To keep or not to keep …

To keep or not to keep …

So here we are in the aftermath of what was meant to be an exciting World Series with the Kansas City Royals winning only their second title in three decades . With the series’ victory comes the issue of having to deal with the retention of several of their high-priced and and desirable free agents . The Royals’ front office headed by Dayton Moore whose astuteness over the past seven years has been the primary reason behind the success of the Royals and in particular this season.

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With several top players now coming to the free agency market this off-season, baseball will now be in a frenetic frenzy as teams will be seeking to pick up the best of the players now available. This now has to be the case with several top-notch starting pitchers on the market with Zack Greinke , David Price and Jordan Zimmerman being the most desirable of the pitchers now on the open market.

For the likes of the New York Mets , losing contenders in this past World Series , their chance of seeking to improve, could prove to be extremely difficult , as I believe the front office will be hard-pressed to keep a number of their free agents , given the fact the Mets remain far from being stable financially .

While I have no doubt the New York Mets are a very good team , I do believe with the NL being so poor in terms of the play seen throughout most of this past season even more evident during the postseason and the errant play of the losing team . There was nothing at all to ever suggest the Mets as managed by Terry Collins was ever favored at any point to win the World Series against the Kansas City Royals. In every aspect of the game the Mets were simply outmatched and outplayed .

Among the New York Mets’ free agents this off-season are Anthony Recker, Bartolo Colon , Daniel Murphy , Yoenis Cespedes and Bobby Parnell . Murphy may well have been the Mets’ postseason hero, but it remains to be seen whether or not the front office hierarchy are willing to up the ante concerning his expiring contract and pay the player in line with what his agent may well feel he deserves. The Mets’ $120.4 million payroll of 2015, placed the ball-club in among the middle ranks of the teams , with the Los Angeles Dodgers being bogged down by their gargantuan $316.6 million of salary commitments , by far the highest in all of baseball last season.

If the New York Mets can make a satisfactory response to a likely contract demand by Daniel Murphy and his agents , then I believe it could very well lay the groundwork for the ball-club proceeding forward, as they have few alternatives at their disposal within their roster , much less within their farm system , with regard to a player who was as productive as Murphy during the regular and postseason. A great deal has been made about the acumen of Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi , as the two most senior executives within the Mets front office, heading up the Baseball Operations for the NL East based franchise , but in reality , this past season the team was barely challenged within their division and the rest of the NL was simply horrific with their displays during the postseason. I certainly do not believe either St Louis Cardinals or Los Angeles Dodgers would have been capable of defeating the Kansas City Royals over a seven-game stretch during the World Series ! Neither one of the two aforementioned teams were simply good enough when called upon to show their true worth when it mattered the most.

If there is hype to be found then you can count on it always surrounding the New York Yankees . Granted, this franchise remains among the most revered in baseball, but you simply cannot hide the fact since their last triumph in the World Series , this has been a franchise found to be wanting on all levels. There is no team leadership and Joe Girardi has proven to be nothing more than a manager who is unable to motivate his players , getting them to play at their highest level possible. The continued excuses to be found in print or by way of radio and televisions are from apologists for the continued mediocrity shown by the team. Even more so, has been the idiocy of those who now feel Alex Rodriguez should be commended for a great season during his comeback , after a year away from baseball due to his year-long league mandated suspension.

Rodriguez’s productivity might well be commended . but in all sincerity , given his lack of contrition, use of the press and race-baiting to create the subterfuge of his being the victim of a witch-hunt for his repeated action in violating the league’s steroid program . I believe there is little for which Alex Rodriguez should now be commended for , even if he has recently passed some of the most hallowed records in the game. Cheaters should not be rewarded for their gross misconduct under any circumstance , albeit , his penance remains something of a slap on the wrist. His return to the game witnessed, Rodriguez back to being among the highest paid players in baseball, while the front office of the organization still came across looking like complete buffoons.

The New York Yankees lacked pitching and offense throughout much of the regular and postseason . There now seems to be desires to rid themselves of players they believe to be no longer necessary to their needs , with continued speculation concerning the immediate futures of Brett Gardner and Ivan Nova. Now bear in mind Mark Teixeira was once again missing from the lineup for a sizable chunk of the regular season, while being paid over $20 million a year to remain being sidelined. Teixeira has become injury prone and of no real use to the Yankees , because of his lack of durability and being able to stay injury-free .

If the Yankees are seeking to offer up Brett Gardner and Ivan Nova as trade bait , along some players still being owed sizable sums on the remaining years of their existing contracts or entering arbitration. It simply proves once again Brian Cashman is prepared to go all-in even when the cards in his hand are not actually favorable . Try as he might , it is becoming increasingly known the Yankees’ general manager has little faith in the farm system and even less with the current roster of active players on this squad.

Having won three World Series’ titles during a six-year span , Bruce Bochy as the manager of the San Francisco Giants has to be seen as one of the better managers within Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, this past season the Giants were never able to contend within the NL West and were clearly like a capsized vessel taking in water , as they flailed about within the lower rungs of the NL wildcard race. Giants’ GM Brian Sabean might well contemplate stripping the cupboard bare as he seeks to rebuild the roster, given the inconsistency shown last season. Tim Lincecum a two time NL Cy Young Award winner is now set to become a free agent as well as having been a hero on in two of the Giants’ three recent World Series victories. While I believe the Giants would be foolish to allow the pitcher to leave , it could possibly be the move needed to be made among several others Brian Sabean is likely to make over this off-season.

Lincecum has not been the pitcher we have seen in recent years , because of niggling injuries and a lack of consistency . Yet the same could be said of several of the Giants’ players over the past two years and the very fact the ball-club is no longer one of the most feared teams within the National League. Perhaps complacency might well have set in after all of the success attained under manager Bruce Bochy or it might well have been the zeal to win was no longer apparent with the team. Either way this off-season will prove to be an eventful one for the organization.

For all of the hype and and bravura surrounding the talent of Chris Davis , I consider the player , one whose legacy will be judged by the fact even after the alleged era of steroids within baseball was deemed to be on the decline, the Baltimore Orioles’ slugger still managed to have his name intertwined with all of the other players involved in this sordid chapter within baseball. Davis was also the subject of a league-mandated suspension for the use of a banned substance in spite of his denials and pleas of innocence .

In the aftermath of a miserable 2015 season where the Orioles failed to contend within AL East . This off-season for Baltimore , will prove to be a very eventful one as the front office seeks to make a number of changes to the roster, while the managerial staff of Buck Showalter remains intact.

With Davis now set to become a free agent , there is likely to be several inquiries made as to the slugger’s availability , but with the Toronto Blue Jays’ perennial All Star slugger and multi-purpose player Jose Bautista possibly coming to the free agency market . There will be a great deal of intrigue as to how the deck of cards are likely to fall, concerning which of these two players are likely to be offered a sizable contract for their services as well as a likely destination. The Boston Red Sox are in need in a productive bat , given the team’s woes this past season and the lack of run productivity.

Jose Bautista and Chris Davis have been two of the prolific home-run hitters within the AL over the past four seasons and consistency has been the norm for the Blue Jays’ slugger in particular. Bautista could very well choose to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Blue Jays, knowing a six or seven-year $100-$150 million deal would be fair market value for a player of his pedigree.

Having made the postseason for the first time in over twenty years , the Toronto Blue Jays were expected to make great inroads in this past season ,but the team failed miserably at the the penultimate hurdle, losing the AL Pennant to the Kansas City Royals . Buoyed by baseball’s best offense , the Blue Jays during their series against the Royals lacked the bite expected, with Ned Yost and his managerial staff outmaneuvering his counterpart Josh Gibbons’ staff , while falling short of their intended goal .

With rumblings of discontent within the Blue Jays’ organization and the owners being dissatisfied with the team’s failure during the postseason. It has been the contemporary drama to unfold, with the departure of long-time general manager Alex Anthopoulos , simply bailing on the Toronto Blue Jays. Chairman Edward Rogers has not seen fit to issue a formal statement as to the reasons behind Anthopolos’ leaving , but it is rumored the executive felt it best to leave in search of other professional avenues of career advancement , than quite possibly being forced out . For now the the former executive awaits a call from a team in need of his acumen and undoubted talents .

Two years into his ten-year $240 million contract and the Seattle Mariners’ slugger Robinson Cano is now said to be disgruntled. Unhappy with his current situation within the Mariners’ organization . It would appear Cano might become the cancerous growth , liable to spread within the ball-club , eating away internally and destroying anything it touches within its path. Were that to happen , it would set the franchise back into a tailspin , where the Mariners were among one of the worst teams baseball for a considerable period of time. You would have to go back to 2001 to record the last time the Mariners won a divisional title and the last time they made a appearance in the postseason came that very same year , when they lost the ALCS 4-1 to the New York Yankees. The Yankees would go on to lose the World Series in seven games suffering defeat at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Co- World Series MVP’s were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling , with the two starting pitchers being the primary reason why the Diamondbacks won their only World Series’ title in the history of the franchise.

If the rumors are to believed with Robinson Cano wishing to return to the New York Yankees , then the Mariners’ front office would be foolish not to acquiesce to the player’s demands even if it mean their having to pay in part the remainder of Cano’s contract. Such are the vagaries and idiocy of the guaranteed contracts within baseball, unless there are buyout clauses in place , which only tends to take place where a player opts out of the final year of a contract.

Seattle chose to hedge their bets and made Cano the centerpiece of the team , built around an aggressive policy insisted upon by former GM Jack Zduriencick , who has since been replaced by Jerry Dipoto as the new general manager of the Mariner’ franchise . The senior-most board members of the Seattle Mariners’ ownership group have presided over a decade-long reign of incompetence and negligence , both on and off the field of play. Managers have come and gone without their being any degree of consistency or any major success. Granted, the franchise has churned out All Stars and great players such as Ken Griffey Jr , Edgar Martinez , Ichiro Suzuki and Alex Rodriguez to name but a few , but the one thing missing , remains the World Series’ trophy and an AL Pennant over the last fifteen years.

It may well be something of a stretch to see Robinson Cano make a quick exit and possible return to the New York Yankees, but I believe the AL West based franchise will do their utmost to keep the player , having built their hopes around him . It would be too much of a financial loss to bear, unless they could get something of equal value in return from an interested party wishing to acquire the player.

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Which player or teams do you believe will likely have the biggest impact on this off-season with their being so many trades likely to take place ?

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Tophatal …. .. 2015/12/01

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It’s the silly season and we’re having fun …

It’s the silly season and we’re having fun …

MLB’s off-season has proven to be a .folly of sorts, with teams now spending at will , capriciously on free agents who are likely to be overpaid for their alleged productivity. Many of these franchises will be looking to position themselves for the arrival of Spring Trainingand the regular season which begins on the 4th April , 2015. Reigning World Series’ champions the San Francisco Giants will enter the season having won their third title in the past five seasons, with both Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean back to lead this roster as they seek a fourth win of baseball’s most prestigious prize.

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San Francisco wasted no time in re-signing their World Series MVP pitcher Madison Bumgarner whose postseason exploits were simply scintillating and beyond the perception of the most ardent fans of the game. Bumgarner in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals was a one-man wrecking crew bewildering the Royals’ hitters, leaving them dismayed and completely perplexed .

Heading into 2015, San Francisco will be without another of their postseason heroes with 2012 World Series’ MVP Pablo Sandoval having been allowed to leave the team as unrestricted free agent . Sandoval signed a very lucrative contract joining the Boston Red Sox where he is likely to be hitting in the Red Sox batting order ahead of DH David Ortiz. GM Brian Sabean may have felt it prudent to eschew Sandoval’s financial desires , instead choosing to take his chances with a projected lineup of Buster Posey , Hunter Pence , Travis Ishikawa, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford , Joaquin Arias and a number of players likely to be promoted from their minor league system as the club seeks to bolster an offense that wasproductive throughmuch of the regular and postseason.

There may well have been doubters of Sabean, who made the decision allowing the departure of Pablo Sandoval , but the mercurial general manager has been quick to make a number of moves likely to improve the lineup for the upcoming season. One would be hard pressed to question the moves of an executive, thought to be among the best general managersin all of baseball. Brian Sabaen’s record speaks for itself. San Francisco is likely to be a considerable favorite to win the NL West division in spite of the likely moves being made by the Los Angeles Dodgers under their new Head of Baseball Operations & SVP Andrew Friedman.

Friedman’s departure from the Tampa Bay Rays caught off, just about everyone by surprise, including his former fellow executives , the fans and analysts around the game. Add in the fact, the team’s manager Joe Maddon also made an abrupt departure to take a similar position with the Chicago Cubs and one might suggest the franchise got hit with a ” double-whammy ” . Matthew Silverman has succeeded Andrew Friedman and the ball-club hired former hometown hero Kevin Cash to succeed Maddon as the team’s new manager. How this will all be viewed by the Rays’ fans will now be open to a great deal of conjecture and debate. Cash is a first time manager with no managerial experience, though he does have playing experience with an eight-year career in the Majors having played one season with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005.

