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 .

=================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

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.

——————————————————————————————————————————–
Click on link shown to view .

===========================================================================================

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 !

=============================================================================


=============================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

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 .
===================================================================================================

(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 …..

=====================================================================================================

MLB news

MLB World Series & results

St Louis Cardinals news

St Louis Cardinals front office

St Louis Cardinals roster depth chart

St Louis Cardinals coaching staff

MLB transactions

MLB transactions post deadline 1st November 2011

Texas Rangers news

==================================================================================

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

Take It For What It’s Worth It’s Simply A Game But In The End What’s At Stake ?

http://wp.me/poxLH-31t

Take It For What It’s Worth It’s Simply A Game But In The End What’s At Stake ?

By tophatal

So while the MLB postseason is now in full swing with the postponed game six being played tonight at Busch Stadium , in St Louis Missouri ,. The St Louis Cardinals find themselves down 3-2 in a pivotal game that could either end their postseason foray or prolong it dependent upon whether or not they can overcome that deficit to the Texas Rangers . Colby Lewis takes the mound : for the Rangers while Jaime Garcia of the St Louis Cardinals will be his adversary.

===================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

In light of the monumental gaffe made by Tony La Russa in game five for which he’s fully accepted the blame . Somehow the the micromanaging by the Cardinals’ manager and the miscommunication between he , his coaches and the bullpen could well cost the team this series . Now inasmuch as I have enjoyed the World Series I have to admit that I do find something missing from this extravaganza ! Perhaps although we have a fabled ball club in this event with the St Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers making their second consecutive appearance as the AL pennant winners in baseball’s showcase finale . There still seems to be something missing from the series , be it the drama , suspense, I can’t quite place my finger on it at all.

With the World Series now tied at three games apiece (3-3) in light of last night’s come from behind extra innings’ win (10-9) for the St Louis Cardinals , a great deal will rest on tonight’s series ending finale . On the mound for the Cardinals will be Chris Carpenter who will be facing Matt Harrison of the Texas Rangers . All of the unnerving suspense built up as the series has unfolded will all now come to what one would hope to be a thrilling end . A fitting way to end what has been an improbable and exciting MLB season .

Whatever takes place tonight at Busch Stadium there is one thing to be sure , baseball is looking to make its play as they are witnessing the NBA simply shoot themselves in the foot with the idiotic stance of the league hierarchy and that of the NBPA . MLB will now look to make its play in being viewed as the alternative behind the NBA and all of its drama. Unless I’m mistaken either David Stern being the bombastic and self aggrandizing idiot that he is , and he now seems to be leading hierarchy and owners into antagonistic battle that they simply cannot win without harming the league irreparably. As if that hasn’t been done as it is already ! Opposing him representing the union are Executive Director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher .

Repeated meetings between the league , union in front a mediator from the FMCS leads me to believe that the likelihood of either side reaching an accord is unlikely to happen. George Cohen presiding over these hearings must now be feeling like a kindergarten principal trying to get the pupils under their custodianship to be quiet and simply play nice . That hasn’t happened and things are unlikely to change unless calmer heads prevail .

So here we go again and all of the idiocy now happens to encircle the NFC matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania . Both teams’ seasons are at stake because a loss for either , places them each into an abyss that they’re unlikely to extricate themselves from. Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo has had an uneven season even by Jerry Jones’ own lofty standards but at the same there idiots such as Skip Bayless suggesting that the player simply has nothing to prove because the travails and woes of the team have more to do with the decisions made by the team owner , rather than the displays of the players this season. If this is the sort of in depth analysis and insight that Bayless brings to ESPN then it clearly shows that the journalist wasn’t hired by the broadcast outlet for his intelligence or for that matter his journalistic credentials ! Skip Bayless is to sports’ journalism as …(insert words here ) ………… .

