply having come off a highly addictive opiate ! The player is not only the heart and soul of this team but also its vocal leader . The interpretations are there for all to see and as the player goes , so does the rest of this team . If one man is said to mean so much to an organization , then surely one man such as Pujols himself , knows what he means to the St Louis Cardinals ? . As a three time league MVP the player is now laying down a legacy for himself that will surely place in Cooperstown , New York as an enshrinee within the Hall of Fame .

Albert Pujols can now certainly lay claim that he might well be the most popular , if not the best Cardinals’ player to have donned their uniform. As the player lays claim not only to team records but also rewrites the records within the game itself it remains to be seen , what , if any decision will be made as to Pujols’ immediate future . It seems almost inconceivable to think that the player could very well be donning another uniform at the start of the 2012 season . But such are the vagaries of the game that until the league hierarchy , owners and union are all on the same page as to some sort financial constraints then we may well continue to see players simply departing from a team merely because the owners simply cannot meet a player’s financial demands .

As to the future of the Texas Rangers psychologically they may well recover but the indignity of suffering to consecutive World Series’ losses has me wondering how any organization can truly recover something like ! It has been done before but clearly this was not something that either Nolan Ryan or Jon Daniels could have envisaged . The Rangers’ team president was very gregarious with his pronouncement that the team would win the series in six game but never over the course of the World Series had his team simply shown that they had the upper hand over the St Louis Cardinals . And it certainly had to have occured players such as Josh Hamilton , Michael Young , Elvis Andrus , Colby Lewis and Derek Holland that if they were to prevail over their opponents then beating them at Busch Stadium had to be done , and be done with expediently and with malice. The biggest chink in the armor of the Texas Rangers over the course of the postseason but in particular this World Series has been the inconsistency of the bullpen . When it mattered most the players simply failed to deliver , therein now lies the story which sealed the fate of this team. The organization now goes into the offseason looking to shore up this team by whatever means necessary and given the financial resources now at Jon Daniels’ disposal I doubt that he will have any problems seeking the players he believes can make this organization a great deal more competitive ! The first order of business for the general manager has to be whether or not to re-sign Colby Lewis who becomes a free agent in the offseason.

Inasmuch as I have enjoyed this series I have to admit that while enthralling it has been nowhere as scintillating as the press would have us believe . Truth be known , the events as they have unfolded we were simply being led to believe that this would all be one big suspenseful event . Clearly that was not the case ! Game’s five and six may well have been the only games in this series that clearly had us all in awe , whereas the other five games were merely stocking fillers and not much beyond that !

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What impressions do you have not only of the MLB postseason but also the regular season as a whole ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

tophatal ……………..

Picture and slide show details .
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(1) FILE – In this Oct. 25, 2011 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa smiles as he answers a question during a news conference, in St. Louis. Three days after winning the World Series, La Russa is retiring. The 67-year-old manager announced his retirement at a news conference Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(2) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 30: Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals participates in a parade celebrating the team’s 11th World Series championship October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images …….

(3) Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals participates in the World Series victory parade for the franchise’s 11th championship on October 30th in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images ….

(4) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 30: of the St. Louis Cardinals participates in the World Series victory parade for the franchise’s 11th championship on October 30th in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images ……

(5) Third baseman David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals addresses the crowd inside Busch Stadium on October 30, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images …..

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MLB World Series & results

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MLB transactions post deadline 1st November 2011

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Eminem …………..” Lose Yourself ” . Perhaps this song best represents what went wrong for the Texas Rangers over the course of the postseason ?

One Size Doesn’t Necessarily Fit All …….. !

One Size Doesn’t Necessarily Fit All

Well it’s finally here as MLB’s showcase event for the 2011 season with the commencement of the World Series . The prospective seven game series will be televised nationally by Fox and their hope is that the games will be a major lure for the prospective audiences even they just happen to be a passing observer. The two rival teams are the AL pennant winner the Texas Rangers who will be the guests of the St Louis Cardinals who in defeating ( 4-2) the Milwaukee Brewers garnered their seventeenth NL pennant over the course of the franchise’s storied history .

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The Texas Rangers coming off their second consecutive ALCS pennant and return to the World Series hope that a return in light of their World Series disappointment of 2010 in losing to the San Francisco Giants will be one of redemption . With that loss the front office led by team president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels looked to learn from the mistakes made and at the same time revamp the roster in order to make them more competitive this season . The Texas Rangers were the runaway winners of the AL West with there being little opposition in any coming their opponents within the division .

The opposition provided by their opponents during the ALDS and NLCS was futile for want of a better word . However, this match-up against the St Louis Cardinals could well prove to the test that the Rangers so desperately need . From my own standpoint I hope that this will one of the better postseason finales of recent years ! On the mound for the St Louis Cardinals will their starting ace Chris Carpenter who faces off against C J Wilson .

St Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa like his opposite number Ron Washington has been part of the postseason but unlike the Texas manager he has had the pleasure of winning a World Series title . In fact the Cardinals’ manager is one a select band of MLB managers to have won a world championship in both leagues. If anything the St Louis Cardinals may well be viewed as the underdogs in this series as the AL pennant winner seem to be the prohibitive favorites for the world championship. A win could very well play its part and perhaps be the determining factor as to whether or not the St Louis Cardinals will be able to retain their highly prized impending free agent Albert Pujols . GM John Mozeliak and principal managing partner William O DeWitt know that securing the player to a long term deal that isn’t exorbitant and beyond the means of the organization . There is no denying that both teams in MLB postseason are looking to make this series an exciting thrill packed event , as to whether or not it turns out that way remains to be seen.

As much I can understand the need for the NFL to expand the broad base and global of the sport of football , it is now becoming more ridiculous with the league hierarchy’s thinking that staging a regular season game now on annual basis is in the best interest of the game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell along with the team franchise owners heightens the game to even more astonishing peaks . This upcoming Sunday the Chicago Bears are guests of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the two teams meet at Wembley Stadium , in London , England .

With the NFL now having offices in Canada , South America , Europe , Far East Asia and an office in the United Kingdom , with the UK itself being one of the NFL’s most prominent consumer markets outside of North America. Herein lies the caveat , with the global economy now unstable it seems somewhat out of the norm to believe that the league still feels that they can continue down this path . Granted , the NFL is a multi billion dollar industry and though they recently returned to the workplace after their league imposed stoppage. The signs are that the league hierarchy and team owners feel that the North American consumer market has peaked , reached its maturation and saturation point.

This NFC matchup brings together two teams vying for divisional supremacy , albeit that the Chigaco Bears (3-3) are looking up at the Detroit Lions (5-1) and Green Bay Packers (6-0) who sit atop of the NFC North . Coach Lovie Smith’s team have to be of the opinion that if they are to contest the division , then a win against the Buccaners would place them in good standing . Jay Cutler , Brian Urlacher , Julius Peppers and Matt Forte as the season veterans on this team they ill be looking to show the form that had the Bears on the cusp of making their way to the Superbowl last season , only to be upended in the NFC championship game by the Green Bay Packers , the eventual winners of the Lombardi Trophy.