Having spent in excess of half-a-billion dollars ($500,000,000) by way of salary commitments over the past two seasons. It is understandable, that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ executives felt it necessary to take a fresh look at the direction this ball-club was taking. In explicably, they had the best pitcher in baseball, but Clayton Kershaw’s postseason productivity had to be considered a monumental disaster. The team may well have pinned their hopes on Kershaw this past postseason, but the player was nowhere to be seen with his ERA among the highest of the starting pitchers during the 2014 playoffs’ foray. It would be easy to suggest the Dodgers’ pitching was their Achilles’ Heel, but that would be the farthest thing from the truth their offense being almost anemic and pedantic during this Fall.

It is my belief Don Mattingly and his managerial staff did little to provide his players with any impetus or the desire to win, relying merely on the fact a jigsaw puzzle of ill-fitting pieces made up of highly overpaid stars would be enough to get the job done. It will be interesting to see whether not Andrew Friedman will be able to keep the team’s payroll for the upcoming season at a manageable level and by that I mean lower than the $200 million threshold , where baseball’s luxury tax kicks in ,with team, then having to pay a penalty for going above the aforementioned figure.

Money would be of no object, where the Dodgers’ is almost half that of the value of several teams within baseball and then you add in the fact , the organization has a two-decade $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) television deal , which reaps this organization $150 million annually. Not bad for a ball-club, whose lastWorld Series’ triumph came as far back as 1988. Magic Johnson, Mark Walter , Todd S Boehly , Peter Guber and several other partners are intent on making this franchise the most recognized within the game. Certainly , the Los Angels Dodgers’ name still resonates within the game of baseball , but that is all it has been able to do , because success remains hard to come by, with an uncompetitive brand on the field of play, especially with regard to their two most recent postseason appearances.

Bold moves might not be necessary, but there has to be a shakeup in the Dodgers’ roster, if they are to be seen as credible challengers this upcoming season. Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, and Hanley Ramirez have since departed from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster and there is the belief that several otherswill meet the same fate as those jettisoned this off-season. Pitcher Josh Beckett having pitched a “no-hitter” for the team during the regular season in a 6-0 thrashing of the Philadelphia Phillies achieved little of note in the aftermath of the achievement. A free agent in 2015 , it seems highly unlikely he will be making a return to the Dodgers unless it is at a reduced salary , bearing in mind he was paid $15.75 million in the final year of his original eight-year deal signed with the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve often been told how insightful the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays are said to be, but to my mind, I find the fans of the this ball-club eternally optimistic. For whatever reason, year in and year out, repeatedly , I am told this franchise can survive on their meager pickings and a fan-base that in reality , is no more than an average of 15,000 hardcore fans and that is in spite of the reported attendance levels for the team’s home games at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida,, In what can only be described as another down year for this organization. The Tampa Bay Rays finished a distant fourth behind the AL East division winners the Baltimore Orioles , nineteen games out of first place . If that wasn’t a sign of how deplorable the team’s season was said to be, then consider the fact, they missed gaining a wildcard berth within the AL by eleven games . Inasmuch, as Joe Maddon and his coaching staff tried to motivate the team, the talent or level of play simply was not good enough to make a sustainable challenge over the course of the season.

The Rays are never really going to be able to compete with the likes of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers , Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs , much less teams considered to their market equivalent in terms of size. Furthermore , pointing to the fact the Rays are profitable without acknowledging the fact they are able to eke out such gains by way of an assist from the league hierarchy , indicates the complete lack of knowledge among this team’s fan-base. Yet, in spite of it all, the success attained by the Rays cannot be overlooked. Now comes the hard part, with the loss of such assets as Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon , how will this organization seek to rebound and reacquaint themselves to former heights of glory achieved ? Matthew Silverman comes in with a clean slate , but having to fill an extremely large pair of shoes left by his predecessor Andrew Friedman. Kevin Cash faces an even more daunting task , having to follow in the footsteps of the club’s most beloved and successful manager , Joe Maddon. This upcoming season might be the toughest this organization has had to face on record. Upheavals aside, the ball-club has reverted to ways of old , as they jettisoned players during and prior to the off-season, seeking to pare down the team’s payroll.

You can tell a great deal about an organization , when they are on the verge of losing their perhaps their best player. So, it was with the New York Yankees , as Derek Jeter’s career came to an uncompromising end. No postseason heroics or the raising of another World Series’ title, just a disappointing year for the player and the ball-club as Joe Girardi came up with a litany of excuses for a lackluster year-long performance by a team of undeserving players . Granted, the Yankees finished second in the AL East, yet, it was simply fitting the division’s champions, the Baltimore Orioles fell at the very first hurdle, when they succumbed to the Kansas City Royals in the championship series’ of the postseason, losing emphatically 4-0 in the ALCS. Emphasizing how poor the play just happened to be in the AL East, all season long.

A payroll of just over $200 million , much of it misspent , brought about lackluster returns, with Brian Cashman and members of the front office at a loss to explain what went wrong last season. An aging core of players who failed to deliver, with the likes of CC Sabathia , Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner , Alfonso Soriano , Brian McCann , Hiroki Kuroda, Shane Greene , Mark Teixeira and others were said to be a core unit, this ball-club could rely on, to bring back some semblance of success, Instead they performed like a damp squib, lit to celebrate an event , but they simply fail to light up that event and make it a success. In the aftermath of it all, Brian Cashman is now said to be counting on the return of disgraced Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise in 2015. I liken that premise, of trying to place a square peg into a round hole ! Nothing about Rodriguez’s return to the game, will be of benefit to the sport, much less to the benefit of the organization. Idiotically, Cashman , Hank and Hal Steinbrenner stood idly by, as the player lied repeatedly, about his wantoned use of steroids, but they failed to reprimand the Rodriguez , leaving it instead , to a bumbling and incompetent hierarchy, first led by Bud Selig , who has handed over the reins to the equally inept , Rob Manfred ,succeeding his predecessor as the new incoming Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

What has become abundantly clear, is the very fact, the Yankees’ managerial staff and Cashman have no implicit faith in their farm system and the talent said to be on display within the lower rungs of the organization. The franchise has now become overly reliant on buying its way out of trouble rather than seeking to groom the alleged talent within its ranks. This off-season , we are likely to see an influx of new faces and a completely new lineup when the team takes to the field in their first regular season game of 2015. That contest, will be their home season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankees Stadium , in the Bronx, New York City, New York on the 6th April , 2015,.

There is no denying , as a professional sports’ franchise owner and businessman Jerry Reinsdorf has tasted success at the highest levels. His ownership of the Chicago Bulls during the well-chronicled era of Michael Jorda’s dominance of the NBA and their six NBA titles highlighted one of the brightest eras of the NBA’s history. Yet, the forlorn years of his ownership of the Chicago White Sox has brought that particular baseball franchise one championship , coming in 2005, when the team defeated the Houston Astros with in an easy 4-0 sweep of the then National League franchise. In the subsequent years things have not been so beneficial for the White Sox or their long-suffering fans. Since that historic second World Series’ win, the Chicago White Sox have made only one other postseason appearance , where they made it to the ALDS in 2008, only to suffer a series’ defeat (3-1) at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The White Sox organization has seen some major upheavals by way of the player personnel staff, managers and general managers over the past decade and a half. Through the midst of it all , the one bright spot has been knowing they have succeeded, where the Chicago Cubs have failed so dramatically in achieving> and that is to win a world championship. One hundred years and counting, the “monkey” has yet to come off the neck or shoulders of the downtrodden Cubs’ franchise. 1908 was the year the Chicago Cubs were anointed champions of the baseball world and there still seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the Wrigley Field faithful.

The White Sox, this off-season have begun to spend lavishly , acquiring free agents as if they were an endangered species , with GM Rick Hahn now overseeing Baseball Operations for the ball-club. . Adam LaRoche , Zack Duke, Melky Cabrera and David Robertson have joined the staff of the Chicago White Sox. There is a clear thought process behind these maneuvers , and it may well be Hahn feels the window of opportunity for the Detroit Tigers is rapidly closing with their failure to make a spirited run to win a World Series’ title. The Tigers’ recent postseason failures have proven to be a bitter and ” hard pill to swallow for team owner Michael Ilitch and GM Dave Dombrowski, but the owner and executive continue to toil on.

With Dombrowski not being able to come to contractual terms with Max Scherzer , it would appear that the pitcher’s time with the Detroit Tigers could be coming to a close. Scherzer wants to be paid like a superstar based on his award winning 2013 season , but one of year stellar production is not the basis to be given a multi-year, multimillion dollar contract. Wisdom suggests calmer heads may well prevail, but yet in the world of baseball, logic tends to be thrown right out the damn window, as exhibited with the recent idiocy by the Miami Marlins and their signing Giancarlo Stanton to the most lucrative contract in baseball history and professional team sports’ history in North America.

Perhaps , only in the NBA and baseball, where the players’ contracts are guaranteed, do we tend to see this type of financial extravagance , while idiots try and suggest, both sports are being well-ran by their respective hierarchies and where financial expediency is actually being shown in both sports .

A meeting of the minds, has yet to happen, with the overwhelming presence of the NBPA and MLBPA sending the unions into conniptions, each time the words ” mandatory salary cap” are mentioned . I have always maintained, you can tell a great deal about a business or a sports’ enterprise simply based upon the trust between the two parties , the union, who represent the employees and governing bodies as the employers. If there is continued mistrust, then the likelihood , is that entity is in dire trouble, even when there is said to be millions of dollars being reaped , annually. Profits may well go a long way, but it clearly does not represent common sense or intelligence, being shown . Ask yourself this question, in spite of the popularity of the NFL, how is it, they repeatedly have so many pratfalls, many of which, are self-induced ? Have you been able to come up with an answer ?

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Picture gallery.

This upcoming season in baseball, which teams or players do you believe will provide the most excitement ? Also, do you believe the dominance of the San Francisco Giants can be quelled successfully by an NL opponent over the course of the year ? By all means, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site, as it’s gratefully appreciated !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below.
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(1) San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey left , is seen here with World Series’ MVP Madison Bumgarner , as the two celebrate the team’s Game 7 , 3-2 win , a victory over the Kansas City Royals , The series’ victory gave the Giants their third World Series’ triumph over the past five years and fifth overall . The Giants will enter 2015 without Pablo Sandoval , the ball-club’s 2012 Series’ MVP , who joined the Boston Red Sox during the off-season . AP Photo / Andy Addams …..

(2) Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner celebrates in the locker room after his team’s 3-2 Game 7 triumph over the Kansas City Royals. Bumgarner’s exploits this postseason placed him in the upper echelons of baseball’s postseason pitching history , with a number eye dazzling feats. The player was signed to a five-year contract extension by GM Brian Sabean securing their young star on very exceptional pitching rotation in 2015. quite possibly the best in the NL and MLB overall. AP Photo / Ezra Rodriguez ..

(3) Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington(left) is seen here with the team’s newest acquisition , slugger Pablo Sandoval . The Red Sox also acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Los Angeles Dodgers as an unrestricted free agent, signing both players to lucrative deals . Cherington hopes the duo will be able to provide the Red Sox offense with some additional firepower this upcoming season . Getty Images/ Alexander Hough …

(4) Chicago Cubs’ general manager Jed Hoyer ,left, is seen here with Joe Maddon as he is formerly being introduced to the convened press at the Cubs’ official press meeting, announcing Maddon has succeeded Dale Sveum as the club’s sixtieth manager in franchise history. The former Tampa Bay Rays’ manager left that organization after several successful years , taking the franchise from worst to one of the most competitive teams in baseball during his tenure. However, there seems to be some change of discord and the lack of leadership being shown within the front office , leading to Maddon’s abrupt departure along with the team’s former GM Andrew Friedman who joined the Los Angeles Dodgers to become their Head of Baseball Operations. Also pictured , Cubs’ President & SVP Theo Epstein. AP Photo / Michael Holmes …

(5) Los Angeles’ manager Don Mattingly looks on at his pitcher Clayton Kershaw as the pair , along with members of the coaching staff and trainers are in the dugout during a game played at Dodgers Ballpark in Los Angeles, California ,. The team made it to the 2014 MLB Postseason where they swept aside in the NLDS with consummate ease by the St Louis Cardinals . It was the second year in succession where the club had fallen to their NL rivals . Kershaw performed miserably throughout the postseason along with his teammates. With Andrew Friedman being hired to take over all personnel decision making and the lateral promotion of Ned Colletti , lead managing partner Mark Walter was adamant , sweeping changes had to be made. Several players have since been released by the ball-club , including Josh Beckett and Hanley Ramirez . More moves are expected to me made in the coming weeks . The Los Angeles Dodgers have at least four players on their current roster who will be earning in excess of $20 million this upcoming season , among the highest tally of the league’s thirty teams . Getty Images/ Hugh Davidson ….