I have long maintained that this myth that the Dallas Cowboys are America’s Team is like one of the Brothers’ Grimm Fairy tales ! Fun to read but after a whole deal of repetition in reading , it is simply a bore and that is exactly what the Cowboys have become . Repetitive and completely unoriginal and that is even with what we’re led to be believe is an offensive minded coach in Jason Garrett . And as proficient as this team is said to be on offense the real issue I believe is the mere fact that the Dallas Cowboys through their complacency simply do not close out games when they have it within their will to do so. Whether or not that is down to Jason Garrett and that of his assistants led by Rob Ryan as the team’s defensive coordinator.

The talk at the start of this season was simply that with the acquisitions made by the Philadelphia Eagles along with their draft picks they would be viewed as the presumptive favorites within the NFC . Well, let’s just say with the Green Bay Packers at 7-0 within the conference and the woefully inept Eagles rooted at the bottom of the NFC East bearing a record of 2-4 are on diverging paths . All the talk of this Eagles’ team being legitimate contenders have now gone eerily awry. Much of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Andy Reid and the front office led by team president Joe Banner .

If the on field issues are a problem then the sudden outburst by Asante Samuels and his criticism of the organization and the fact that they simply have made his life a living nightmare might just be fueling a great deal of discontent within the locker room. With Pro Bowl caliber players such as Michael Vick , LeSean McCoy , Nnamdi Asomugha , DeSean Jackson , Jeremy Maclin , Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Riley Cooper . I would hasten to ask the question who the hell is now driving this bus ?

Anyone who is not of the belief that both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles do not have a lot riding on this game is clearly need in some form of medication ! This match-up dependent upon which team is one the losing end of a result will at some point begin to realize that in essence will have gone up in smoke .

If the Eagles and Cowboys’ event can or could be described as one of the premiere games within the NFC , then surely the meeting between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers within the AFC has to be considered the marquee game of the day within the NFL . The Steelers will play > hosts to the Patriots at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , in front of what is sure to be tens of thousands of ravenous New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans.

Both the Patriots and Steelers are atop of their respective divisions , with the New England Patriots (5-1) leading the AFC East and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) leading the AFC North . For both teams this certainly give them a chance to gauge their progress against each other as legitimate contender for the postseason . Certainly given the form of both , over the course of the season thus far , this ought to be a really intriguing match-up between two highly respected franchises.

Coaches Mike Tomlinson and Bill Belichick are at the top of their games when these the two teams seem to meet in the regular season . And there’s a healthy respect by the teams for their adversary , as should be the case when they meet . Though we have all been enthralled with the play of Tom Brady this season , his counterpart Ben Roethlisberger now seems to be finding his customary rhythm after a somewhat tedious start to this season .

These two teams are making credible cases for them to be viewed as the presumptive favorites to meet in the AFC Championship game . But I would dare say that the likes of the Buffalo Bills , San Diego Chargers and New York Jets see themselves within the mix ! For now I think it would be pretty much safe to say that we can gauge Patriots and Steelers as a measure of the teams in AFC and how good they really are .

If the New England Patriots are to have any success against a determined Steelers’ team then the defense of Belichick’s team will have to play at an intensely high level . From an offensive standpoint there is not much to choose between the franchises when they are actually each in full swing .

As prolific as the New England Patriots’ offense is said to be you can’t help but feel that Dick LeBeau as the defensive coordinator of the Steelers will have something up his sleeve which his team will use to negate that combustible threat posed by the Patriots .

=========================================================================================================

==========================================================================================================

Alan aka tophatal ….

Picture and slide show details below .

=====================================================================================================

(1) A fan of the St. Louis Cardinals holds up a sign reading “Weather Forecast in St. Louis Deep Freese” after Game Six of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ….

(2) Teammates swarm St. Louis Cardinals’ David Freese at home after he hit a walk-off home run during the 11th inning of Game 6 of baseball’s World Series against the Texas Rangers Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won the game 10-9 to tie the series 3-3. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(3) David Freese (23) and the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate at home plate after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ……

(4) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, left, throws a pass as Vince Young looks on during a practice at their NFL football training facility Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Alex Brandon ….

(5) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks during a media availability at their NFL football training facility, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in Philadelphia. The Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday night, Oct. 30. AP Photo/Alex Brandon …..