Raheem Morris and his coaching staff having rebounded from their 48-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers , in week 6 they rebounded in taking down the New Orleans in a highly competitive divisional game (26-20) during which the Buccaneers prevailed .

Josh Freeman of the Buccaneers is proving to be a real leader and one of the young up and coming quarterbacks within the NFL . He’s proving to be a hero in more ways than one and his last minute come from behind heroics are at times reminiscent in some ways of John Elway at his very best . The player’s stats in this one particular category already bears this out , much to the delight of his teammates and in particular to Raheem Morris and the coaching staff . In many ways this will be a game that will give even more credence as to whether or not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can improve on last season’s showing and mount a legitimate pedigree wherein one could view them as viable contenders for the this postseason and beyond .

GM Mark Dominik in conjunction with Raheem Morris , the scouting department and coaching staff have been prudent in their draft picks in recent years , making the team far more athletic and with the players being held accountable . Something that one couldn’t actually subscribe to when it came to Morris’ predecessor Jon Gruden . And Raheem Morris’ predecessor was never one to be known as someone who’d actually developed talent over the course of NFL career . Now please don’t throw the name of Rich Gannon into the ring as some evidence of that as the player simply found himself in an environment where he could flourish with the Oakland Raiders at the time and it wasn’t as if he wasn’t already a known commodity to begin with ! But therein lies the myth concerning Gruden and his presumed prowess as a developer of NFL talent !

Both the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have stout defenses but as of late that hasn’t necessarily been the case with both having seen their secondaries exposed . That being said both teams have to get that facet of their game back on track as well as being more efficient from an offensive standpoint .

The Buccaneers will be seeking to get their offense off and running when they take centerstage at Wembley Stadium against their NFC opponent . As to what the fans in London should expect , remains to be seen . But clearly the NFL league hierarchy believe that this annual staging of a regular season game abroad will further broaden the brand’s (NFL) appeal on a global basis . Get the feeling that no matter how much money the league will have in its coffers it well never be enough ?

Well now that the NBA finds itself in the midst of league hierarchy mandated lockout ____ the league itself along with the NBPA (union) sought to go through mediation via the FMCS a federal government agency . The mediator just happens to be George Cohen , who initially presided over the initial hearings of the NFL during their prolonged labor stoppage . Commissioner David Stern and union his counterpart Billy Hunter are still at an impasse . To furthermore emphasize the diverging stances being taken the union’s executive committee led by their president Derek Fisher have unequivocally stated that they are not prepared to acquiesce to any of the league’s demands without there first being concessions from the NBA, itself .

With the NBA preseason having been postponed and the regular season schedule set to start in November it is now becoming abundantly clear that the entire regular season schedule is now in jeopardy . The league has estimated that losses accumulated will be in excess of $35-$40 million per month . That does not include losses to local authorities and the business closely tied into the local communities once the season begins in the NBA . There are those who suggest that those figures are vastly overstated but when you consider that the league itself has lost in excess of $450 million cumulatively over the past two seasons it is easy to understand the concerns of the league hierarchy and the team owners . However, to my mind these very same owners and the league itself , in pleading poverty have overlooked one thing , and that is that they have continued to spend capriciously over the past five years while not looking to rein in their costs. At the same time the avarice of the union seems to know no boundaries with some outrageous demands on their part .

So contentious have been the deliberations that you have also had high profiled players such as Dywane Wade , LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in no large part questioning the character of the commissioner . It is now becoming increasingly clear that the league and union are not only on a collision course but in the aftermath of this wreckage there could very well be one , if not two franchises that could end up biting the dust should this lockout be a prolonged over several months , if not longer .

The mayor of Sacramento , Kevin Johnson , himself a former NBA professional is seeking to retain the Sacramento Kings within his city . But with a burgeoning municipal deficit , as well his having to reduce the city’s workforce it seems something of a futile exercise on Johnson’s path to try and keep the franchise within the city , while supposedly seeking assistance from businesses within the local community. Those very same businesses are feeling an economic crunch just like the rest of the country and it the population en mass . And the thought of the mayor seeking to use public funds in conjunction with private financing smacks of incompetence , given the issues he faces already within his city !

Owners such as Dan Gilbert , Mikhail Prokhorov , James Dolan and Jerry Buss for now may well be showing their support for the commissioner but I can’t help but wonder what happens when the league itself , now sees the stoppage entering into its second , fifth or six month !

The Sacramento Kings as a franchise has been hemorrhaging red ink incessantly over the past three years , with there being no real signs of abatement. The team is owned by the Maloof family with Joe and Gavin Maloof primarily overseeing the franchise’s business in conjunction with general manager and team president Geoff Petrie . And with the Kings’ ownership group merely playing a waiting game for the present with the city of Sacramento , while seeking out the opportunity to relocate the club . I for one , now feel that not unlike the acrimonious split that took place between the city of Seattle and the Seattle Supersonics we could very well see history simply repeat itself. I mean , David Stern was duplicitous in that instance with his backing of Clay Bennett and his partners leaving the city with the franchise to relocate in the city of Oklahoma , forming the Oklahoma City Thunder . The city of Seattle may well have felt that they got the better end of the deal with a $25 million payoff but they now have a white elephant on their hands with the venue which housed the Sonics at present now vacant .

The NBA lockout now has surpassed 100 days in its length but with no real sign of an accord in sight . However the cities of Memphis and Oklahoma are said to seeking a legal recourse against the league in light of potential financial losses they may well suffer if this stoppage goes on much longer . Oklahoma is home to the Oklahoma City Thunder where they’re housed in a multi million dollar facility owned ( Chesapeake Energy Center ) by the municipality . The Memphis Grizzlies are housed in the Fedex Forum in Memphis , Tennessee .

If either municipality should proceed ahead with any legal action action against the NBA , then in all likelihood they may well seek outside legal counsel in any prospective proceeding . My only personal thought on this matter would be for the two municipalities to proceed with that the proposed legal action jointly in US Federal Court in the state of Delaware ,. Given the fact that amongst the thirty NBA teams they are several multi billionaires amongst the throng of franchise owners within the NBA with now a number of them pleading poverty with regard to their respective franchises . Adam Silver the deputy commissioner of the league , one the mainstays of the NBA’s committee working on behalf of the hierarchy along with David Stern and Peter Holt , the owner of the San Antonio Spurs. representing the sport’s governing body in these deliberations . I have always maintained that no matter what the sport happens to be at the professional level municipal and state governmental agencies should not be held hostage by leagues such as the MLB , NBA , NFL , NHL , NASCAR or for that matter MLS (soccer) in assisting those governing bodies building state of the art facilities when rarely do they get anything tangible back in return . Does anyone truly believe that the city of New York is in a healthy financial state given that its mayor Michael Bloomberg fast-tracked the deals that benefited both the New York Mets and New York Yankees in aiding them to build their respective stadiums ( Citi-Field & Yankee Stadium ) ? Built at a joint cost of $2.355 billion with much of the funding coming by way a bond issue , multi faceted loans from a number major financial institutions and certain increases service fees levied upon residents and business within the locale .