(6) Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn (2nd from the right) introduces Jeff Samardzija , David Robertson and Melky Cabrera on Tuesday , Dec. 16, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago , Illinois,. Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

(7) Detroit Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski ,left, is seen here alongside Prince Fielder , center and team owner Michael Ilitch after the team formally introduced the player to the convened press at Comerica Park in Detroit Michigan , on 26th January, 2012. The player was signed as a free agent by the team, after Fielder chose not to re-sign with the Milwaukee Brewers. Prince Fielder’s tenure with the Tigers was short-lived and he was traded to the Texas Rangers where the AL West based team will assume the remainder of his existing contract . AP Photo/ Xavier Harris …

(8) February 17th , 2009 , Alex Rodriguez followed by GM Brian Cashman and Derek Jeter on their way to the press conference where A-Rod admitted using Steroids. With the retirement of the Yankees’ short-stop at the end of the 2014 season , Cashman hopes the beleaguered and still despised Rodriguez will be able to provide the team with the impetus needed to have a successful season . During his league imposed ban, Alex Rodriguez has chosen not to offer any public interviews to discuss his suspension , choosing instead, to prepare himself mentally and physically for the long haul of a one and hundred and sixty-two game schedule of the regular season . The player’s cousin , Yuri Sucart was recently indicted in US Federal Court alongside Anthony ‘Tony’ Bosch , (founder of Biogenesis) for running an illegal drug ring , along with the transportation and selling of steroids and other illicit drug paraphernalia . Getty Images / Tate Reynolds ….

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I can feel the burn just as much as she does ! So , what’s not to like ?

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Audrey Bitoni reveals more than natural beauty, she’s got a nice rack ”
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Bye , the bye , news , views and all of the things you thought that mattered ….

Bye , the bye , news , views and all of the things you thought that mattered ….

Well, after an eventful weekend , during which I aided a friend by repairing his computer , as a reward he , along with his wife , my girlfriend and I , took in a movie . Given, the fact , that lately , in terms of my movie entertainment, the last film I took in at the theater, was Denzel Washington’s Oscar nominated role, in the movie, “Flight” . A great film, with a terrific ensemble cast, and fantastic on-screen performances by the main actors , in the various leading roles . Sunday afternoon, as a quartet, we took in the movie “42” , starring Chad Bozeman and legendary Hollywood screen actor , Harrison Ford . The movie itself , was biopic , which gave if anything a stylized Hollywood telling, on the life of Hall of Fame baseball player , Jackie Robinson , and the events leading up to the desegregation and integration of Robinson into the Major Leagues , and the repercussions from that life changing event .

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Robinson   is   seen  here     being    interviewed   by   noted    journalist    Jimmy  Piersall   .  @   copyrighted  material    LA     Times     all  rights reserved   ...
Robinson is seen here being interviewed by noted journalist Jimmy Piersall . @ copyrighted material LA Times all rights reserved …

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Leave it to the Los Angeles Dodgers , after their off-season , and their lavish off-season of continued spending , while the front office led by lead owners , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , and one can simply understand the urgency being shown by Johnson and his business partners . Yes, well having spent just over $2 billion to buy one of baseball’s most renowned baseball teams . It is easy to understand why there would be such a belief that the Dodgers , in order for them to remain relevant within the game , it would mean winning , and not simply having a $200 million payroll , and with the managerial staff and GM Ned Colletti suggesting that “ money is of no object , by way of acquiring talent . Well, it has been a quarter of a century , since the Dodgers were part of baseball’s showcase event , the World Series . The year was 1988 and franchise’s greatest triumph in their recent history. That series , set about all the adulation and excitement , one would come to expect from a long-established and famed ball club , whose rise back to prominence had long been awaited . In the ensuing years since , that victory , for the Dodgers , it has been seasons of high and lows , but in recent years , the ball club became more widely known for the events taking place off the field , and with the gross negligence and financial mismanagement by former owner , Frank McCourt , and his having to place the ball club into bankruptcy protection and reorganization .

A patron recently suggested to me , that the team owners within baseball were actually businessmen. Well , if they are anything like Saul Katz , Fred Wilpon , David Glass , Bob Nutting , John Moores , Stuart Sternberg , Jeffrey Loria and McCourt , himself . Then clearly there is a reason why the game finds itself in such a financial rut and one of its own making . And for those who suggest that this all comes about because of a dire economy , then think again. Baseball’s financial morass , came by way of the league hierarchy , dumb ass front office executives/general managers , owners and the players themselves , thinking that they could simply make hay , while the sun shines without ever thinking about the game’s long-term future and its financial future .

Consider the fact, that one-quarter of the ball-clubs in baseball, struggles to eke out a profit without the aid from the MLB hierarchy and the game’s archaic tax sharing revenue scheme . And the purists out there, would have you believe that Bud Selig actually knows what the hell he is actually doing ? On a good day the MLB Commissioner could not tell you or explain to the most ardent of fans succinctly , why he failed so miserably in not equating the explosion of offensive prowess during the nineties , when there was clear evidence , that not everything within the game was above reproach . Meanwhile , anally retentive idiots suggested that the players’ malfeasance in terms of their cheating, taking illicit substances , was OK .

On the Opening Day of this MLB season , the Los Angeles Dodgers , did have the league’s biggest payroll , with salary commitments in excess of $213.5 million . That figure would be supplanted , when the New York Yankees acquired troubled out-fielder, Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels . And while the player is off to a good start this season , with his new team , it must be said that Wells has remained something of a failure, having yet to live up to his exorbitant seven-year $126 million contract .

Yankees’ GM , Brian Cashman , must still possess a great deal of guile in convincing the Angels, and still have his opposite number , Jerry DiPoto , agree to such a deal where the Angels would still be committed to paying 65% of the remaining two years left on Wells’ ludicrous deal, with the New York Yankees paying for the remaining sum. Granted , the Yankees and Angels are two of baseball’s big market teams , with a great many resources at their disposal . And it has been those indices , that have aided the big market teams , while the minnows and lesser lights within the game , have been left to feed off the scraps left at the table .

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One of the Dodgers’ many trades initiated over the last ten months , which saw the team’s payroll balloon from a mere $153 million to its present figure , which saw a 40 % increase from 2012 . Well, that came by way of the signing of pitcher Zack Greinke , the 2009 Cy Young Award winner , whose six-year $147 million contract , must now have everyone wondering , if the player , was actually worth it , given the most recent incident involving the pitcher . Greinke was involved in an altercation that led to a multi-player brawl , which first came about after the pitcher struck opposing batter , Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres . Quentin reacted angrily , charging the pitchers’ mound and coming to blows with the Dodgers’ ace , that would lead to his collar-bone being broken in the ensuing fracas and two team melee between the opposing . As to what this all says , as to the baser instincts of the players and the allegations that players in baseball , can actually brawl and fight , I leave it for you all to be the judge of that ! Suffice to say , Quentin will correctly sit out , his league mandated eight-game suspension . Zack Greinke for his troubles will now spend at a minimum, sixty days on the Dodgers’ DL , recuperating from his injuries . Can someone explain to me , what Greinke’s intent might have been when he sought to “beam” Quentin during the game ? And as one patron tried to suggest, it was simply manly testosterone rising . More like a bunch of frigging assholes with nothing better do with their time , who’ve now placed their respective teams at a disadvantage .

An idiot’s bitch move, and why the players in the game are so anally retentive !

That brawl , last Thursday at Petco Park in San Diego , California , did nothing , but raise the stakes in the anticipated returning meeting between the two teams and heated rivals within the NL West . That most certainly will be the case when the Dodgers play hosts to the San Diego Padres at Dodgers’ Ballpark , in Los Angeles California , for a three-game game home series , starting this Monday , 15th April , 2013 . That series could very well tell us a great deal about both teams , their intent the prospective directions that they may well be heading in. That series could very well tell us a great deal about both teams , their intent the prospective directions that they may well be heading in.

There comes a time where everyone and every man has to stand up and be counted . At this juncture , the excuses and stop and the truth has to be told as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays. The fans may not like or actually want to hear it but at this juncture the Rays are amongst the worst performing teams in all of baseball . Slice it and dice it , but Joe Maddon and his staff simply know that this team is not meeting his expectations or those of their most earnest and diehard fans . The departure of James Shields and Wade Davis had nothing to do with gaining a competitive edge by promoting talented pitchers up from within the Rays’ farm system. Once again , it’s simply back to the penny-pinching ways of the early predisposition of Stuart Sternberg and his business partners , who as owners of the franchise , have just about everyone within the locale, drinking the Kool Aid , while they continue to bitch and whine about a new stadium within the city of St Petersburg, Florida .

I truly believe that the Rays’ front office erred greatly in allowing the departure of James Shields and to a lesser extent, Wade Davis ! Now , Andrew Friedman , is not necessarily banking upon the players , but more so the managerial ingenuity of Joe Maddon. Yet the manager for his part , forever the patriarch to team , simply refuses to acknowledge the fact this roster is simply not as good as last season’s group of players . The stats at present , bear this out , and with the Rays’ record of 4-8 , twelve games into the season and the projection for the team , based on present form , would be a win total approaching between 55 and sixty wins for the year . A far cry, from the ninety-win season of 2012 and a third place finish within the AL East , and narrowly missing out on a playoff berth for the playoffs . If the Rays and specifically , Evan Longoria , are to be relevant within the AL this season , then there has to be, more of a sense of urgency from the players , rather than the lackluster performances and the repeated excuses being put forth , by anyone within the organization seeking to make a public statement .

Next up for Maddon and this team , will be the final game of an away series against what appears to be a resurgent Boston Red Sox team, under new manager , John Farrell . And today, the Red Sox added to the Rays’ woes by inflicting the team with their third straight loss and their fifth loss in their last ten games , placing the Rays at the foot of the AL East . With that 4-8 mark , Joe Maddon and the Rays , have the sixth worst record in the Majors , with the bottom mark as of the 14th April , held by the lowly San Diego Padres (2-10) .

Now inasmuch , as I believe that the Rays can overcome their difficulties , a great deal of how the team deals with this adversity will be based on the leadership abilities shown by Evan Longoria and teammate , David Price , the AL Cy Young award winner of last season , and the franchise’s only winner of one baseball’s most illustrious individual awards . Price’s season in 2012 , was sound if not spectacular , without their being , a no hitter or perfect game to show in his stats, but what David Price was able to show , was his consistency , and his will to go that added extra mile on behalf of the team.

Call me naïve , but if the Miami Marlins (2-11) (@ 04/14/2013) do end up with the worst record in baseball this season , is there a chance that team owner , Jeffrey Loria will seek to blame the press and fans alike , for the team’s ongoing misfortunes after last season’s abysmal showing , ineptitude and gross misconduct of then manager , Ozzie Guillen ? This much I do know , Loria , along with Bud Selig over the past eighteen months have sold the residents of Miami , and in general the fans of baseball , a real can of goods, but more appropriately a bucket load of fecal matter . Yet , here we are , with baseball fantasy geeks seemingly looking for shreds of evidence that the Marlins do indeed have several good players on their roster . That would be like suggesting that pop singer, Britney Spears , has never lip synched while performing on stage . Thirty million CD’s later and her music still is vapid and her talent remains marginal at best . And in the case of the Miami Marlins , beyond Giancarlo Stanton , there is no real reason to watch the Marlins play.

At this juncture , pitiful might well be the only and best way to describe the underachieving Marlins this season . GM Michael Hill and the front office have pared down the team’s payroll to a miserly $40.5 million from last season’s audacious $118 million , as Ozzie Guillen and an overrated team sought to lay assault on the rest of the NL , as was their intent to make a serious challenge of winning the franchise’s third World Series title . In reality, the Marlins’ chances were doomed from the outset , as their season began and ended in a whimper .

The firing of Ozzie Guillen, acknowledged by many as a necessity has seen the ascent of former Marlins’ Mike Redmond as the besieged, Guillen’s successor . So far, the signs are not that encouraging for the rookie manager and his staff , as his team has begun floundering and capsizing like a listless vessel floating nowhere across the ocean. As poorly as the team has played , you simply get the feeling that this might not be the worst that the Miami Marlins has to offer their fans and the fans of baseball in general .

Fan base for the Marlins this season, appears to be bordering on being downright anemic in terms of attendance for the team’s home games, at their year-old $575 million Marlins’ Ballpark , built at taxpayers’ expense , “ without one red cent” coming from baseball’s hierarchy or the team’s ownership . Reminder to the Tampa Bay Rays’ fans and their incessant stupidity , that a venue ought to be built for a franchise whose ownership group seems to be unwilling to contributing towards the cost of a new venue , but yet , you continually hear senior team managing partner , Stuart Sternberg “ bitching and whining” , as to why the city , county and state municipalities will not come to his aid , with the building of a new venue to replace the archaic and now crumbling Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg, Florida . Stupid is as , stupid does ! Only in the state of Florida where, the fan-base of the only two professional franchises combined , would hardly make a dent in the average attendance for a New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox or Philadelphia Phillies’ home game . Florida , simply isn’t a state that can sustain two Major League Baseball franchises , let alone , one .

As if to give you an idea as to what this might entail , consider the following , the Boston Red Sox recently saw its’ consecutive games’ sellout streak in terms of home games’ attendance come to an end after 820 games , of which , twenty-six were playoff appearances , A feat that has not been accomplished by any other franchise in baseball and which came to a culmination , after a decade of economic success for the franchise , along with two World Series championships in 2004 and 2007 . Alas , the Marlins have never reached those heights of economic success , albeit , that they are one of the few franchises to have won two world titles over the last sixteen years . This year , I don’t believe that the Miami Marlins will be even in with a remote chance of making the playoff ! They are simply not good enough a team , to challenge anyone within their division , much less the rest MLB.