(6) Quarterback Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys passes to teammate Jason Witten (82) the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images ….

(7) Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (90) of the Dallas Cowboys applies pressure to quarterback A.J. Feeley (4) of the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys would go on to defeat the Rams 34-7 . Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images …..

(8) Coach Bill Belichick chats with Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots during a review of a play against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)…

(9) FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2011 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin gestures before an NFL preseason game against then Carolina Panthers, in Charlotte, N.C. AP Photo/Bob Leverone …..

(10) Wide receivers Hines Ward (86) and Mike Wallace (17) of the Pittsburgh Steelers run out onto the field before the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals 32-20 . Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……

(11) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a pass during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images …..

=====================================================================================================

MLB World Series

Game 7 preview

Probable starting pitchers

—–

NFL news

NFL week 8 schedule

NFL Standings by division

Dallas Cowboys news

Philadelphia Eagles news

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles at LP Financial Field , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , .

————

New England Patriots news

Pittsburgh Steelers news

New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field , Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania

——————————————————————————————

Hot chic pic’ of the day . Maliah Michel

You Pay You Get What You Deserve ……… !

http://wp.me/poxLH-30z

You Pay , You Get What You Deserve

By tophatal

Isn’t it funny how one momentarily blip and one patron believes that that game four of the World Series was a ratings’ bonanza for the Fox Network . In reality that may well have been true but bear in mind ratings for the game’s postseason finale has been on the decline for the last eight years. On Sunday night when Albert Pujols was putting on a show with his heroics with a magnificent performance . The player joined a select band of players in having hit three home runs in a game . That select band includes Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (twice) and Reggie Jackson .

===========================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===========================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

The Nielsens’ ratings have suggested that anything above a 12.5 share (14.2 million viewers) would create that anomaly that the series has been seen an upswing . MLB simply doesn’t know how to market its own damn brand but yet fans are that naive to think that because one game brings about some excitement , it necessitates everyone into believing that thinking that baseball is actually back. While the game was going on at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas , we had on NBC the New Orleans Saints laying a can of whup ass on the lowly Indianapolis Colts . The end result was a 62-7 was annihilation of Jim Caldwell’s players. Personally , at this juncture I would surmise that the Colts’ season for all sense and purpose has now ended and about the only thing that this team has to play for is their self respect and pride . Sadly , this all came about with the loss of Peyton Manning at the start of the season with a re-occurrence of his neck injury and with the player having to undergo a second invasive procedure the likelihood of a return this season now seems all the more improbable.

From my own perspective I would like to think that the Indianapolis Colts’ front office have been oblivious to the future of this franchise or GM Bill Polian may well have felt that he could ride Manning into the next decade. Unfortunately the team now sits at the bottom of the AFC South and there seems to be no clear indication as when they will be able to lift themselves out of their rut. There has been the suggestion that the Colts have played several of their opponents very close this season , and that has certainly been the case but when the franchise comes of on the wrong end of a result repeatedly , you simply get the feeling that there is now no confidence on this roster . It certainly isn’t happening amongst the veterans on this team , such as Robert Mathis , Jeff Saturday and Reggie Wayne . And the young up and coming stars such as Pierre Garcon and can only pray that Peyton Manning makes a quick return to the league but that now appears to be highly unlikely.

Now while this lopsided game was meant to be entertaining for the viewers on NBC as part of their Sunday night schedule , I have to ask myself what was it about this game that the broadcast outlet thought would be entertaining ? Surely given the fact that the Indianapolis Colts had yet to win a game and the very fact the play of Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins have shown that they are clearly not the answer for the team’s woes . From an defensive and offensive standpoint this team has struggled in every facet of its game . And although Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff have struggled strategically in getting the Colts playing at a high level of consistency .