For the Steinbrenner and Wilpon family as the proprietary owners Yankees , Mets and New York City government — _____ to say that they have screwed over the residents within the Bronx and Flushing would be an understatement to say the very least ! But at the same much of this can be easily laid to rest squarely upon the shoulders of US Congress and Senate , with regard to the statute (antitrust exemption & special tax privileges) that gives the governing sports’ bodies such latitude as a sport’s franchise .

With the Tampa Bay Rays’ demise in the postseason falling to the Texas Rangers it looks as if the apparent fallout that a number of Rays’ fans would fear to see could come into being . The team’s general manager Andrew Friedman has met publicly and privately with Los Angeles Angels’ owner Arte Moreno . The Angels are without a general manager after the abrupt resignation of Tony Reagins at the culmination of the regular season after the team’s subpar year .

Andrew Friedman’s contract has expired and it doesn’t appear as yet that an agreement on a renewal had been reached between the Rays’ general manager and the ownership group led by Stuart Sternberg . If the senior managing partner knows what is good for not only himself and baseball club then it would be to sign the organization’s architect of the most heralded successes of the past five years . Not only was Friedman behind the hiring of Joe Maddon as the successor to Lou Piniella but also for some the Tampa Bay Rays’ astounding successes in their draft choices since he assumed the team’s lead front office executive in charge of personnel matters.

Amongst the ranks of the general managers within the game Andrew Friedman would have to rank up there alongside the likes of Brian Cashman , Theo Epstein , Jon Daniels , Kenny Williams , John Mozeliak , Frank Wren and Dave Dombrowski as being amongst the best of the best of the GM’s in MLB .

With the growing uncertainty as to the impending future of the ballclub this could very well be one of the first few nails in the coffin leading to the upheaval of the Tampa Bay Rays if they cannot continue the momentum attained under Andrew Friedman , should the premise arise of with him leaving the this organization. The fans may well applaud the plays of Evan Longoria , Desmond Jennings , David Price and James Shields but were it not for Friedman I seriously doubt that the fans in attendance at Tropicana Field would have seen this team come to fruition , much less there being a ball-club to support . If the Rays’ most loyal and fervent supporters want this organization to remain viable then they ought to make their voices heard , and let Stuart Sternberg know he would be ill advised to allow his young general manager to leave .

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In light of the points raised within this piece what thoughts do you have ? And are you of the opinion that sports’ franchise owners should not hold state and local city municipalities hostage when it concerns arena and stadium issues ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and once again thanks always for the continued support as it greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………..

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Rafael Furcal(15) and Matt Holliday (7) of the St. Louis Cardinals go after the hit by Ian Kinsler (5) of the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning during Game Two of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 20, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Rangers would go on to defeat the Cardinals 2-1 . Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ….

(2) Michael Young (10) of the Texas Rangers celebrates in the dugout after hitting an RBI sacrifice fly ball to take a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning during Game Two of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 20, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Rangers won 2-1. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ……

(3) Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith answers a question during a news conference at the Oval cricket ground, London, Friday Oct. 21, 2011. The Bears will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday. AP Photo / Tom Hevezi …..

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Kellen Winslow, left, shares a joke with coach Raheem Morris during a team training session, Bagshot, west of London, Thursday Oct. 20, 2011. The Buccaneers will face Chicago Bears at London’s Wembley stadium on Sunday. AP Photo/Tom Hevezi …..

(5) Peter Holt, the owner of San Antonio Spurs, speaks to members of the media after NBA labor negotiations at Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on October 20, 2011 in New York City. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver announced that talks have broken down and no further meetings are scheduled. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images …..

(6) Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman greets a fan at the front of the St Petersburg government center in downtonwn St Petersburg. Rumors are rife that the general manager could well leave the organization and accept the formal offer from the Los Angeles Angels’ team owner Arte Moreno to succeed Tony Reagins . St Petersburg Times / Ray Massey ….
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C J Wilson —– vs —– Chris Carpenter

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NB: This article was written on 20th October 2011 and published on the 10/21/2011 after game two had ended .

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We’re Getting There …… !

We’re Getting There ….

Well the ALCS and NLCS are in full swing and baseball’s hierarchy looks for some resonance by way of the broadcast by TNT and TBS before the World Series is scheduled to be televised by Fox Sports . With the viewership down by some 25% from last years’s NLCS and some 43% from the ALCS of 2009 between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees .

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Now one could contend that with the current series having very little drama at present it would be easy to conclude that the quartet of teams now involved in the ALCS and NLCS not having a fervent fan following . Perhaps of the four teams in question the greatest following might be with the supporters of the St Louis Cardinals . With a long established history , success and well respected Hall of Famers it has to be said that it should not come as any great surprise the organization has such a following. The Cardinals skippered by manager Tony La Russa the team now finds itself in a very competitive series against their divisional rivals the Milwaukee Brewers . There’s a great deal at stake for both teams given the fact there seems to be a cloud of controversy hanging over both organizations concerning two of the game’s biggest names and their long term future. The common thread and thought concerning Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols is that should their respective teams fail to make the World Series , then in all likelihood they each will have played their last seasons with Brewers and Cardinals , respectively.

Currently tied at one game apiece (1-1) the series between the two NL teams will resume on Wednesday with the St Louis Cardinals hosting the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri , . Scheduled to start for the Cardinals is Yovani Gallardo with Chris Carpenter starting for the Cardinals . Both teams have proven to be competitive over the course of the postseason. And it is clear that Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke would like nothing better than his team taking two of the three games to played in front of a Cardinals’ fan base to take an overwhelming advantage in this best of seven game series .

Carpenter coming off a stellar performance against the Philadelphia Phillies on his way to leading the Cardinals to the NLCS in an exhilarating game five win. That loss seems to sent the Phillies organization into a tailspin of unimaginable proportions . GM Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manuel will to have to assess the needs of this team and make the necessary changes during the off-season if the team is to have any chance of success this upcoming season.

Now while I am not willing to make any pronouncements as to which of the two NLCS teams I favor in this series , I do feel that the advantage will come by way of the advantage will now come astuteness of the managers . That undoubted experience belongs with La Russa given his tenure within the game. And given the proclivity of the manager’s team and their tenacity there is a clear chance that Pujols , Matt Holliday , Rafael Furcal and Lance Berkman will be looking to give clear indication that this series is far from over and that the players on the St Louis Cardinals team will be looking to upstage their divisional rivals .