What are your expectations in the lead-up to the 2013 All Star Game , and which teams do you believe , are likely to be a success this season , in terms of their regular season play ? Chime in, on this, and anything else , you believe pertinent to the subject matter , at hand .

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Robinson is seen here being interviewed by noted journalist Jimmy Piersall . @ copyrighted material LA Times all rights reserved …

(1) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez , left, gets back to second base just in time to be the throw to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Cliff Pennington during the seventh inning in a baseball game, on Sunday, April 14, 2013 in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 1-0 . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Josh Beckett, right, meets with catcher A.J. Ellis during the seventh inning in a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 1-0 . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ..

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis , right, walks off the field as the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate a 1-0 win in a baseball game, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….

(4) San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin charges into Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego, Thursday, April 11, 2013. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …..

(5) Punching and getting your ticket ” punched ” . In this April 11, 2013, file photo, San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin charges into Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego. Quentin on Sunday, April 14, dropped his appeal and began serving an eight-game suspension for rushing the mound and inciting a brawl in which Greinke broke his left collarbone. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ….

(6) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. Against the backdrop of the events that took place at the ballpark , tragedy struck downtown Boston as the Boston Marathon took place , as two explosives devices were set off , killing three individuals and injuring one hundred and ninety-seven more , with many of those injured , being in serious or critical condition. AP Photo/Winslow Townson …

(7) Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings can’t come up with a triple by Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….

(8) Boston Red Sox’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches his solo home run with Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Lobaton during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Rays 3-2 and ” sweeping ” their divisional rivals in their home series . AP Photo/Winslow Townson …..

(9) Tampa Bay Rays’ ‘ David Price pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, April 13, 2013. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer ….

(10) Marlins’ executives , CEO, Larry Beinfest , left , is seen here with general manager , Michael Hill , who between them , have to deal with meddlesome team owner , Jeffrey Loria, and Loria’s stepson, David Sansome . The two lead front office executives in charge of the day-to-day personnel decision-making have been undermined by the team owner and his stepson at almost every turn . And with that has come the unenviable task of having deal with the firestorm and publication relations’ nightmare after Loria’s verbal attack and onslaught against the local and national media , as well as for their criticism of his decisions, after the team’s end of season “fire sale” . Loria claimed that after the team’s abysmal season in 2012 , it was unsustainable to have a $118 million payroll , with the franchise barely making any money . All this in light after he and the rest of the front office executives have colluded with Bud Selig into coercing the city of Miami commission to fast track the financing and vote for what has become a $575 million boondoggle in the implementation and building of the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark , completely financed by the city , which is still in the midst of its biggest financial crisis in over two decades . To exacerbate things even further the city commission now finds itself under investigation by the US Justice Department , as they seek to ascertain whether or not there was collusion and claims of certain commission members accepting monetary incentives from unknown sources in exchange for their votes . Current Mayor Tomas Regalado and his predecessor , Manny Diaz are one five central figures at the center of the investigation. It is not yet known if any executive from the Marlins’ front office or from the office of Commissioner Bud Selig , is the focus of the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation. However, under a subpoena , documents have been removed from the town hall as well as from the homes prominent city commissioners , as the legal arm of the federal government conducts their investigation. Getty Images / Rick Hill …..

(11) A legend in his own mind and now one of the most despised and disliked individuals in all of baseball , Miami Marlins’ team owner Jeffrey Loria , who in the past year, has ordered the paring down of the team’s payroll from $118 million to a now miserly $40.5 million , which he believes to be competitive enough to give the Marlins a chance of being a contender within the NL this season . Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post/ Osvaldo Ortega ….

(12) Miami Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond , who succeeds Ozzie Guillen . after the former manager’s unsuccessful and only season with the South Florida franchise , which was a disastrous and politically charged 12 months of sheer mediocrity from everyone within the organization . Miami Herald / Jean-Louis Baptiste …..

(13) Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins . The young outfielder is remains the centerpiece of a team , that this year simply hasn’t performed or met anyone’s expectations . The player himself , was said to be unhappy with the team’s fire sale , that saw the 2012 roster gutted to its very core , with many of the high-priced players simply jettisoned by the front office , at the behest of the Marlins’ unpopular team owner , Jeffrey Loria .

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Tophatal 04/15/2013

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Charity begins at home , who wants a handout?

Charity begins at home , who wants a handout?

By Tophatal

Alas, what should have turned out to be a stupendous World Series , in essence became something of a non-starter as the San Francisco Giants simply ”bludgeoned “ the Detroit Tigers into submission. What should have been an exceptional series given the merits of both teams as their divisional as well as pennant winners . Baseball’s postseason finale ending up being, such a one-sided affair , that the only thing that can be taken away from the event, is that the Giants are head and shoulders above everyone else in the game. For the New York Yankees’ fans out there , there is a right way and a wrong way, in doing things when it comes to assembling a team and in terms of a team’s salary. I guess that over the past four years , GM Brian Cashman has not been hitting a home run out of the park on either account .

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Game four proved to be anticlimactic, as once the Giants’ pitching staff got into a flow and with the timely hitting by the team’s offense , you simply knew that Jim Leyland’s players had no answers for the situation that they found themselves in. It is one thing to be swept, but to be “swept” so unmercifully , had to be completely embarrassing for the Detroit Tigers’ organization. The MLB hierarchy had a few positives to take away from this all , with the new wildcard berth playoff format , but beyond that , there was nothing truly memorable about this World Series , that so thoroughly uncompetitive because of the overall lack of effort from the Detroit Tigers. World Series’ MVP Pablo Sandoval , has in essence made the Giants’ fans forget about the Melky Cabrera fiasco and the player having the miss the San Francisco Giants’ foray this postseason. It seems highly unlikely that the slugger will be back in 2013 , with GM Brian Sabean and the team’s ownership , unwilling to commit to the player long-term. Kudos to the San Francisco Giants and their fans on a fantastic season , as it was well deserved !

Week eight in the NFL offered up some real “dogs” in terms of several of the games played, and anyone who believes that this is simply the best that league has to offer , had better revise their thoughts on the issue. First off, New York Jets’ head coach , Rex Ryan really needs to climb down off his sanctimonious high horse and realize that his team is now in a whole world of trouble after their hideous display against the Miami Dolphins at home. How Ryan could stand there, on the dais during his postgame interview to suggest that there were a number of positives to come out of this game , after your team was soundly beaten 30-9 , is way beyond me ! And for those of you out there , who remain Tim Tebow apologists , please get a clue , one if not two ! Tebow has not shown that he has the capacity to play in this league, and that has been especially true this season . Thankfully the Jets will have some respite as Week 9 becomes a bye week for the franchise , but they will resume their schedule in week 10 , with a game against the Seattle Seahawks , at Q West Field , in Seattle , Washington. The loss, drops the New York Jets to a (3-5) mark, and places them firmly at the bottom of the AFC East . There you go Rex, how about those apples, then?

From a public relations’ standpoint , the New Orleans Saints will have their impassioned throng of fans but going beyond that point , one has to admit that 2012 has been an exceptionally bad season for this organization. Drew Brees may well have been lauded for surpassing Johnny Unitas’ mark of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Yet, in reality, this has been the only positive for the team throughout their schedule, to date.

Sunday afternoon, the Denver Broncos played hosts to the New Orleans Saints at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium , in a clash of two veteran quarterbacks. Peyton Manning was leading the Broncos , who seemed to have hit a groove , and were playing to the height of expectations. For the Saints coming into this game and specifically , the events of the past few weeks , as it relates to the unresolved issues concerning the bounty scandal , which still remains unresolved because of the buffoonery of NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell.

If the Saints felt that coming into this matchup they would be able to offload their frustrations and built up tensions , well nothing could have been further from the truth. This was not a trap game , nor was it a situation where you could have envisaged the team playing so badly. However, that was exactly what was on display , as evidenced by disastrous display , as the Saints were roughed up and repeatedly punched in the mouth , as they suffered one of their worst losses of the season in a humiliating 34-14 defeat. It is pretty much safe to say that at this point of the season , it now comes down to all or nothing for the New Orleans Saints , because other than the lowly Carolina Panthers (1-6) , Joe Vitt’s team would now be firmly rooted at the bottom of the NFC South. The Saints can salvage some of their reputation and make an initial approach of giving their season some semblance of meaning, when they face the equally inept Philadelphia Eagles , on Monday night , 5th November at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans, Louisiana ,. A loss would do irreparable damage to the team , but bear in mind with the ongoing off the field fiasco now in play , I am not so sure that there is a real desire to see the New Orleans Saints succeed !

I’ll say this for Jerry Jones , the more he opens his mouth , the more I liken him to a politician who simply doesn’t know when to shut the hell up ! Instead , this proverbial pain the ass, continues to bitch and whine on just about everything concerning the woes of the Dallas Cowboys. The only thing, that now separates Jones from Donald Trump, is a bad coiffure, and an equally bad reality show. But then again, the Cowboys’ games are being televised on a weekly basis and likewise , as with Trump’s reality show ( The Apprentice) , the content is equally as abysmal !

Prior to Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and their arch-rivals the New York Giants, Jerry Jones had professed that his team was still capable of winning the Superbowl and NFC East. Inasmuch, as I admire Jones for his false sense of bravado , absolutely nothing the team has done this season has convinced me that they are amongst the elite within the NFC , much less the best team within the NFC East .

Looks can be misleading , as can be results , as in their first divisional meeting in 2012 , the Dallas Cowboys came away with a well-deserved victory over the Giants in a 24-17 win in Week one . Since that loss , Tom Coughlin’s team has been on a marauding rampage , carving up teams within their path, on their way to a 6-2 record within the NFC East , while sitting a game behind the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons(7-0) within the NFC for the best record in the conference. And while the New York Giants are on the ascent, it now looks as if the Cowboys are now plummeting out of the sky faster than a meteorite. No, it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane , but it’s the Dallas Cowboys and their bullsh#t, falling faster than the sound of a speeding bullet . “ The Cowboys , are who we thought them to be “ ——paraphrasing Dennis Green , and fortunately , I am not yet ready to crown their ass ! And for the Cowboys, money doesn’t necessarily talk by way of the team’s salary , but the bulls#it is now beginning to walk backwards towards being mediocre as usual !

Speaking of another franchise , that just happens to be stinking up the joint more than a herd of elephants in a pen at a municipal zoo. No other team, perhaps other than the Panthers , has been more inept than the Philadelphia Eagles . I know that Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid has been given a pass, because of his familial and emotional issues that have befallen the coach this season, the death of his son, Garrett Reid. Now at this juncture the Eagles’ front office has to stand tall and let Reid know , that they will no longer tolerate his ineptitude and that of the team’s , specifically that of the team’s quarterback , Michael Vick . Not long ago , fans and NFL analysts alike, were lauding Vick as perhaps the best “ pure athlete “ to enter the NFL and play the position. As of late, seeing Michael Vick going about his profession in the NFL , is akin to watching an aging male octogenarian struggle with his memory , while trying not soil himself. As his play this season has declined , so too have the fortunes of the Philadelphia Eagles, once thought to be amongst the favorites for the Superbowl this season. Sorry, Eagles’ fans, but this team simply isn’t good enough by any stretch of the imagination!

Lincoln Financial Field , home to the Philadelphia Eagles , was turned into an elephants’ graveyard, as this Michael Vick team defecated all over the stadium in front of their fans. For some reason , Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons were allowed to lay an almighty ass whooping on the Eagles, as they relentlessly pounded the NFC East franchise on their way to a lopsided 30-17 victory. Vick for all of his supposed poise , was a man whose confidence is now shot to hell , as evidenced in his postgame interview , as there are now mounting calls for the player to be benched. He is no longer the team’s best option to secure a victory, much less be viewed , as the team’s best player. As they say however, “ beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. And the Eagles have been far from a thing of beauty this season , and things are unlikely to change over the remainder of the season !

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Picture gallery.

Week eight , what if anything was the most surprising to you in terms of the results ? And which teams do you now believe are under the most pressure to succeed ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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(1) San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval holds up his MVP trophy after Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(2) San Francisco Giants owner Bill Neukom , right to left, Pablo Sandoval , Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy holds the Commissioner’s Trophy after Game 4 of baseball’s World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. AP Photo/Matt Slocum, Pool …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Dolphins won the game 30-9 . AP Photo/John Minchillo …

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MLB news

2012 MLB postseason schedule

Detroit Tigers’ news

San Francisco Giants’ news

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A-Rod An Image To Like Or Still A Creep ?

A-Rod An Image To Like Or Still A Creep ?

Despite all the accolades that Derek Jeter has reaped over the course of his career it has me wondering where as such that places Alex Rodriguez in terms of his career should be as we presume break the now existing all time home run record ? At present he’s the active leader in home runs and all signs point to the fact Rodriguez sees that as his redemption and the chance to prove himself worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame . A three time winning league MVP and the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as the presumptive leader of the New York Yankees . I somehow think that the player with all of the controversy that has surrounded his career both on and off the field now has to prove he’s worthy of those claims ..

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Slide show for your perusal .