The talk now is of the Indianapolis Colts being amongst the teams seeking to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck . And the way that things are now going it is by no means a certainty that the Colts are likely to the the team having the privilege of taking what is said to be the consensus overall number one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft . Also playing their way into ineptitude and mediocrity are the Miami Dolphins (0-6) , St Louis Rams (0-6) and the slew of one loss teams such as the Arizona Cardinals (1-5) , Minnesota Vikings (1-6) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5). As such we can now discount the Jaguars as the organization is now set on their starting incumbent Blaine Gabbert . Coach Jack Del Rio obviously hopes that Gabbert’s play over the course of this season can place a stay of execution on his status as a coach with the organization .

My own thoughts on Del Rio as a coach, are that his days are numbered but somehow either through the naivete or stupidity of GM Gene Smith and team owner Wayne Weaver they allowed Jack Del Rio to remain as the head coach of the team . It was somewhat unfortunate that last night to witness the Jaguars in an a game (12-7) against the Baltimore Ravens that can be best described as a monstrous spectacle that gives NFL a bad name ! Seven weeks into the schedule and a number of teams are playing as if their their season had just begun yesterday . I’ll preface this by saying, that this NFL work stoppage has to my mind made NFL calendar somewhat of a joke ! Injuries asides , there is no way in hell had the lockout been avoided I seriously doubt that the brand of football we have seen this thus far would be this awful ! Doubt my word ? Then simply look at the results over the the season so far and then look at the team and player statistics ?

If game five of the World Series was meant to be pivotal then with the Texas Rangers proving to be victorious in taking down the St Louis Cardinals 4-2 . Game’s six and seven , should one be needed will determine the outcome of this series but inasmuch as the Texas Rangers now appear to be in the driver’s seat having taken a 3-2 lead , it would be foolish to overlook the St Louis Cardinals .

Tony La Russa’s team will host the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium , in St Louis , Missouri ,. If Pujols was said to be the hero of game four then the Rangers’ Mike Napoli most certainly was the answer that the Ron Washington had been looking for in game five . The tide may well have turned but as I alluded to earlier you would be foolish to discount the chances of the Cardinals at this juncture . The St Louis Cardinals have been one of the very best teams at home over the course of the regular season . The Texas Rangers would be ill advised to simply think that their NL opponents will not fight until their very last breath to erase the deficit and come back to win this series outright. But for now it would appear that Ron Washington’s players are in the driving seat as they seek their first World Series title.

For Texas Rangers’ president Nolan Ryan , the team’s general manager Jon Daniels , Ryan’s partners , the coaching staff and the entire organization as a whole this has been a long an arduous journey . And while one has to acknowledge the contributions of former team executive Chuck Greenberg , prior to his departure , it has been the fervent will of Ryan and his belief in Ron Washington that has seemingly brought about much of the team’s success over the past few seasons .

========================================================================================================


===========================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal.

Whatever the events are, of tonight , I have to admit that I have found this World Series thrilling but would I say it has been suspenseful or awe inspiring ? Probably not ! As to the NFL schedule > this past weekend , well let’s just say that there were one or two games that I believe that the NFL Network and their broadcast partners wished that they had rather not televised . Monday night’s debacle (12-7) between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens left a great deal to be desired . And that Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks’ game (6-3) , how is it that there’s not some sort of formal apology from either franchise for serving up such bulls_it ? I know that the Indianapolis Colts are aching and they miss Peyton Manning sorely but when you simply lay down (62-7) like a whimpering dog that has been mistreated there’s no way in hell that I for one can feel any compassion for such a team ! My thoughts , simply my thoughts ! What are your feelings with regard to the plethora of games served up by the NFL over the weekend and also with regard to the series between the St Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

========================================================================================================

(1) La Russa fu_cks up ! ET phone home . In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, the visiting team’s dugout phone to the bullpen is shown after Game 5 of baseball’s World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is taking full responsibility for the bullpen phone mix-up that dearly cost the Cardinals Monday night. The Rangers won 4-2 and took a 3-2 edge in the Series. AP Photo/Jamie Aron ….

(2 Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, in St. Louis. The Texas Rangers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball’s World Series Wednesday in St. Louis. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson ….