Big money teams with big ideas but that clearly wouldn’t be the case for describing the way that the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers . GM Dave Dombrowski and team owner Michael Ilitch who along with Jim Leyland assembled a team which if anything has proven to be one of the pleasant surprises of the season . The Detroit Tigers won the AL Central with a certain amount of ease then with a little more than breaking any sweat they also took care of the mighty New York Yankees in the ALDS .

The defeat left the Yankees reeling with there being excuses from the most unlikely of sources in team president Randy Levine . The executive not wanting to apportion the blame where it needs to be placed , has stated that the team simply will reassert itself and come back better than ever. Given the the poor displays from key members on this team it easy to understand why executives within the organization would seek not to be overly critical of some of the game’s highest paid players .

This off-season the New York Yankees will certainly have to reassess the team and if anything simply jettison the ” dead weight” on the roster . GM Brian Cashman and the coaching staff will painstakingly look to the free agency market rather than its farm system for the answers.

Ron Washington , Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels of the Texas Rangers will have the benefit of knowing that last year’s postseason experience will stand them in good stead in their series against the Detroit Tigers . Though having lost to the San Francisco Giants in somewhat of an uneventful 2010 World Series , it has to be said that the team was more shell-shocked by their foray , rather than actually being overpowered by Bruce Bochy’s Giants’ team .

The Texas Rangers seem to be well on their way to making their way to a second consecutive World Series appearance having taken a 2-0 lead in their ALCS match-up. Game three at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan with Colby Lewis and Doug Fister taking the mound for the Rangers and Tigers, respectively.

If the Detroit Tigers are to have any chance resurrecting this series then we will have to see a great deal more consistency coming from Miguel Cabrebra , Ryan Raburn and their teammates . And though in reality I haven’t been completely drawn to any of the series from my own perspective is that with the draw of perhaps the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees the postseason becomes something of anathema to me . Try as Bud Selig and the team owners seek to prolong the postseason with an additional two teams per league to wildcard format , the real underlying issue is that the commissioner and general managers clearly do not understand this simply does nothing for the game other than to prolong the season itself. If Selig really had the business acumen as his supporters claim , then they would simply realize that what is needed is a fair an equitable way for the teams to share the revenues derived from their business operations , rather than it simply being everyman for himself and the survival of the fittest.

Though I won’t be taken aback by anything I am likely to witness over the remainder of the posteason , I do however feel that if the league hierarchy wants to induce more fan in response to year end finale . Then much of that will be dependent upon their scheduling of the games and a clear indication as to the needs of the fans. No amount of tinkering with the postseason format will change anything that Bud Selig desires to see within the game when he is simply to afraid to address the most acute of the issues that baseball now faces . Far too many of the purists in and outside of the prefer to give far too much credence as to his apparent insight rather than observing the inherent problems they currently face . His handling of the laughable situation concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers clearly shows that he and his conclave of buffoons are out of touch . If that were not bad enough , he has yet to offer up his own formal statement as to dire premise that the New York Mets and the ownership group now find themselves in . Beyond that , he has chosen to postpone the approval of the sale of the Houston Astros by current owner Drayton McClane to Houston businessman Jim Crane . Selig’s reason behind this all …… …. he is apparently unhappy with the prospective purchaser’s documentation concerning the the proposed bid ( $680 million ). Do bear in mind that the commissioner rushed through the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to now beleaguered owner Frank McCourt when the ball club was put up for sale by then owner Fox / News Corp International with there being very little if any due diligence was used by MLB. At the time it was common knowledge that McCourt had mounting financial and legal problems with several of his business partners who were seeking recourse through legal means. But yet somehow the league hierarchy and team owners somehow managed to approve that sale .

Courtesy of USA Today

Selig: No timetable for expanded postseason by 2012

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement have been very constructive, and he sees no reason to set a timetable for getting a deal done.

“I hope we’ll continue on that path,” Selig said of the positive talks Monday night before Game 2 of the NL Championship Series.

MLB’s agreement with the player’s union expires on Dec. 11.

Selig said the present discussions have been far different from labor battles in previous decades. The most recent labor peace began when the sides came to an agreement after the cancellation of the end of the 1994 season.

“The sport, I’ve often said, was stuck in neutral for 25 years. And that’s one of the reasons. It was brutal. It was really brutal. Every two or three years we went back to this,” Selig said. “The fans got tired of all that, got tired of hearing about it. And I don’t blame them. So, 16 years of labor peace has really, really helped us.”

Selig said he has told MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union head Michael Weiner not to set arbitrary time limits to try and finish a deal.

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Crane has produced all of the viable documents and much needed added information as required but this may well be some sort of image and face saving exercise on the part of Bud Selig , which in part could prove to be his undoing. Jim Crane is now said to be thinking of withdrawing the his current offer of $680 million and completely walk away from the deal altogether in light of Bud Selig postponement of the vote seeking league approval. Whether or not the actual approved measure seems to be in doubt , given the fact the postseason is now in full swing and the commissioner not stating when and if there will be schedule set for league approval of the sale. Any further delays even if it now takes place in the off season is unlikely to sit well with either of the parties concerned. Current owner Drayton McClane seeks to divest himself of the team and that now leaves the front office , coaching staff and players with something of an uncertain future as to their immediacy. Why do I now get the impression that there seems to be no common sense being shown by the league hierarchy concerning this matter ? Oh I know it is because that body’s highest ranking executive is a damn moron and a fu_king as_hole !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Of the quartet of teams now left in the postseason which duo would like to face off in the World Series ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning the now apparent stand-off that is now taking place between the league hierarchy and Jim Crane concerning his purchase of the Houston Astros ? Chime in with a comment and on anything else you believe to pertinent to the subject matter .

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/tophata2

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Picture & slide show details below
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(1) St. Louis Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso, left, laughs with manager Tony La Russa during baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in St. Louis. The Cardinals are scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of baseball’s National League championship series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(2) St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter walks out to the field for baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in St. Louis. Carpenter is scheduled to start when the Cardinals play the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of baseball’s National League championship series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …..

(3) Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 10, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Cardinals would go on to defeat the Brewers 12-3 .Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …..