Rodriguez for his part has said little in public to create any form of controversy in spite of the fact of the paparazzi surveying his every move as his relationship with actress Cameron Diaz seems to be taking on a life of its own . And as he and the team look to make their presence felt within the AL East and show everyone that they’re the team to beat when it’s all said and done. This team on paper is good but how good we’ll just have to wait and see as the course of the season unfolds .

On the face of it I still have my doubts about this team and the very fact that their pitching is still viewed as being suspect . Apart from CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes and closer Mariano Rivera you simply get the impression that the season could be a struggle for them . Within the AL East they still have to deal with their perennial rivals the Boston Red Sox a somewhat resurgent Baltimore Orioles , the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays .

Now we all know that the only thing matters to the Yankees’ organization is winning and their success is built upon that foundation of bringing AL pennants but in particular World Series titles to Yankee Stadium so that the players and organization’s ravenous fans can bask in the glory . There’s a reason why the now late George Steinbrenner bought the team and then slowly built it into a competitive and financial juggernaut . So much so , that the team is now the most valuable professional sports franchise in the world . Even outstripping its closest rival in the league by some $ 850 million . With an estimated value of $1.65 billion and now seated in the nation’s largest advertizing market it’s easy to understand the reason why they’re the most envied and perhaps at the same time most despised team in all of baseball.

As the season progresses there’ll be a lot to assess as it regards this team _______ can they make up for the disappoint of last year’s postseason ? Their failure was magnified all the more with the fact many of the players thought to be the leaders on the team simply underachieved there and during the regular season . If this team is to succeed then Rodriguez will have to step up to the plate front and center alongside Robinson Cano , Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson . We all know that the team’s offense won’t tail off but as I alluded to earlier it is their pitching that has become suspect . As Jeter inches closer to the plateau of reaching 3,000 hits and further adding to his legacy of becoming the Yankees’ all-time hits’ leader surpassing another legend of the organization Lou Gehrig . If anything , Jeter , we know will be a bonafide first ballot Hall of Famer further adding to his legacy as perhaps one the team’s beloved players over the course of this organization’s history.

It’d be remiss to think that the Yankees are the prohibitive favorites for the World Series as a number of teams can lay claim to their own aspirations. In amongst the teams I believe who can lay a legitimate claim are the Philadelphia Phillies , Texas Rangers , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals , Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds . These teams will certainly lay down the gauntlet to the Yankees and look to usurp their ambitions for the season .

Over the course of time it’s my belief that the players embroiled in the steroid era and saga will be judged by the public and press alike as either heroes or felons. They say …”time heals all wounds ” but I firmly believe that the players , their union (MLBPA) , the league hierarchy and the team owners have done the game an even greater disservice by hiding behind this idiotic facade as to a right of privacy ! Cheating in a game inherently built upon its virtue of having been above reproach and now it has become sullied by the sheer stupidity because the miscreants involved in this solely for personal financial gain. Anyone of the belief that the likes of , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire , Barry Bonds , Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez solely did this as a way excelling further at the game may well be either gullible or in reality enjoyed the spectacle of seeing the players rip these records to shreds further making those feats now seem all the more irrelevant . I’d hate to think that Hank Aaron has in actuality given his blessing in seeing Bonds surpass his all-time home run record ! Somehow I’d like to think that the man himself sees it as a disservice given what he had endure in achieving that feat .

As a fan of the game from my own perspective even with the league’s steroid policy in place I do feel that it’s all too little too late ! The damage had already been done because of the intransigence shown by Bud Selig as the commissioner and that rather inane stance taken by then union Executive Director Donald Fehr . The duo combined showed about as much common sense as could collectively be found inside the entire legislative chambers of the US House of Representatives and Senate ! Doubt my word then simply look at the idiocy we are now witnessing within both legislative chambers of Congress ?

Alex Rodriguez’s legacy is tainted but he obviously believes he can revamp his image and further add to that once bright future many believe that he had . It will be interesting to see the stats put up by the player over the course of this season and how it will have related to previous seasons before his admission that he had in fact used steroid over a period of his career he’d now rather forget . Chances are it will be in line with his usual productivity and thereby giving the New York Yankees a chance to pursue another World Series title .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As a fan how do you see Alex Rodriguez’s legacy as a player ? Do you also believe that upon his retirement he stands a better than even chance of being an inductee into the Hall of Fame ? And overall how do you view the New York Yankees’ chances and their pursuit of another World Series title this season ? Merely leave a comment on the topics raised within this piece and anything else you feel pertinent to the baseball season . And as usual thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

* NB : As a bye-note I’d like to thank the Baltimore Orioles already flaming out this season and already putting their own season to rest . Their humiliating 15-3 loss to the Yankees where Rodriguez mutl-homered and hit his 22nd grand slam of his career placing him second in that category behind Lou Gehrig

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

Picture and slide show details below
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(1) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter, left, and Robinson Cano celebrate their 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in 11 innings of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011 in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ….

(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Robert Andino, center, reacts after being called out at the plate by New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin (55) on a double by Brian Roberts during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. Also pictured is Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones (10). AP Photo/Gail Burton …..

(3) New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson follows through on a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ……

(4) Mark Teixeira(25) and Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees wait in the on deck circle against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(5) Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees (L) Derek Jeter (2) (center) and manager Joe Girardi (28) look out from the dugout during the eighth inning of their 15-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……..

(6) Lou Gehrig (left) is seen here with Vaudeville performer George M Cohan at Yankee Stadium . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Chip Deffa Productions LLC . …..

(7) A statue of Hank Aaron sits outside of the stadium ahead of the Philadephia Phillies versus Atlanta Braves during their opening day game at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images ……….

(8) Singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte and baseball legend Hank Aaron attend the 2011 Trustees Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement dinner and presentation at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on February 25, 2011 in New York City. Stephen Lovekin /Getty Images North America ……

(9) Hank Aaron seen here hitting home run 755 which would become a historical feat in the annals of Major League Baseball . Courtesy of Topix Archives Inc .

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MLB News

MLB Standings Divisional

Team stats

Individual player stats ——— showing season leaders

MLB Scores Sunday 24th April

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New York Yankees —— Team schedule

New York Yankees news

New York Yankees history

New York Yankees’ front office

New York Yankees coaching staff

New York Yankees active roster ____ depth chart ___ 40 man roster

Team stats

Historical team records —-New York Yankees

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

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

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

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Slide show for your perusal .

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

Courtesy of AP Sports & Yahoo

Rangers CEO Greenberg leaving organization

By Stephen Hawkins , AP Sports Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

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

Picture and slide show details below.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Alan aka tophatal

MLB News

Texas Rangers profile

Texas Rangers history

Texas Rangers news

Texas Rangers’ front office

Rangers’ coaching staff

Texas Rangers active roster

Rangers’ 40 man roster & …….. depth chart

Team injury updates

Team transactions

Minor League Affiliates

Rangers’ schedule Spring Training ———— Regular Season 2011

Spring Training Standings AL ——- Cactus League

Team Statistics

Teams Statistics 2010

Rangers Ballpark Arlington , Texas

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Jeny Romero

Selena Silk

Selena Silk

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2 Pac …… feat’g …….. Jodeci ………”How Do You Want It ”

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Batter Up ……. Baseball Is Here ……………..

Batter Up ……. Baseball Is Here ……………..

The MLB —– season starts and there’s a great deal to be said as to the expectations that are prevaling. Can the San Francisco Giants become the first team in a decade and a half to successfully defend a World Series title ? And are the New York Yankees now under the tenure of Hank and Hal Steinbrenner capable of leading the organization to the unprecedented success of their late father George Steinbrenner was able to achieve ? These are but a few of the plot lines that await the fans as the season gets underway with Spring Training but before that pitchers and catchers start reporting for their preseason workouts .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Well the postseason gave us a World Series that somewhat was a coming of age tail for the two participants. The San Francisco Giants were able to take down the Texas Rangers with a certain amount of ease as the Rangers never really played with any confidence throughout the series. There are fans who believe that this season we could very well see the rise of another team combative enough to be dominant within baseball but to my mind that would be predicated on that team being equal in its parts in all facets of the game. And that tends not to be the case more often than not with most teams in contention tending to hit a rich vein of form as the end of the regular season beckons.

In the American League everyone seems to be looking at the Boston Red Sox after the impressive signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford instigated by GM Theo Epstein and team President Larry Lucchino . The New York Yankees under Brian Cashman as such weren’t part of any big money deals other than the signing of reliever Rafael Soriano and a number of players by Cashman who essentially are roster invitees looking to gain permanent roster spot on the Yankees’ team. Does anyone really believe that Eric Chavez at this stage of his career can be productive ? The Yankees will be hard pressed this season to keep up with the Boston Red Sox in the AL East unless the Red Sox choose to self implode . From my own perspective I do believe that as a team the Yankees will be under a great deal of pressure with the loss of Andy Pettite due to his retirement and an aging core of players whose best years are now behind them .

Now there’ll be the usual plethora of Yankees’ followers who’ll hark back to their glory years and their multiple World Series titles but at the end of it all we can all see that the Yankees are no longer the dominant team that the game once heralded . I’ve no doubt that they’ll be competitive throughout the season and they may well make the postseason but I certainly don’t believe that they’re capable of winning a World Series title. The team’s Achilles’ heel will be their pitching and it will most certainly let them down because beyond C C Sabathia and Phil Hughes there’s no real dept to the pitching roster at all. They may still have Mariano Rivera but can we say for a near certainty that he’s still going to be a guarantee to be the player that the team has relied upon ‘the most’ when it really matters ?

Around the AL I’m not so sure that we’re going to see one true dominant team rise and simply set the league alight . I may well be wrong and I’m willing to accept that but but in the AL Central I’ve not been overly impressed by what I’ve seen ! I mean the Minnesota Twins in the postseason simply become a deer caught in headlights once they become participants. The Detroit Tigers have become an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum and let’s just say that if Ozzie Guillen isn’t berating his team the Chicago White Sox you just can’t be sure what to expect .

The AL West could be a very interesting scene merely because a great deal will be expected of the current AL pennant holders the Texas Rangers. Ron Washington’s ——– team will certainly be looking to make amends after last season . And with the loss of Vladimir Guerrero as well as pitching ace Cliff Lee it has to be said that they’ll be hard pressed to repeat as the champions within the AL. The Rangers will no doubt be challenged by the likes of the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels within the division .

The National League could will be interesting to watch this season with the Washington Nationals looking to make their presence felt within the NL East . With their high priced acquisition of Jayson Werth to go alongside phenoms Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg it could well be that GM Mike Rizzo finally believes that they’ve turned a the corner. God knows given the Nationals’ history they’re in need of all the assistance that they can get. The Washington Nationals will be going up against the Philadelphia Phillies , Atlanta Braves , New York Mets and Florida Marlins .

There’s a great deal riding on this season for the Nationals and they’re out to prove to their fans in attendance at Nationals Ballpark that they are finally in a position and ready to contend ..

The NL Central has the Cincinnati Reds looking to successfully defend their divisional title but at the same time the St Louis Cardinals will most certainly look to rebound from last season. It seems ridiculous to think that the Chicago Cubs are still looking to win their first World Series title in over a century . The curse of the goat still exists and let’s just say that there’s Bartman’s efforts did little to lift the curse . NL MVP Joey Votto will be looking to lead the Reds back into the postseason. I certainly hope that they’re capable of making another run but the division has become a highly competitive one.

I’ve never been overly enamored with the NL West and the teams there even if they currently have the reigning World Series champions there. The San Francisco Giants may well have had a terrific postseason but I think that they’ll be hard pressed to repeat as champions. And within the division you have the Los Angeles Dodgers , Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks . Troubling as it may seem I for one don’t think that those teams truly know how be competitive ! Inconsistency has been the name of the game for the triumvirate in recent years and then we have the idiocy that has now become wherewithal within the Dodgers’ organization . Owner Frank McCourt amidst an acrimonious divorce now has the team laden with almost $1,000,000,000 ($1 billion) but even after his divorce trial’s proceedings went against him he states that he’s under no obligation to sell the organization. The presiding judge in the case delivered a verdict where he decided that the Dodgers is communal property and under California law it is a joint asset between McCourt and his ex wife Jamie McCourt. And as all this unfolds we have MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league hierarchy watching from afar.

If Selig could devote as much time to the problems that have befallen the game as he has to making sure that the lobbyists that MLB pays to secure their interests within Congress then quite possibly the game would be in a far healthier state. Instead he’s now become the butt of jokes amongst the fans while the archaic purists and owners mercilessly listen to his inane statements . And it certainly seems to be unfathomable how he can sit idly by while the mess that the New York Mets’ ownership has themselves embroiled in, as part of a civil suit wherein the plaintiffs are the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Picard vs Katz , Wilpon et al seeks damages in excess of $350 million with punitive damages said to be in excess of $700 million .

Baseball may well be the game that the fans can identify with because of its history, social worth within the fabric of society and the impact it made . But as of now it has become a comedy of errors and a parody ! In all honesty the game may well have a legacy but its hierarchy under Selig has led it into an abyss of mediocrity with about as much business sense as is now being shown by the Federal Reserve , US Treasury and the US government combined !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming MLB season and which teams will you be closely following ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter by leaving a comment .