(3) Manager Tony La Russa talks to the media ahead of Game 6 of the 2011 MLB World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 25, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images…

(4) Neftali Feliz (80) of the Texas Rangers pitches in the ninth inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 4-2 . AP Photo by Ronald Martin …

(5) Marcedes Lewis (89) of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to run past Jameel McClain (53) of the Baltimore Ravens during the game at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images ….

(6) New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates his touchdown reception in front of Indianapolis Colts strong safety David Caldwell (30) during the third quarter of an NFL football game at the Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. The Saints would end up defeating the Colts 62-7 . AP Photo/Bill Feig ….

(7) Quarterback Colt McCoy (12) of the Cleveland Browns tries to scramble in the pocket before being sacked during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images …

=======================================================================================================

MLB news

2011 World Series schedule & includes results Texas Rangers leads the series 3-2 against the St Louis Cardinals

St Louis Cardinals news

Texas Rangers news

Texas Rangers — @ — St Louis Cardinals , Busch Stadium , St Louis , Missouri ,.

Probable starters

Colby Lewis (Tex) vs Jaime Garcia (Cardinals)

Game 7 preview if needed

Probable starters game seven

Matt Harrison (Tex) vs TBD

NFL news

NFL week 7 results

Cleveland Browns news

Indianapolis Colts news

Jacksonville Jaguars news

Seattle Seahawks news

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

Hot chick pic of the day …………….. Mallory Dylan

It’s Over When It’s Over But At Times It’s Not !

It’s Over When It’s Over But At Times It’s Not !

By Alan aka tophatal

OK I’ve had enough of the idiot Fighting Irish fans within this forum carrying on as if Brian Kelly’s — — Notre Dame football team is still relevant . What turned to be the highlight of their schedule simply showed the nation that this team simply is no longer worth talking about on the national stage ! . In their game against Laine Kiffin’s USC Trojans they came up short . And the thought of the Irish simply having to win a mere six games to qualify for a Bowl appearance makes a mockery of the system altogether of football at the collegiate level.

=============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=============================================================================

Slideshow for your perusal .

Matt Barkley the starting quarterback for USC and his teammates laid the wood to Notre Dame and left no doubt in anyone’s mind that this Brian Kelly’s team simply isn’t what their fans believe them to be . They clearly are not good enough to be even worthy of a Bowl appearance much less being thought as being a member of BCS conference . USC not eligible for the postseason because of their NCAA imposed sanctions this in effect was the Trojans’ chance to shine and play spoiler , which indeed they did . Quarterback Dayne Crist and Notre Dame turned the ball over repeatedly ___ much like their play throughout much of the game the end result simply echoed what was apparent for all to see , this team isn’t as good some may well believe them to be . Lou Holtz can you hear me ? The Trojans came to play and make sure that any aspirations that the Fighting Irish may well have had simply went up in smoke . 31-17 being the end result in a game which essentially could have been of a much wider margin had Lane Kiffin’s players applied themselves more effectively.

Game three of the World Series was the coming out party for Albert Pujols this postseason , as the player simply added another milestone to his already historic career . The St Louis Cardinals as guests of the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington , Texas , that silenced a Rangers’ crowd expecting to see the AL pennant winners stamp their authority on this game . Well , that wasn’t to be , albeit that the fans and a national television audience were witness to an explosive offensive onslaught from both teams with 23 runs being scored as the Cardinals came away with a 16-7 victory. Kyle Lohse came away with the win for the St Louis Cardinals as Ron Washington’s team now has to make sure they even this series by taking game four if they are to have a remote chance remaining in this series , much less winning their first World Series .

Given what we were led to believe in terms of the Texas Rangers’ pitching rotation it was clear that on this night Pujols and his bat were not about to be denied as he put on a riveting display of power hitting, going 5 for 6, 3HR’s , 4 runs scored with 6 RBI’s . It is on a night like this why you can appreciate the reason many believe that Albert Pujols is by far the “best player “ in the game today. In amassing three home runs in World Series game Pujols joins a select band of players to have hit three home runs in a World Series game and those players are enshrined in Cooperstown , New York in the Baseball Hall of Fame . The players in question are Babe Ruth (twice) and Reggie Jackson , each of whom went on to lead their teams to a World Series title. There may well be questions about whether or not the Cardinals’ front office will be able to resign the player to a long term contract but I firmly believe that GM John Mozeliak and the ownership group led by Willam O DeWitt , William DeWitt Jr and Fred Hanser will be making a tremendous mistake in not retaining the player’s services .