(4) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals breaks his bat on a ground out in the top of the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 10, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……

(5) Fans look at a weather radar on a phone as rain falls prior to Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers on October 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(6) Michael Young (10) of the Texas Rangers catches a foul ball in Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(7) Jose Valverde (46) of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Rangers 5-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ……

(8) DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 11 : Colby Lewis (48) of the Texas Rangers stands on the mound as Victor Martinez (41) of the Detroit Tigers runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

(9) Detroit Tigers’ Brandon Inge , right, hugs teammate Miguel Cabrera after their 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of baseball’s American League championship series Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in Detroit. …….
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MLB news

MLB postseason schedule ALCS & NLCS

MLB results 11th October 2011

Milwaukee Brewers — ( Yovani Gallardo ) — @ St Louis Cardinals ( Chris Carpenter ) Busch Stadium St Louis , Missouri ,. 12th October 2011

MLB teams’ postseason stats pitching ERA

MLB teams’ postseason stats BA

MLB postseason player stats

Batting average

Pitching ERA

Individual stats by league :

AL ……. Batting avg . …… Pitching …. ERA

NL …… Batting avg . ….. Pitching …. ERA

Sports’ Stories That Just Make You Want To Do A Double Take ………..

Sports’ Stories That Just Make You Want To Do A Double Take ………..

Well now that the NFL season has ended and we’re into postseason play, now all of the suspense builds up with the divisional round playoffs. The match-ups are the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets taking on the San Diego Chargers. Those are the final four participants within the AFC . In the NFC we’ll see the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Minnesota Vikings and the other half of the NFC divisional round will pit the Arizona Cardinals taking on the New Orleans Saints .

This weekend in that regard we’ll certainly see eight teams aspiring to make it to the respective championship games for the four remaining berths , thereof. The teams are most certainly evenly matched and you’d be hard pressed to pick out a decisive favorite amongst them all. For myself, I’m simply looking forward to these quartet of games and as to what their outcomes might be. My hopes were long shot down when the New England Patriots put up such ‘a putrid performance’ against the Baltimore Ravens, in their thoroughly lopsided 33-14 loss at Gillette Stadium , in Foxboro , Massachusetts. The less said about the loss at this juncture , the better ! Suffice to say as a Pats’ fan, I’m about as enamored with the ‘team’ right now as Rush Limbaugh might be, were he in a room filled with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and The Congressional Black Caucus . And we all know how Rush loves the minorities at this juncture don’t we ? Well that’s the same way I feel about the Patriots at this juncture !

CBS Sportsline’s own coverage of the McGwire’s admitted use of steroids.

Is it me ? But was anyone at all surprised that former Cardinals’ slugger, Mark McGwire finally ‘fessed up’ to the fact that he took steroids ? Sooner, or later that baby had to be thrown out with the bath water. And this as_hole is now trying to say it was all a mistake ? And he was under pressure to take the elicit substances ? F-ck him and the horse he rode in on ! If he didn’t have the temerity to tell the truth when he was subpoenaed by Congress. Then why the hell should I now believe that this confession is a full act of contrition ? What he’s done to the game of baseball and the very fact that the MLB hierarchy still acknowledges his feats are as unconscionable as it comes. It’d appear that if anything what McGwire is now yearning is the public’s empathy and final vindication that all is now forgiven . Well, as a baseball fan , I won’t be forgiving McGwire or any of his counterparts who subjected the public to this sham , anytime soon. They’ve all profited from this immeasurably and still do , to this day. Whereas, the fans of the game haven’t at all received anything tangible in return.

McGwire in his interview with Bob Costas on the MLB Network admits his use of steroids.

Over the next five years many of the more prominent names from the era will be up for nomination into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York. And although those gullible idiots of the BBWAA will preside over the process. I’m not at all certain that many of them won’t see fit to do unimaginable and actually grant the likes of Barry Bonds , Roger Clemens , or perhaps McGwire , himself, induction into the Hall of Fame. Those morons couldn’t find their way out a dark room with the assist of a flashlight and compass to guide them. But we’re now going to have them preside of an adjudication process that’s about as flawed as they come. Never mind the fact that their objectivity is actually based more on favoritism , rather than subjectivity.

McGwire  (right) seen  here  with  then  manager , Tony  La  Russa of  the  St  Louis Cardinals.    McGwire  was  recently   hired  as  a  hitting  instructor  for  the  team.  Is  anyone  under  the  impression  that  Albert  Pujols  is  in   need  of    McGwirie's  assistance  when  it  comes  to  'hitting'   a  baseball  ?      picture  appears   courtesy  of   Sports  Illustrated and  AP/Photos/  Rod  Killion   ......................
McGwire (right) seen here with then manager , Tony La Russa of the St Louis Cardinals. McGwire was recently hired as a hitting instructor for the team. Is anyone under the impression that Albert Pujols is in need of McGwirie's assistance when it comes to 'hitting' a baseball ? picture appears courtesy of Sports Illustrated and AP/Photos/ Rod Killion ......................

Courtesy of AP and Yahoo Sports

Mark McGwire finally admits using steroids

By Ronald Blum , AP Sports Writer

New York (AP)—Ending more than a decade of denials and evasion, former major league slugger Mark McGwire admitted Monday that steroids and human growth hormone helped make him a home run king.

“The toughest thing is my wife, my parents, close friends have had no idea that I hid it from them all this time,” McGwire told The Associated Press in an emotional, 20-minute interview. “I knew this day was going to come. I didn’t know when.”

In a quavering voice, McGwire apologized and said he used steroids and human growth hormone on and off for a decade, starting before the 1990 season and including the year he broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record in 1998.

“I wish I had never touched steroids,” McGwire said. “It was foolish and it was a mistake.”

He had mostly disappeared since his infamous testimony before a congressional committee in March 2005, when he repeatedly said, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” a response that made him an object of ridicule during his self-imposed exile.

Once he was hired by the Cardinals in October to be their hitting coach, however, he knew he had to say something before the start of spring training in mid-February.

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And the one other person who’s complicit in this all , has to be St Louis Cardinals’ manager , Tony La Russa . For him to still categorically state that he never knew that McGwire was using steroids either when he was a player with the Oakland Athletics or as a player with the Cardinals. Well that’d be about as believable as Joan Rivers stating categorically that she’s never undergone cosmetic surgery. Have you seen Joan’s ‘grill’ lately ? Alabaster or porcelain never looked that good and nor do the lies that have emanated from the lips of Tony La Russa ! And for La Russa to still stand ‘pat’ behind those claims gives the impression that he knowns the truth but just doesn’t to be implicated in the midst of it all. Funny but on looking back at the Congressional hearings , it seems somewhat ironic that very few club managers were actually subpoenaed to testify before Congress. Strange isn’t it don’t you think ? All of these players but yet ‘no managers’ were actually called to testify ? What is that Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy still has to hide ? Could it be their duplicity and complicity on the ‘fraud’ perpetrated on the public throughout much of the nineties ?