Picture and slide show details below.
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(1)Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona talks with reporters at the Boston Red Sox player development center in Fort Myers, Fla., Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. Pitchers and catchers reported Monday and will hold their first official spring training workout on Tuesday. AP Photo/Dave Martin …….

(2) Boston Red Sox pitcher Hideki Okajima , of Japan, throws during a workout at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. Spring training begins Monday for the Red Sox. AP Photo/Dave Martin ……

(3) Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez loosens up at the Red Sox training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. Tomorrow is the first official spring training workout for the Red Sox. AP Photo/Dave Martin …..

(4) From left to right COO Lonn Trost , manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees attend the press conference to announce the retirement of Andy Pettitte (not pictured) on February 4, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ………..

(5) Jorge Posada , Mariano Rivera , Derek Jeter , and Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees pose on the pitchers mound after winning the last regular season game at Yankee Stadium 7-3 against the Baltimore Orioles on September 21, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. According to reports on February 3, 2011, Andy Pettitte will announce his retirement at Yankee Stadium on February 4, 2011. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……….

(6) Philadelphia Phillies’ Cliff Lee fields a ball during spring training baseball workouts, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 in Clearwater, Fla. AP Photo/Eric Gay ……

(7) In this file photo from Oct. 29, 2010, New York Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon , left, club president Saul Katz and Mets owner Fred Wilpon , right, look on during a baseball news conference in New York. The owners of the Mets turned a blind eye to Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud, reaping $300 million in false profits and using a large chunk to run the team, according to a lawsuit unsealed Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. The lawsuit claims the owners were so dependent on the disgraced financier’s too-good-to-be-true returns that it “faced a severe and immediate liquidity crisis” when Madoff’s crimes were revealed in 2009. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek ……..

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NB The SNY Network is a wholly owned cable network operation of the New York Mets. One avenue for the organization should they seek a cash influx would be to sell the cable programmer which is estimated to be worth in excess of $700 million as a stand alone entity . Current estimated value of the Mets is approximately $600 million . In 2008 the team had an estimated worth of $850 million and with Citi Field costing $755 million built largely through public financing courtesy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with minimal financial commitment coming from the Mets’ organization .

MLB news ………

To view the details behind the plaintiffs’ case against Mets’ senior partners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon simply click on the link provided …… JP Morgan Seeks to Move Madoff Fraud Suit …..

😛

Alan aka tophatal ………………

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Rita G

Eye candy ……………………. Rita G

More of Rita for the more discerning amongst you .

Rita G-1

Wouldn’t you want to play with Rita G’s coochie ?

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Nicki Minaj ………. “Massive Attack” ….feat’g Sean Garrett

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The Sporting Weekend And All That It Entailed …………

The Sporting Weekend And All That It Entailed …………

Here’s a thought has the World Series been a complete a disappointment for you ? Are the teams within the NFC really that bad or as the NFL hierarchy would have us believe that parity is a good thing ? The NBA season has already began and all of the hyperbole concerning the Miami Heat has been tempered by the team’s loss to the Boston Celtics in their season opener .

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College Football is still trying to creat the intrigue and suspense by alluding to the fact that for the very first time we could end up with an apperance of a none BCS conference team playing in the national championship. I liken that particular premise to the fact that we’re no closer to finding the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden but US intelligence sources repeatedly tell us that we have Al Qaeda is on the run. The caveat here being that the words intelligence sources and US being used in the same sentence as it concerns an agency within the US government. Isn’t it bad enough that the nation at large has little or no faith in either political party much less the President and his Cabinet ? But these are the idiocies of the times we now live in , where we’re asked to follow like sheep and listen to the venerable diatribe of waste and see the incompetency of our elected officials. Come the November 2nd change may well be coming but not in the real shape or form that many might be seeking . It’ll be more of the same as usual , so simply be prepared to take more of the now prescribed medicine .

Week 8 in the NFL and we saw how bad namely the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings really are. And needless to say the two main focal points here are two individuals who simply don’t know how are willing to accept any responsibility for their actions. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones offered an apology to the team’s fans for their failures this season and when one bears in mind that this was one the teams favored to make it to the Superbowl . Then one might begin to ask isn’t this now all …… too little too late , now coming from the team owner ?

Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre has seen his and the team’s season simply spiral out of control. Statistically Favre’s ratings are on the lower rungs of the league’s list of quarterbacks . And for those who held out hope that the addition of Randy Moss would bring about some change in the team’s fortunes well they might as well have been looking for some semblance of intelligent thinking being put forth by Paris Hilton or one of the elder Kardashian sisters. Now all one awaits are the statements to be made by team coach Brad Childress and that of Favre , himself and the latest reason’s behind the team’s dismal failure. The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings between them are a combined 3-11 within the NFC and it doesn’t augur well for their rest of either team’s season. Favre is now said to be suffering from his injury and it was there for all to see how much he labored in the Vikings’ loss 28-18 to the New England Patriots. And one could easily surmise by saying that the Vikings’ season has all but come to an an end. Any thought of them being in with a chance of the making the playoffs would be minute at best.

With the Texas Rangers now down 3-1 in the best of seven World Series I can’t help but wonder if this is what the MLB ___ hierarchy had in mind ? And one sincerely doubts this is what Fox Sports had in mind when they envisaged what they may well have felt what would be an evenly matched series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers. In the four games played so far it now appears that the Rangers are bereft of the will to win and the series is about to become an unimitigated disaster for the broadcast network’s coverage. Ratings’ wise it has been none plus and the fact that Ron Washington’s _____ team’s showing has been none descript and must now have fans wondering why bother to carry on watching ? Giants’ know that with their team now having Rangers on the ropes all that is needed is the decisive knockout punch to make what would be the inevitable result a foregone conclusion .

So Oregon lives to fight another day and not a moment too soon as the number one ranked teams were falling off the top of the BCS rankings as if there’d been some sort of voodo ritual cast upon those teams. The Ducks’ annihilation of the USC Trojans ____ 53-32 was enough to justify to me that they are the best collegiate team in the nation bar none ! And I certainly don’t think that coach Chip Kelly is overly concerned what the rest of the nation thinks as he now knows that his team’s fate and destiny is theirs to decide. Win out and they will be playing for the national title …….’nough said !

For me the NBA season doesn’t truly start until after Christmas as by then most teams should be in a steady rhythm and finding their way. The NFL on the other hand will be close to winding down and there several teams will most certainly will know their immediate fates. But let’s all put our hands together and applaud the hapless Cowboys and Vikings for putting together such a hideous and mediocre season. All that allaged talent on the field and even less coaching talent off it. Zygi Wilf and Cowboys’ counterpart Jerry Jones might just be two of the biggest dickwads in professional franchise sports ownership today and that is with due with respect to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ ___ ownership group. And any hopes that Wilf and the Vikings front office had in perhaps conning the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in financing a new stadium has essentially gone up in smoke after this disastrous season . And Favre is still guaranteed $20 million for this season ? WTF ?

Whatever ails us doesn’t neccessarily cure us but I’d certainly like to think that all of the hyperbole will now die down and we can forget about the Miami Heat marauding through the Eastern Conference and then plundering the rest of the NBA like the Norsemen ___ Vikings. This team after all is human in spite of the idiocy of the claims being made for NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy . Now here’s someone whose lone claim to fame to my mind was his idiotic action in trying to fell Alonzo Mourning by grabbing the center by his ankles and trying to separate him from a Knicks’ player during a multiple player altercation and melee’ that took place at Madision Square Gardens somes years ago . It was comical enough to have me in stitches and I’m sure that people who witnessed it live or via television may well found the scene laughable as well ! Van Gundy for his part seems to have backtracked on his claim that the Heat would surpass the 95-96 Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 win tally of that historic season. Now I know why it is that famed character actor Vincent Schiavelli may have spawned Jeff through some genetic mutation …… stupid is as stupid looks !

The season is still in its infancy and we’re not about to see anything truly spectacular about to happen as of yet but I’m sure that the NBA hierarchy led by Commissioner David Stern will still want us all to buy into the feeding frenzy created by the offseason circus and travails of his of superstars and a number of teams . The league in its infinite wisdom has made its brand more about the ego and marketing of its players rather than the teams themselves and it’s now coming back to bite it in the proverbial ass in more ways than Stern himself would care to admit. So let’s hope for Stern’s sake that the season is a truly competitive and successful one for his sake because if as he’s alluded to they’re on their way to losing in excess of 450 million this year alone then someone has to put a smile on his and the owners’ faces. So why not the long suffering fans who’ll be asked to part with much of their discretionary income for a a brand that has become so out of touch with reality , the marketplace and even its very own fans ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal. By clicking on indvidual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .

What sporting event this past weekend has been or provided you with the most interest ? And as such with the San Francisco Giants being newly crowned as the 2010 World Series champions were you entirely happy with the outcome and baseball season as a whole ? Simply chime in with your comments as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support !

NB: Click on the links below to view the latest news , scores and views .

MLB news

MLB scoreboard

MLB 2010 World Series

NBA scores

NBA news

NBA Conference Standings …… Divisional

NFL news

NFL Week 8 scores

NFL Standings ….Divisional

NFL Standings Conference

NFL Standings by League

NFL Week 9 schedule

BCS Football rankings

NCAA Football scoreboard

NCAA Football news

Alan aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

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Angel-Lola-Luv

Eye candy Angel ‘Lola’ Luv

Thank You For Not Participating !

Thank You For Not Participating !

First of all my thanks to the Oklahoma Sooners for once again proving me right in my thoughts that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks especially when they’re unwilling to learn from the evidence already set forth. Over the weekend Bob Stoops’ team literally chose to lay down and choke away a game. The last time I saw someone choke that badly it was during an act of oral sex during which the adult female performer gagged whilst swallowing the ejaculate of her partner during their act of intimacy. Well the Sooners swallowed alright , so much so that they’re no longer atop of the BCS rankings having lost their game to sixteenth ranked Mizzou Tigers 36-27. Thanks once again Sooners as your participation was actually welcomed gagging like the bitches that you’ve now become and always were, simply overrated for all of the right reasons.

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Slide show .

Well now that we know who the two final participants will be in the 2010 World Series will be I’d like to thank both Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard for their inept contributions to their respective teams throughout this postseason and in particular their LCS games. The two combined earned in excess of $52 million for the 2010 season but their overall postseason contributions would in all honesty has not been worth 1/10 of that ! How ironic was it to see both of these high profiled players essentially swatting at fastballs that led to the twenty seventh and final out that eliminated their respective teams from the remainder of the postseason ? And for New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and his rather inane statement of saying that he’s ………’profoundly disappointed with the outcome’ is simply befuddling considering the vast resources at his organization’s disposal. If all $200 million can buy isn’t even a decent pot to piss in then Cashman isn’t clearly doing his job. They say that time heals all wounds but I doubt that for the Yankees’ fans now whining and making excuses their wounds will be healed immediately after the team’s rather inept performances in the ALCS .

In the world of MMA Brock Lesnar seemingly eschews the showing of class as he’d rather be thought of as the villain. As the UFC heavyweight champion Lesnar defended his title against the number one challenger Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 . Lesnar had the physical advantage over his opponent in terms of being the heavier man by over 24 lbs but that advantage was stymied by the challenger who made short and light work of the champion by literally beating him to a pulp and becoming the first Mexican American to hold a heavyweight title in a professional combative sport. And for the 265 lb Lesnar this was a damning indictment of how limited his skills actually are, as a mixed martial artist. He may well be a prolific wrestler but clearly his boxing skills and stand up work leave a great deal to be desired. It’ll be back to the trenches for Lesnar with his tail between his legs as he seeks to gain some self semblance of esteem in order to return back to the top of his sport.

Theirs was a relationship that was thought to be one of mutual convenience and as a way of seeking out competitive and financial success for the Minnesota Vikings . But at this juncture the relationship between Brett Favre and Vikings’ coach Brad Childress has about as much in common as the relationship that there’s said to now exist between political hack Bill O’Reilly and talk show hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. That chasm has and will now grow even wider after the Vikings’ loss to their divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers. And a great deal of the blame for the loss must rest upon the shoulders of Favre himself whose errant play led to the three interceptions during the game in his team’s 27-24 loss to the Packers. The less said about the player’s off the field problems the better, as it is his professional life which the fans now tend to judge him by. And as we’ve now all witnessed this time around Favre is not the Favre of old has already began to look like an aging geriatric who’s aching all over !

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These are but of a few of the weekend story lines as they played out wherein the participation of the athletes and the teams in question were about as welcoming as dose of gonorrhea would be to a practicing street walker. Alas the best said about the last scenario the better. Which teams or athletes to your mind were a complete embarrassment to themselves in terms of their efforts put forth ? Chime on with a comment as you’d deem fit .

🙂 ______ 😦

Alan aka tophatal 🙂

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Eye candy one I hope that you’ll all like ? The amazing Amie

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Ooh Lordy , lordy !

And less is more as they say !

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Amie

Who wants to go for a ride on a jet ski with Amie ? Hands up now ?

Hey Did You Know That The MLB Postseason Had Already Started ?