If there was one thing that was telling in this game it was the very fact that the bullpen of the Texas Rangers couldn’t live up to the expectations expected of them by their fans. I certainly don’t believe that the St Louis Cardinals are complacent enough to let this series now slip away from them as they are now in the driver’s seat . Tony La Russa knows that should the momentum continue with his team then they are well on their way to another World Series title should they obtain a victory in game four . On the mound for the Texas Rangers for that scheduled game will be Derek Holland as he will be facing Edwin Jackson of the St Louis Cardinals .

This series now takes on something of a major thrill ride for the fans as the expectations are , can the Cardinals essentially dampen the hopes of the Texas Rangers ? And in doing so essentially ending any real hopes of the Ron Washington’s team fighting their way back into this series . Rarely does a team comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series , and as a good as the Rangers are said to be there is a distinct feeling to my mind that we are about to see history repeat itself with this team losing once again losing to an NL team in the World Series. Who can forget Texas Rangers’ woes against a San Francisco Giants’ team that simply played sensationally throughout the 2010 World Series ?

Derek Holland will most definitely have to produce a solid pitching performance for Ron Washington and at the same time provide some sort of impetus for his teammates . Edwin Jackson for the St Louis Cardinals simply has to curtail what clearly is a very good Rangers’ offense when their bats are alight . It remains to be seen what events and stories are left to be told as this series plays itself out for the fans and the public’s consumption.

With Theo Epstein now having accepted Tom Ricketts’s proposal to become the defacto general manager of the Chicago Cubs , Epstein has been immediately been promoted to become team president and Head of Baseball Operations. And in what is said to be the executive’s choice his first hire has been that of Jed Hoyer as the general manager of the ballclub. It would be safe to say that for Epstein and Hoyer they have a great deal work ahead of them as they gauge this whole operation from the player personnel to the coaching staff . And while the belief for now is that the Cubs may well retain Mike Quade as the manager , I firmly believe that Epstein and Hoyer would like to bring in their own personal choice for the position ! This past season the team was a non factor
in the divisional race within the NL Central . The Milwaukee Brewers and St Louis Cardinals were the sole representatives from the National League (NL) as the postseason representatives . The Cardinals as the NL pennant winners are now in embroiled in a fascinating World Series against the Texas Rangers.

PADRES: Departure of Hoyer, McLeod shouldn’t lead to major changes

By Dan Hayes

SAN DIEGO — Padres general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant general manager Jason McLeod may be headed to the Chicago Cubs, but the organization’s philosophy of cultivating its own impact players, key personnel in scouting and development and a streamlined information process are here to stay.

Jim Callis , Baseball America’s executive editor, said those secondary factors are far more important to the continued improvement of the Padres’ farm system than the departures of Hoyer and McLeod, which is expected to be announced this week.

“There’s no reason they can’t sustain what they started,” Callis said. “It’s more about getting the process in place. If you have a good process and are willing to invest, it’s definitely sustainable.

“They’ve got the process in place.”

Callis expects the Padres will rank sixth or higher among baseball’s 30 teams when Baseball America’s 2012 farm system rankings are released in December.

McLeod echoed those sentiments last week, saying the franchise has stockpiled more talent and athleticism than he could remember possessing at any time during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox.

In three years under Moorad, the Padres have spent $24.42 million in signing bonuses for amateur draft picks, including a club-record $11.020 million this season. The team also had another $5 million go unclaimed in 2010 when Karsten Whitson and A.J. Venegas chose college over the pros.

Callis expects the Padres will rank sixth or higher among baseball’s 30 teams when Baseball America’s 2012 farm system rankings are released in December.