The game of basketball is filled with its nuances and complexities and to my mind it might just be the most exhilarating of the four major sports to watch. Especially when it comes to the NBA and its plethora of stars on a number of teams around the league. The likes of Carmelo Anthony , Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade , Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard , Brandon Roy and Chris Paul, makes this such a wonderful spectacle to watch. That when incidents such as the ‘Gilbert Arenas’ situation arises, you have to wonder what the hell is going on with many of the players in the league , who ought to damn well know better ! And as much I’d to have confidence and faith in the NBA hierarchy under the league’s commissioner in, David Stern. I simply ‘cannot trust him to do what is right’ for the sport without him interjecting himself in the midst of it all , to make it more about what he’s doing for the sport. Rather than what needs to be done proactively when acts detrimental to the sport arise. If ever there was a person who is as ego driven and who craves the limelight just as much as the game’s biggest stars. Then David Stern is that very person ! If you doubt my word, just see the way that he conducts his interviews with the print and television media.

Former  NBA star,  Jayson  Williams  is seen  here   with  his  attorney  after the  court  deliberations  in  his   trial.  The  player was  sentenced to  18 months  in  prison  for  the  wrongful  death  of   his   former  limo  driver  Costas  'Gus' Christofi.    The incident  took  place  in  March  of  2002  and   with there  being  two  intervening  trials  since  the  incident  Williams is  finally  willing to  accept responsibility  in the  death  of  the  victim.   A  civil  settlement   was   paid  to  Christofi's   family   which   was   privately  agreed  to   out of court in which  the  family was  paid  $ 2 million for  Christofi's  death.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  nytimes.com/ Brian  Branch  Price   ....................
Former NBA star, Jayson Williams is seen here with his attorney after the court deliberations in his trial. The player was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the wrongful death of his former limo driver Costas 'Gus' Christofi. The incident took place in March of 2002 and with there being two intervening trials since the incident Williams is finally willing to accept responsibility in the death of the victim. A civil settlement was paid to Christofi's family which was privately agreed to out of court in which the family was paid $ 2 million for Christofi's death. picture appears courtesy of nytimes.com/ Brian Branch Price ....................

It hardly seems like almost a decade ago, that former Nets and Sixers’ player, Jayson Williams seems finally willing to accept responsibility in the death of his former limousine driver, Costas ‘Gus’ Christofi. The limo driver was shot to death in the errant gun play of Williams who’d consumed a fair amount of alcohol that evening, having returned home with his entourage to his palatial mansion in Alexandria Township , New Jersey. The events that led up to that fateful event and what transpired afterwards has been told and retold , time and time again. And now with a final plea agreement reached after a third trial , Williams will be sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment for the wrongful death of Christofi. To my mind the sentence is far too lenient , given the circumstances of the crime and Williams’ actions before and thereafter.

Williams and his entourage having returned to his home would then proceed on with their partying , whereupon further unlimited amounts of alcohol was consumed and it was alleged that Williams and several of his guests had also smoked marijuana. Which if anything further exacerbated what would already be an unfortunate event. Williams along with several of his guests had seen fit to employ in some jocular play and as to why he and they should deem it fit to wield a loaded shot gun about, as part of that scenario is about as thoughtless as running through a mine field blindfolded. But somehow, Jayson Williams thought it appropriate wielding a loaded shotgun whilst inebriated and his inhibitions greatly impaired from drink. Can we all agree that ‘stupid is, as stupid does’ ? With Williams, Christofi and several of the host’s guests in an upstairs room in the mansion. Somehow , Williams states that the gun went off accidentally, whilst he was pointing it away from the victim. This wouldn’t be the original story told however , to law enforcement when the crime was originally investigated.

Courtesy of The NY Times

Williams Pleads Guilty in ’02 Driver Shooting

By Nate Shweber

Somerville, N.J. — Jayson Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on Monday in the fatal shooting of his limousine driver, bringing toward a close a legal case that began nearly eight years ago

Williams’s driver, Costas (Gus) Christofi, 55, died of chest wounds from a blast from Williams’s shotgun on Feb. 14, 2002. Williams will serve at least 18 months in state prison under the terms of the plea. Sentencing was set for Feb. 23.

Williams, 41, a former Nets forward, admitted in State Superior Court that he took out a shotgun in his Alexandria Township home to show friends, and that the weapon “discharged and hit Mr. Christofi in the chest.”

“Mr. Christofi died from the gunshot wound,” Williams said.

In 2003, Williams paid $2.75 million to Christofi’s family to settle a wrongful death civil case. On Monday, Williams appeared alongside his lawyer, Joseph A. Hayden Jr., who prompted him with questions. Williams admitted that he did not check the position of the safety on his shotgun, or whether it was loaded.

“I only saw the top barrel; I didn’t check the bottom barrel,” Williams said, adding that when he snapped the firearm shut with one hand he “did not look at the direction the muzzle of the gun was pointing.”

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NB : As reported in the New York Times

Upon the blast from the shotgun , Christofi’s body was removed to a downstairs room within the home and the gun was placed besides his body and his finger prints were handsomely placed all over the weapon. Then Williams would then get one of his guests to ‘call 911′ and report that a suicide attempt had taken place at his residence. If that wasn’t heinous enough, Williams’ own wife would play a part in this all by backing up her husband’s story, knowing full well that it was all ‘a lie’ to begin with . But yet charges were only brought against Williams and two of his accomplices who in the end would testify against him in all three trials that’ve taken place in the pursuance of justice. They pled to lesser charges and in each case were given suspended sentences and probation of five years apiece. Throughout the many trials there has been a gross miscarriage of justice, as the victim and his family have had no justice whatsoever ! The prosecution has simply mishandled this case with almost the same ineptitude as shown by Chris Darden and Marcia Clark in the O J Simpson murder trial. In this case however, although Williams pled to a lesser charge as part of a plea agreement and was found guilty. The case is deemed a victory for the prosecution and ‘justice’ is seen to have been done. In the case of Simpson , that particular case was handled with the bumbling ineptitude not often seen with prosecution attorneys. But then again when a case becomes more about the pursuance of celebrity status, stardom and notoriety which was parlayed by both Clarke and Darden at the end of the Simpson trial. It gives the public very little faith in the justice system to begin with. And the same can be said once again, here in the Jayson Williams’ trial. He may well have been found guilty but a sentence of eighteen months seems nowhere near fitting enough for a crime that was contemptible to begin with because of the actions of the defendant.

courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Jayson Williams pleads guilty in fatal NJ shooting

By Samantha Henry , Associated Press Writer ,

Somerville, N.J. (AP)—Former NBA star Jayson Williams, his personal life in shambles, took responsibility for accidentally shooting his limousine driver to death eight years ago by pleading guilty Monday to assault and agreeing to serve at least 18 months in prison.

Williams was awaiting retrial on a reckless manslaughter count but pleaded guilty to the lesser aggravated assault count for the 2002 death of Costas Christofi.

Williams remained poised during the hearing and mostly answered yes and no questions, though he did tell the judge that he had not fully checked a shotgun he was showing off to friends before snapping it closed.