Hey Did You Know That The MLB Postseason Had Already Started ?

It seems no one got the message but the MLB postseason has started but there’s disturbing evidence to show that almost no one seems to be watching the games on broadcast or cable television. What might be even more disturbing is the mere fact that in the ALCS games staged at Yankees Stadium have not sold out and the in game five itself the upper decks of the venerable edifice one could see that those areas were actually deserted. Whether or not that is an indictment of the team or the mere fact that because of the economic climate such a situation was to be expected really does also cast doubt as to how the league hierarchy now markets the game nationally.

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The postseason for MLB is the highlight of a long and arduous season within league and if fans aren’t seemingly interested in watching the televised games but also unwilling to turn up and watch even the New York Yankees. Then that ought to tell not only the fans but also MLB Commissioner Bud Selig that there’s something wrong with the game from the fans’ perspective and how the brand itself is being marketed to the consumer.

Both the ALCS and NLCS match-ups have been every entertaining to watch and with the presumptive favorites in both series now trying to stave off elimination it remains to be seen whether or not the Philadelphia Phillies can erase a 3-1 deficit against the San Francisco Giants . Not to be outdone the New York Yankees seem to have dug a hole for themselves albeit that they were able to come back and show some resilience in game five with a decisive 7-2 defeat of the Texas Rangers at their home venue. The series resumes at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington , Texas __ with the team seeking to eliminate the Yankees by looking to take game 6 in what will have been a memorable series for this Ron Washington led squad. The series lead by the Rangers 3-2 is theirs for the taking should they now desire it enough and make the Yankees’ presence in this postseason come to an abrupt end .

It has to be said that both series has given us tremendous pitching performances with a plethora of All Star caliber players taking the mound. It has been surprising to see the Phillies rotation led by Roy Halliday seemingly being put in their place by a Giants’ rotation led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain . Not only that but the lightly thought of offense of the team has suddenly come to light and made the Phillies much lauded offense seem somewhat pedantic. Cody Ross in particular seems to be a star in the making and I do believe that the Florida Marlins may now have some regrets having traded the player away to the San Francisco Giants. But in truth the Giants’ success in this series doesn’t solely rest with one player because it has been a collective effort all round from the team and it’s a credit to their manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff . They’ve felt no real undue pressure and have shown that they can play their game while outmatching their opponents .

Joe Girardi and the Yankees know that if they are to play themselves right back into contention then they will have to play aggressively throughout the remainder of the series no matter what. Now a great deal will be made of the fact that their bullpen has been very inconsistent and much of that can be laid squarely on the shoulders of the manager . That if anything has been the team’s Achilles’ Heel throughout much of the regular season and into the postseason itself. Furthermore with the loss of first baseman Mark Teixiera their situation has become somewhat more difficult albeit that Teixiera’s postseason stats aren’t what one would come to expect from the player. But defensively he’s still a player I’ve no doubt that Girardi would prefer to have on the team and that’s with due respect to Lance Berkman .

Now comes the hard part for the Yankees and that’s for them to show that they have the determination to claw their way back and win with a great deal of resolve. I know they tend to look to Derek Jeter to lead by example which is something that has been exemplified by the play throughout much of his career, especially during the postseason . But for this aging veteran now in the twilight of his career it has to be said that the passion once displayed doesn’t always seem to be there. It may well be that in a final year of his contract with the team we may well be seeing the final days of what has been one of the more storied Yankees’ playing careers in recent memory. Now in saying this, one might also ask does Alex Rodriguez have what it takes to step in Jeter’s shoes ? At this juncture the jury I think is still out as to whether or not A-Rod (Rodriguez) is even considered to be a true Yankee by their fans and the fans of the game itself in general. He may well be donned in a “pinstripe uniform” but that doesn’t make him a Yankees’ player where the legacy of donning the uniform essentially means life blood of the organization flows through your veins. His life seems to revolve around the fact that the notoriety and paparazzi catch him in the glare of the spotlight with a Hollywood starlet on his arm. I’d also preface this by saying that one good postseason with the team doesn’t allow you to become a venerable great in the eyes of many when it comes to the postseason and the Yankees’ fans in particular. His achievements will be judged by what he does more so on the field than anything that he’s been known to do off it and that also includes that mystifying suggestion by Rodriguez that he merely experimented with steroids. I think that we all know the answer to that particular question is ……….. which to my mind isn’t printable other than to suggest that the colloquial term for fecal excrement could be used here !

Now if both series as is perceived should play out as is being envisaged bearing in mind how each series now stands . Then we could see both the Rangers and Giants making it to the World Series. and I don’t think that there can be a cut case wherein one could make a definite decision that the Giants will be favored over the Rangers. I do believe that the teams are evenly matched on all fronts and it will come down to the intangibles and the experience shown by both managers and their respective staffs. There’d be something of a story book type ending to this season were either Bruce Bochy or Ron Washington to become the winning manager in the World Series . But as the whole scenario has yet to be played out we as fans will just have to wait and see what is left to absorb as things play themselves out in both series.

From the standpoint of a willing spectator of the MLB postseason I have to say that the league hasn’t exactly done a great job of marketing its showcase event. Overall I do believe that it has done a mediocre job throughout the years and that includes the years when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had us on the edge of our seats as their spectacle played itself out in the Maris home run chase. Now we know how much of a subterfuge that all was given the evidence that has since arisen concerning both players’ involvement in the use of steroids and HGH. Do you think that all parties concerned had and still does have something to hide ?

Baseball’s integral problems as it concerns its popularity and financial state isn’t one that cannot be solved but it would appear that under Bud Selig’s leadership their so called tried and tested formula seems to have met an obstacle that they have no idea how to overcome . If an NFL Monday night game between two marginally attractive teams can still outperform a game wherein baseball’s most storied and most supported team can barely crack a 4 percentile share on the Nielsens’ Ratings nationally then you know that there’s something wrong with the game. Never mind the fact that Yankees’ Stadium was filled to less than capacity for a postseason ALCS game . If that’s not indicative of a problem then can someone please explain to me what is ?

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Picture gallery . By clicking on each frame you can view each picture in its original formatted size.

How do you view the remainder of the MLB postseason being played out and what thoughts if any do you have concerning the fact that viewership and to an extent attendance for some of the championship games are actually down ? Chime in with a comment as you’d deem fit.

😦 * 🙂

For the latest MLB news & views simply click unto the link provided.

MLB News & views …

Alan aka tophatal …………………………… 🙂

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'Karrine-Steffans

Eye candy video vixen Karrine ‘Superhead’ Steffans . I’ll let you decide as to the reason why she’s nicknamed ‘Superhead’.

Genie of the Lamp

Genie of the Lamp

I am not the genie of the lamp nor will I be providing any outright prognostications but will however say this concerning the reminder of the baseball season. Many things are expected of the Tampa Bay Rays and their dispassionate fans will be hoping that the team can really make it to their second World Series in three years and perhaps win their first title.

This Joe Maddon managed team is playing some great baseball and though the fans haven’t turned out in droves to support the team there’s still a hardcore base there that comes out to see the home team when they play at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida. We can attest to the fact that this team is very good it cannot be hidden that the Rays are no longer team that is easily intimidated. What we do know however is , if the support isn’t forthcoming from the community at large then this may well be the last hoo-rah for baseball within the community and Tampa Bay area as a whole. The front office of the organization have tried as they might to make it a going concern within the area but it all now seems to be for nought. Furthermore , the political and economic uncertainty still doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion that a new ballpark will be built for the team at some time in the future. And most certainly no one at this juncture is prepared to state who will end up financing such an endeavor . All we’ve tended to hear have been the sound bytes and not much else.

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Courtesy of St Petersburg Times


New stadium talks will wait until after the season ends

By Micheal Van Sickler , Time Staff Writer

ST. Petersburg — The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg officials have scrapped negotiations for a new stadium until after the last pitch of the World Series, sometime in November.

From the way negotiations have unfolded so far, they don’t agree on much.

Mayor Bill Foster said Wednesday that his offer last week to permit the Rays to leave Tropicana Field for a stadium anywhere in St. Petersburg and the greater Gateway area “was my best and final.”

Yet on Tuesday, Rays president Matt Silverman rejected this offer and said the club needs to consider all sites in the region, including Hillsborough County — which Foster said is off-limits.

“We’re really in uncharted territory,” said Rick Eckstein, co-author of the 2003 book Public Dollars, Private Stadiums. “If there’s going to be a standoff, it would be unprecedented.”

When it comes to Major League Baseball, cities cave and let teams out of iron-clad leases all the time, Eckstein said.

“The politicians see teams as huge trophies,” said Eckstein, a Villanova University sociology professor. “They don’t want to be associated with losing one. So if (St. Petersburg) holds to this, it would be revolutionary.”

Foster and City Attorney John Wolfe are relying on the city’s contract with the Rays, signed in 1995, to settle the conflict. The contract keeps the Rays at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season . If the Rays leave early, the contract says the city would be compensated for the economic loss.

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Now as we come down to the trade deadline __ 31st Julythere’s no sign that the team will be involved in any trades and at the same time they’re financially constrained by a budget that is meager the to say the very least. So much of what the fans will expect will come about from the resilience shown by the team on the field of play. Here’s hoping the Tampa Bay Rays can attain some success in the postseason .

Perhaps we’re all under the impression that having both TO and Ochocinco on the same team is a bad idea ? Now pardon me for saying this but Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer are either in need of psychiatric help or they my well be unto something , with the combination of the two productive but lugubrious wide receivers. My guess and question would be , will there be enough balls on the field for two of the most bombastic and self promoting characters in the NFL ? Question who’s balls are actually bigger ? TO’s or Chad Ochocinco ?

To say that the Cincinnati Bengals have underperformed over the last few seasons certainly wouldn’t be stretching the truth. More to the point would be ,how it that Lewis is still an NFL coach is simply beyond me ! Let’s just say his idea of success when measured against the failures of his peers has me wondering what indeed is wrong the Bengalis’ hierarchy (front office) to begin with ? I can only surmise that team President Mike Brown woke from the midst of a nightmare and thought to himself what else can we as an organization can do to bring fans back to Paul Brown Stadium ? Hell if signing Owens was “his first” and “only option” then I’ve got several thousand acres of prime real estate in the Middle East that I’d like to sell to him …….. Kabul , Afghanistan to be more precise.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

T.O. misses flight to Bengals camp

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Georgetown, Ky. (AP)—Terrell Owens missed his flight but got his number.

When he finally makes it to town—a little late—he’ll be wearing his familiar 81.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ latest addition missed his overnight flight from the West Coast and had to take a later one on Thursday, delaying his debut at training camp.

The Bengals had planned on him arriving early in the day, taking his physical and signing his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout. They scheduled an introductory news conference after the morning practice.

The news conference had to be rescheduled for after the evening session. Coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t sure whether the 36-year-old receiver would arrive in time to work out.

On his Twitter account, Owens posted a note Wednesday night saying he was headed to see a movie. He didn’t explain why he missed his flight on Thursday, but confirmed that his news conference had to be rescheduled.

“My Press conf about my “Decision” 2 take my talents 2 Cincy will b held 2nite after 7pm practice!!” he tweeted, playing off LeBron James’ one-hour television show announcing his decision to leave Cleveland.

Owens also misspelled Cincinnati in one of his tweets and was quickly corrected by a follower.

“Okayyyyyy I got it now, 2 n’s & 1 t! CINCINNATI!! LOL!” he tweeted.

He’ll have to make a donation to keep his favorite uniform number.

Receiver Antonio Bryant got No. 81 when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the offseason, giving him a four-year deal. Bryant said after the morning practice that he had already talked to Owens and agreed to give up his number.
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The upcoming season with regard to the Cincinnati Bengals should go a long way in telling us about the team and the mindset of its management. Failure at this juncture and both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens’ days in the NFL could very well be numbered.

Having worked in the field of high finance within the city of London , the “Square Mile” often known as the financial heartbeat of the world, as there are more trades done there than any other financial center across the globe. Two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) a day wouldn’t be beyond the stretch of one’s imagination concerning the volumes of the trades being worked through each day. Specialists in those fields were highly sought after and their expertise was richly rewarded. There was a gentleman’s agreement that when seeking to hire from beyond one’s domain common courtesy was sought in approaching a perspective hire by first seeking the approval of that person’s employer for making an approach. The same such situation now applies to the NFL . But it’d appear that USC’s __ Lane Kiffin doesn’t believe that such rules apply to him when it comes to the hiring of his coaching staff .

Kiffin in hiring the Tennessee Titans former assistant running backs’ coach Kennedy Pola did so without first seeking the team’s permission with an approach to an initial interview . At the time of his hiring Pola was still in contract negotiations with the Titans. Now we could make a case for the argument that with Pola’s negotiations were not going to well with the organization and it led to his leaving the Tennessee Titans. But what might prove to be more unacceptable was that while Pola was still in negotiation with the Titans , he was talking through back channels with Kiffin and the Trojans. This doesn’t stretch the credibility of Kiffin’s stance that this was merely an unfortunate turn of events as it only muddy’s the waters in trying to ascertain the real truth as to what went on. And clearly at this juncture no one from within the Trojans’ athletic department is prepared to make a public statement on the matter. Most certainly Kiffin, himself, has now become somewhat docile in giving a taciturn response. Whereas, within the Titans’ front office and that of the team’s coach Jeff Fisher there is a great deal of anger and disgust by Lane Kiffin’s actions and that of Kennedy Pola. With there being no outright action that can be taken the NFL , the Titans have seen fit to seek their right of recourse through the legal system.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

USC’s Kiffin irks Titans’ Fisher with Pola hire

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Add Titans coach Jeff Fisher to the list of people Lane Kiffin had ticked off in Tennessee.