———————————————————————————————————————
Click on link to read this article in its entirety.
———————————————————————————————————————

There’s a growing belief that the Chicago Cubs simply overpay for talent that hasn’t lived up to expectations . Carlos Zambrano bailed on his teammates and the organization and one could say that in terms of leadership there was none to be seen from anyone on the roster , much less from Quade and his coaching staff . Perhaps it’s me but when Alfonso Soriano as one of the highest paid players on the roster simply shows no leadership qualities and Aramis Ramirez has all but become as docile as a cat sipping milk when he’s up in the batter’s box , you can see the reasons why this organization hasn’t been relevant in the postseason for years !
And from a pitching standpoint the pitching rotation were inept over the course of the season .

At this point I am not so sure that Theo Epstein will be in a position to turn things around so quickly as many of the Cubs’ fans and the sports’ talk analysts within the city believe to think . Wrigley Field still remains a cathedral for the loyal Cubs’ fans with its history and legacy of Hall of Famers . Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts has staked a great deal in placing his faith on the wunderkind of baseball and herein lies the dilemma for this organization . It could very well take anywhere between three to five years before Epstein and his staff are able to turn things around make this team truly competitive within the game. We now will be able to see how truly capable Theo Epstein may well be as a general manager .

===============================================================================

===============================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal.

In light of Saturday night’s event what if anything was the main highlight during the World Series ? Also from your own standpoint do you feel that Brian Kelly and his coaching staff are capable of turning things around within the Notre Dame program ? By all means do leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised and anything pertinent you believe concerning pertinent to the subject matter .

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

—————————————————————————————————————–

(1) Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist looks to pass in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. AP Photo/Joe Raymond …..

(2) SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 22: Curtis McNeal (22) of the University of Southern California Trojans runs for yardage against the Notre Dame Fighting irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 31-17 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ….

(3) Andrew Hendrix (12) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is stopped short of the goal by defensive players from the University of Southern California Trojans including Nick Perry (8) at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 31-17 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …..

(4) St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols answers questions during a news conference after Game 3 of baseball’s World Series against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Pujols hit three home runs to tie the World Series record in a 16-7 Cardinals’ victory. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ….

(5) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning for his third home run of the night during Game Three of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images …

(6) FILE- This Dec.12, 2005, file photo, shows Boston Red Sox co-general manager Ben Cherington , left, and co-general manager Jed Hoyer , right, during their three month tenure as shared general manager during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston. Cherington is expected to be promoted on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, when the Red Sox have scheduled a news conference to introduce Theo Epstein’s replacement. Epstein resigned from Boston to take over as president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs on Friday, and the teams said they would hold off on more announcements out of respect for the teams in the World Series; Tuesday is the next off-day. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …..

(7) Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs having accepted the offer to reprise his role it would now appear he is now to become the Head of Baseball Operations for the team . Subject to a formal announcement Jed Hoyer would then become the general manager with Jason McCleod becoming the assistant general manager of the team. Hoyer and McCleod held similar roles within the San Diego Padres’ front office . AP Photo / Keith Metcalfe ….

(8) Tom Ricketts the principal managing partner of the Chicago Cubs . In the aftermath of Jim Hendry’s departure the owner has sought to bring in a influx of fresh front office executive talent with a view to improving the organization competitively both on and off the field of play . Getty Images/ Ron Jackson …..

—————————————————————————————————————-

NCAA Football results week 8

MLB news

MLB World Series schedule & results .

St Louis Cardinals news

Texas Rangers news

Chicago Cubs news

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 .

=======================================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

======================================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

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 .

===========================================================================================================

==========================================================================================================

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 ……………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/Tophatal

http://facebook.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/#!/tophatal1

Picture and slide show details below .

===========================================================================================================

(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 ….
==========================================================================================================

MLB news

MLB postseason schedule …. World Series

Texas Rangers @ —- St Louis Rangers

C J Wilson —– vs —– Chris Carpenter

NFL news

Week 7 schedule

Week 6 results

Chicago Bears news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

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

=====================================================================================================

If at all interested take time to participate in the polls shown below .

———————————————————————————————————————————

=========================================================================================================