“I didn’t look in the direction the muzzle of the gun was pointed,” he said, before admitting that his handling of the gun was reckless and that the gunshot caused Christofi’s death.

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This isn’t the end of Williams’ legal entanglement with the legal system as he’s yet to await a hearing over a traffic stop in New York City on a DUI charge. Somehow , I think that the justice system may well let that one go as nothing more than a light reprimand for the former NBA player, along with a mere slap on the wrist.

When is a man not a man ? It’s when he sees fit to raise his arms against his spouse as an act of subduing her merely to show off his masculinity. Isn’t it enough to read about a golfer’s philandering . And then to find out that he’s as much of a man as an effeminate ‘drag queen’. Tiger Woods states that it’s his intention to ‘heal the wounds and unpleasantness caused’ in the upheaval of his marriage. Unfortunately, Woods is nowhere to be seen at the side of his wife or children over the past five weeks. But yet he’s working on repairing his marriage ? Hey Tiger, let me know how things are working out for you ? If not that lover of Asian American men , Kate Gosselin has room for you at her modest abode along with a ready made family of eight children. And if you play your cards right she’ll no doubt ‘put out’, as well ?

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Bucs’ safety Phillips accused of choking wife

Tampa , Fla. (AP)—Tampa Bay safety Jermaine Phillips(notes) has been charged with trying to choke his wife during an argument.

According to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office press release, Phillips was charged with domestic battery by strangulation. Jail records indicated he is scheduled to be released on his own recognizance Monday.

Authorities say Phillips’ wife called 911 Sunday and said her husband had grabbed her around the neck. She said the couple argued after she confronted him about a number in his cell phone.

The Buccaneers said in a statement that the team was closely monitoring the situation.

Public defender Julianne Holt said a lawyer from her office appeared in court Monday for Phillips, but he is expected to retain a private attorney for future proceedings.

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Bucs'  safety  Jermaine  Phillips (23)  seen  here  with  Tampa Bay Buccaneers'   fan  Robert McFarland at  the  team's  fanfest    held  Raymond  James  Stadium  in  Tampa  , Florida.   These are  the  sort  of   characters   from  the  Gruden  regime  that  in  essence  are  what  the  Bucs are  now  pinning  their  hopes on as to  the  immediacy  of  their   future.   Well  coming  off  a  3-13   season    , can  we  just  say  that  this   team and   Phillips   are clearly showing  that a  backbone   and  character  isn't  one  of their  strongest   traits  !     picture   appears  courtesy  of Tampa  Bay  Tribune  /  Pete  Clarke  .......................
Bucs' safety Jermaine Phillips (23) seen here with Tampa Bay Buccaneers' fan Robert McFarland at the team's fanfest held Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. These are the sort of characters from the Gruden regime that in essence are what the Bucs are now pinning their hopes on as to the immediacy of their future. Well coming off a 3-13 season , can we just say that this team and Phillips are clearly showing that a backbone and character isn't one of their strongest traits ! picture appears courtesy of Tampa Bay Tribune / Pete Clarke .......................

As I alluded to earlier, Woods is no real man , instead of dealing with his problems he continues to run away from them. Way to go Tiger, way to go ! In light of it all Woods’ problems seems slight when measured against that of Bucs’ safety Jermaine Phillips. The player has been arraigned and charged with domestic abuse in trying to strangle his wife , after she confronted him over a number she found on his cell phone. It’s not known whether or not the number belongs to an acquaintance of Phillips but it was enough for him to react physically violently in the ensuing confrontation with his wife. Grabbing her by the neck, he choked her until she fell to the ground, almost suffocating and passing out. There’s a moral to the story here Jermaine , walk the fu_k away , rather than losing your temper. Your actions in no way prove that you’re a man , provoked or unprovoked. It shows you to be less of a man than you already are, and then some !

We live in a violent enough of a society as it is already , without having to read about athletes wielding guns needlessly or subjecting members of their immediate family to such abhorrent horror and abuse, merely because of their temper. Enough already ! And hopefully the powers that be , in this case law enforcement , will go about doing their job in the appropriate fashion , rather circumventing the real tenets of the law with the never-ending abuse of plea agreements and bargaining. More than often not, these same offenders become the same repeat offenders. And where does that get us at the end of the day ? Needless to say, that there’ll be some bleeding heart morons who’ll continually stand up and say let the athletes alone, as it’s their life to do with as they please. Well no , that’s not the case, when they endanger the public or a family member and then it’s the taxpayer’s monies that is being used to incarcerate and feed them whilst they’re behind bars. I’ve no problem with locking their a_s up, just as long I’m not the one paying the expense of their stay behind bars.

NB: Due reverence is given here to my compatriot Bob Marley & The Wailers and their rendition of ‘Concrete Jungle’ . With my heritage being of Caribbean ancestry , I’m fully appreciative of this particular part of my Jamaican ancestry. And the culture brought forth with regard to reggae music and what it has meant to the music culture and the borders it has crossed.

🙂

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………. 🙂

Mirror Mirror On The Wall Who’s The Fairest of Them All ? Is That Really You Sammy Sosa ?

There’s nothing wrong with being a metro sexual guy in this day and age. I mean it’s expected that a man should keep himself in good shape, eat well and to an extent be of peak physical fitness. Hitting the gym once or twice a week helps. But not to overstate the fact , hitting a nail salon for a manicure and pedicure is taking it way too far. Well at least I thought so , until I saw a recent picture of former Texas Rangers and Cubs‘ player Sammy Sosa attending the Latin Grammy Awards.

Sammy before  and   Sammy  after    '
Sammy Sosa before and Sammy Sosa after ? And now we might know why Sammy's said to be interested in pursuing a solo singing career . I guess he wants to be seen as the Hispanic answer to the late Michael Jackson ?

Sammy Sosa before and Sammy Sosa after ? And now we might know why Sammy’s said to be interested in pursuing a solo music career. I guess he wants to be viewed as the Hispanic answer to the late Michael Jackson ? picture appears courtesy of Zabulowski/AP – Djansezian/Getty ……………

We all know that Sosa has come a long way from the rough streets of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. And that he honed his skills to become one the dominant players of his era. Alright, we know that from those halcyon days when he and Mark McGwire were laying waste to the single season home run record was one big unadulterated fraud perpetrated upon the public, with the MLB hierarchy acting like the three monkeys …..as in see no evil , speak to no evil and hear no evil ! And now it appears that the game’s commissioner,Bud Selig is of the opinion that the return of McGwire to the game as the hitting coach of the St Louis Cardinals is a good thing for the game ? Never-mind the fact that he’ll embraced with open arms by his former Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa. Whose own ideas on steroid abuse scandal in baseball lies somewhere in between don’t ask , don’t tell and who gives a f_ck policy ! And we’re to believe that there’s still some integrity in the game ? Not when the game’s highest ranking official is making such asinine statements !

The Summer of 1998 when it was thought all was right in the world of baseball and the fans were watching with a great deal of astonishment and surprise as McGwire and Sosa laid an onslaught in the single season home run record held at time by New York Yankees‘ great, Roger Maris. The record was broken by McGwire , only for it to be broken several years later by another steroid abuse suspect in that of San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds. He would hit a record breaking 73 home runs that year ,with the last coming on October 7th 2001. A record which still stands to this day. And one, which should it once again be broken,would come under immediate suspicion by the fans and laymen alike. Bonds , whose own fate still lies in the hands of the US Justice System (Dept. of Justice) at this very moment. It’s hard to believe that he could still return to the game and be off some effect to it. Not with having been away from the game for close on three years.

Effective communication as taught to Mark McGwire .Here he addresses House Members with his testimony concerning steroid use. As you can see McGwire was less than forthright with the House members. His fellow playing colleague Rafael Palmeiro would have his own mea culpa , as it came to be known.

Baseball may well be in a tide of euphoria, with the New York Yankees having won their 27th World Series title in defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games (4-2) in The Fall Classic. But with the impending return of Mark McGwire to the game and the thought that his crimes proven or not, are still thought of as nothing more than a misnomer by the game’s hierarchy. It sends something of an indirect message to the game’s youngest fans, that you too can be good at this game, just as long as you don’t get caught cheating.

This brief 6 second sound byte has all but placed the death knell , as to Rafael Palmeiro’s ambition for getting into baseball’s Hall of Fame. ” Let me start by telling you this I have never used steroids period “! If his finger waving to the House Members didn’t warrant a rebuke ,then certainly those words uttered by Palmeiro came back to haunt him in the most expected of ways. Less than four months later it was revealed that he tested positive for banned substance prohibited by law and the league. Karma is a bitch isn’t it ?

The Four Horsemen of  the Apocalypse  ?   From left to  right ,  Sammy  Sosa  ,  Mark McGwire ,   Rafael  Palmeiro and   Curt Schilling.   The  former  Phillies' ace   was more like  an  audition  for    position within  the  House  as  he  skirted  around  many  of the  questions  asked  of  him  at  the  time.         picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Scott McIntosh  ....................

The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse . From left to right, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire , Rafael Palmeiro and former Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching ace Curt Schilling sit and listen attentively prior to giving testimony to members of the House in an open session. The former Phillies ace’s testimony was very much like an audition for one of the House Members’ positions.As he skirted around the questions asked of him at the time. Sosa for his part, became indecipherable as if almost overnight his command of the English language had completely vanished. And it was left to an interpreter to pose the questions to the former player and also reply on his behalf once he was made cognitive of what was being asked of him at the time. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Scott McIntosh ………..

And for Sosa while there’s no impending return for him to the game. One may well well have to ask what the future may well have in store for the one time legendary slugger ? A singing career perhaps ? Or as a performer in the adult movie industry ? These are the questions one could boldly ask of Sammy Sosa, if only his command of the English language was all that intelligible. But being that his interactions inside the clubhouse had never posed a problem for Sosa when he was interacting with his teammates, coaches and ancillary staff alike. I now have to ask myself this question who’s in fact looking like the biggest fool of them all ? And who’s said to be looking like the fairest of them all ? Have you an answer to the question being posed ?

They’re On Their Way Home With Their Tails Between Their Legs ………..

They’re On Their Way Home With Their Tails Between Their Legs

Imagine to my surprise when I not only had seen but read how the St Louis Cardinals had been swept in the series 3-0 in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers . I’d expected the Cardinals to have shown more resolve and grit throughout this series. But instead what we witnessed , was a team that limped out of this series like a wounded animal. And with no excuse as to the reason why they lost a series that they had been favored to win. Game 3 itself was a complete blowout with the Dodgers defeating the Cardinals 5-1 . The game was essentially over by the 6th inning , as the St Louis Cardinals couldn’t get anything going either offensively or defensively. So lackluster was their play and performance throughout the entire series !

Players   on  the  Los  Angeles   celebrate  their   5-1  victory  over  the    St    Louis  Cardinals   enabling   their clinching    of   NLCS  berth.   They   now   await  the   winners   of  the   series    between  the   Philadelphia  Phillies  and   Colorado  Rockies     to   determine   the  NL   pennant.     picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty   images/   Dilip  Vishwanat  ............
Players on the Los Angeles celebrate their 5-1 victory over the St Louis Cardinals enabling their clinching of NLCS berth. They now await the winners of the series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies to determine the NL pennant. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Dilip Vishwanat ............

And for stars such as Albert Pujols , Matt Holliday , Adam Wainwright , Chris Carpenter and others on this Tony La Russa managed team , most definitely underperformed. But the greatest tragedy was to see the faces of the Cardinals’ fan who’d expected so much more from their team. For the Los Angeles Dodgers they’re to be commended upon the grit shown upon upending the Cardinals.

For Joe Torre and the Dodgers, they now await the winners of the yet to be resumed series between Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies . Tied at one game apiece , the series is turning out to be a thoroughly entertaining series between two highly competitive teams. Both teams are managed by seasoned veterans ,in Charlie Manuel of the Phillies and Jim Tracy of the Rockies. As to what can be expected once the series (game 3 ) resumes at Coors Field in Denver , Colorado , is anyone’s guess.

The   Dodgers'   Johnathan  Broxton   delivers   the   final    pitch   of  the   game  against   the   St  Louis   Cardinals     at   Busch   Stadium     in   St   Louis   ,  Missouri  . picture  appears   courtesy  of  getty images/Dilip  Vishnawat   .......
The Dodgers' Johnathan Broxton delivers the final pitch of the game against the St Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Dilip Vishnawat.......

A young Rockies’ team is going up against a Phillies team looking to become the first professional franchise in MLB to successfully defend its title since the New York Yankees last achieved the feat in 1997 and 1998. The Phillies in every respect are very much a well balanced team , laden with stars on their roster. And they’re led by the prodigious offensive talent of Ryan Howard , who’s ably assisted by Raul Ibanez , Chase Utley and the heart and soul of the team , in Jimmy Rollins. The pitching staff of this team is also very formidable and that comes in the guise of Cliff Lee and , Cole Hamels . But if there is an Achilles’ heel on this team . Then that burden rests squarely on the shoulders of their closer Brad Lidge . From a once reliable closer he’s become something of a liability and enigma on this Phillies’ team. And though Lidge is no longer the day to day closer on the team. It’s still felt that he can remain a valuable contributor to the team.

So for now as baseball’s postseason unwinds , make of it what you will. For now teams such as the New York Yankees , Minnesota Twins , Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels ,Colorado Rockies, Phillies and Dodgers are all looking to make this a season to remember in more ways than one .