Kiffin hired Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola on Saturday to be his offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Southern California, irking Fisher by failing to follow the usual protocol in courting another team’s assistant.

Fisher voiced his displeasure with his alma mater’s new head coach to the Tennessean newspaper, saying Kiffin hadn’t made the customary contact to tell the NFL team he was interested in Pola, a former USC player and assistant coach who joined the Titans after last season ended.

The move also left the Titans without a running backs coach one week before training camp opens.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told the newspaper. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

Kiffin attempted to rectify the damage later Saturday, finally reaching Fisher and discussing the abrupt move. Kiffin then issued a statement that didn’t exactly deny he had breached protocol, saying he first spoke to Pola on Friday, and then called Fisher on Saturday after Pola called him back, apparently to accept the job.

“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events,” Kiffin said. “We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”

The state of Tennessee hardly needs another reason to dislike Kiffin, who infamously bolted from the Volunteers last January after just 14 months to take his self-described dream job at USC, leaving an angry mob in Knoxville.

Kiffin’s brief head coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee have been filled with minor missteps and conflicts, including an ugly feud with Raiders owner Al Davis and twice being reprimanded by the Southeastern Conference while he was with the Volunteers.

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Monetary compensation may well be the only satisfactory compensation that the Titans may well find from this all should there be an adjudication in their favor. As for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans , given the unwarranted publicity garnered from the sanctions brought down by the NCAA upon their heads. One would’ve thought that this would be last type of adverse publicity that they would want at this juncture. And Kiffin , given his predilection for being less than forthright when it comes to his honesty. I can only surmise that USC’s newly appointed athletics’ director Patrick Haden along with University President-elect C. L. Max Nikias will be looking to sit down with Kiffin for a somewhat prolonged tete-a-tete with the coach. Given the recent upheaval within the athletics department the last thing the university now needs is more egg on its face. But given the maneuvers of Lane Kiffin since his hiring by USC what other conclusions can one draw from this all at this juncture ? It’s not as Kiffin has gone out of his way to do everything by the book to begin with. He’s become more of a one man wrecking crew with his asinine remarks and his gung-ho attitude. And supposedly this is the guy the school actually sought out to succeed Pete Carroll ? Let’s just hope that he only brings along only half the controversy created by his predecessor for the university’s sake . If not then they could be in for a bumpy and unpleasant ride once again.


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the various subject matters raised within this piece ? By all means chime on in with a comment and I’ll look forward to responding in due course. Once again thanks as usual for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

New Jack City , New Jack City …….. The Cash Money Crew ………

“Am I my brother’s keeper ? Yes I am ! “ A quote from the movie “New Jack City” (1991) made by the character Nino Brown – villain of the piece in the movie. Character played by the actor Wesley Snipes .

A nine minute scene from the movie ‘New Jack City’ .

No doubt by now the vast majority of you will have realized that the World Series has started and that game one, in the best of seven game series ended with the result of a (6-1) victory for the National League representative- the Philadelphia Phillies . They thoroughly dominated their opponents, the New York Yankees in arriving at this result. And for the vast majority of the fans in attendance , who just happen to be New York Yankees’ fans.This must’ve been a vast disappointment to see their team go down in such a fashion. The Phillies had their starting ace on the mound , in Cliff Lee . Who pitched a complete game ,giving up no runs ,striking out 10, for the win. It was a tremendous performance by the pitcher. For which, he was ably abetted by the offensive output by his teammates.

Phillies' ace  Cliff  Lee  pitches  in  the  ninth  inning  of game one  of the  World  Series .  Lee  pitched  a  complete   game   for  the  NL  Pennant  winners    against the  New  York  Yankees  at   Yankees  Stadium , in  the Bronx,  New  York City.,    The  Phillies  are   now  1-0    having  defeated  New  York  6-1  in the   best  of   7  game  series.     picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo /Julie   Jacobson   ........................

Phillies’ ace, Cliff Lee pitches in the ninth inning of game one of the World Series . Lee pitched a complete game for the NL Pennant winners against the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium , in the Bronx, New York City., The Phillies are now 1-0 having defeated New York 6-1 in the best of 7 game series. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo /Julie Jacobson…………..

The New York Yankees for their part had pitched their hopes on their own starting ace, C. C. Sabathia. Ironically enough, the two starting aces on opposing teams, were once former teammates with the Cleveland Indians. A thought not lost on many who witnessed last night’s game at Yankees Stadium ,in the Bronx, New York City. That being said , the aftermath of this result puts undue additional pressure on the Yankees to rebound immediately from this loss with a win game two. As to how easy that may well be , will be dependent upon the mental attitude of the Yankees’ players and in particular that of their game two stater , A. J. Burnett. His opposing number in game two, will be former Yankees’ killer, Pedro Martinez. And that will be very much predicated upon how the Yankees set about dealing with the wily veteran pitcher. Martinez is essentially a player, who loves the big game events , where everything is set up for him to perform at his optimum level. The New York Yankees would be fools to underestimate him , thinking that his best days are behind him as a pitcher. There’s a reason , Martinez sought the desire to come back and pitch again in the ‘Big Leagues’. It was after all to win another World Series ring and add to his tally and illustrious legacy. Nothing wrong in that, is there ?

For Major League Baseball (MLB) what better stage is there for a World Series , with the Yankees there in the postseason as one of the two representatives ? It cries out for the series to be a thoroughly competitive one. And for the game in particular and its major corporate patrons, this will be a big financial bonanza. Say nothing of which , for the city of New York, it will create a vast economic impact , for an already troubled city, financially. Can’t say that the Yankees will be hurting for money with this appearance. As they’ve got this thing tied up in terms of the money that they’ll no doubt earn through their various revenue income streams. It’s expected that the New York Yankees could very well make in excess of $ 45 million from this World Series appearance alone. And who says crime doesn’t pay ? Not that one should equate what they are doing as a crime. But it certainly looks that way on paper when measured against of their competitors within the rest of Major League Baseball. It’s a matter of supply and demand , is it not ? The New York Yankees supply it and we as the fans in our never-ending quest demand it. And whatever it is , year in , year out , the thinking is, when the Yankees are there in the postseason . Then, there will always be a demand for their product. The proof will not only be in the attendance for these series of games but also in the tv coverage under the watchful eye of MLB, as the television broadcast will be carried by Fox . Ah , the sounds of cash flowing through the coffers of the Yankees and that of MLB must be bringing joy to ears of not only the Steinbrenner family and their patriarch, George Steinbrenner. But also, that of Commissioner , Bud Selig as well , who knows that this was perhaps the most desirable match-up that the fans could’ve wished for. The two best teams in either league , meeting face to face to decide baseball’s ultimate prize.

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Cliff Lee and teammate ,catcher , Carlos Ruiz celebrate after the Phillies’ defeat of the New York Yankees in game one of the World Series at Yankees Stadium in New York. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Julie Jacobson ……….

Well if last night was any indication of what we’re to expect from the Phillies. Then for the rest of this series dependent upon how long it ultimately lasts. The Yankees will be in for a great deal of problems in more ways than one. The Yankees were held hit-less through eight innings by some extraordinary pitching from Cliff Lee. And he was helped with some stellar play defensively when it mattered by his teammates. And this from a Yankees’ offense that had overpowered many of their opponents throughout much of the regular season with the sheer weight power ? Never mind that during their postseason foray Alex Rodriguez– well for him the light switch came on and he began to hit like a madman possessed. Nothing appeared to be out of his reach. Not so last night, as he went back into that proverbial slump we’ve all become accustomed to seeing from him when the postseason comes around . And to think that some were already referring to him as ………”Mr October “? What the hell were they thinking ? As we all know there’ll only ever be one Mr October …. and that’s Yankees’ great , Reggie Jackson.

At present, A-Rod couldn’t even put on Reggie’s jockstrap for that matter ! But as they say, it’s not always size that matters, as it’s how one uses the tools of the trade that really counts. Can you hear that Kate Hudson ? One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Rodriguez suffered the same fate as his teammates, as he was unable to decipher the pitching of Phillies’ ace Cliff Lee. It was left to Yankees’ captain,Derek Jeter to get the sole hit attained by the Yankees’ team on the night.How anemic was their offense last night ? Well consider this, the only reason that the Yankees actually scored a run was because of a throwing error by Phillies’ shortstop, Jimmy Rollins in the ninth inning. A run that was actually scored by none other than Jeter, himself. It’s pretty safe to say that a repeat of that tonight and Yankees’ coach, Joe Girardi had better start thinking what the future might hold for him. I’d dare that the post-game discussions that took place between he and General Manager, Brian Cashman glossed over the pleasantries of the game ? Whatever they might’ve been at the time, unless they were of the opinion that things didn’t go all that badly ? Which, it did !

Yankees' third  baseman  Alex  Rodriguez  looks  at the   scoreboard  having   just  struck  out  in the  ninth   inning of  game  one   of the  World  Series.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo /  David  J.  Phillip  ..............

Yankees’ 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez looks at the scoreboard having just struck out in the ninth inning of game one of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David J. Phillip ………….

For the Phillies, last night must have filled their fans and players with a great deal of hope. Coming into Yankees’ Stadium as the presumed underdog and essentially beating the Yankees like an unwanted stepchild in front of their home fans. Well it’d suggest that this series won’t be one where the Phillies will presumably lay down and accept their fate at will.

The heroes of the night for the Philadelphia Phillies were no doubt Cliff Lee and Chase Utley. But in essence, it was essentially an all-round effort by this Phillies’ team and its coaching staff in preparing their players for the pressure cooker atmosphere of Yankees Stadium and the Yankees’ fans in particular. Utley, on the night homered twice , as he silenced the New York fans and many others watching on television. It’s pretty safe to say that a repeat of last night’s heroics and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, will be like a cauldron of high expectation for game three in front of the home-front crowd. And it’d be also safe to say that Phillies’ manager, Charlie Manuel may well have a wry smile on his face after his team’s exploits. The chance that this series could take a such turn would leave quite a few people very surprised. Especially , the ‘Cash Money Crew’ otherwise known as the New York Yankees. As theirs is a brand that doesn’t look quite so hot at this present moment in time. Well, it doesn’t now , does it ? Who knew ?

Below is a link to an earlier article as a precursor to last night’s game. There you’ll have an insight as to my thoughts upon the events as I though they might unfold. In order to view just click on the text link shown.

” Batter , Batter , Batter, Batter Up” …….

Batter , Batter , Batter , Batter Up ………..

Well finally, here it is , Major League Baseball’s (MLB) showcase event is now about to commence. And the two participants , representatives of the American League and the National League are the very best that the game has to offer , this season alone. And for the New York Yankees (103-59) as winners of the AL Pennant, they’re now on the cusp of trying to attain their twenty seventh World Series‘ title. Their opponents, as the representatives from the National League will be the Philadelphia Phillies (93-69). Two diverse ball clubs that you’re as likely to wish for, in this showcase event. The big spendingYankees matched up against the team from Philadelphia, seeking to win only its third World Series title, in their one hundred and twenty six years of existence.

The  2009  World  Series  between the  New  York  Yankees  and  the  Philadelphia  Phillies.  Tonight's  starters  are   pictured  ,   Cliff Lee  of  the  Phillies ,  left and  the  Yankees'   C. C  Sabathia  ,  right.         picture appears  courtesy  of  getty  images  .....................................

The 2009 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. Tonight’s starters at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx will be , C. C Sabathia for New York and Cliff Lee for the Phillies. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Mark Cromwell ……………

The battle of two teams with a great deal of legacy behind them. And then add into the fact, that the bylines in terms of the additional stories. You have an instant classic in the making , one would hope. Both teams have an excellent roster , with a litany of All Star players in a number of positions. The Yankees and their roster reads like a who’s who ,of major league talent . And the same too can be said of the Phillies and their roster. And both teams are lead by shortstops who just might be the best players at the position in either league , in terms of sheer determination and leadership qualities. And that’s not to detract from the players in either league who play the position. But in Jimmy Rollins , of the Phillies and Derek Jeter of the Yankees , you might have two of better players at the position, when all is said to be on the line.

Rollins and Jeter are seen as the respective figure heads of their team and are accorded as such, the roles of captain. But what may well prove to be focal point to my mind , will be the experience shown by both team managers. The Phillies as defending champions , have the veteran presence and experience of Charlie Manuel. Whereas, the Yankees will have Joe Girardi , who’ll be making his first appearance in a World Series as a manager.

The story lines will be amp’d up , merely because of the teams and in particular their respective fans. Bot ball clubs have very passionate and vocal fans. And in New York, well, they like to seen, heard and be just downright obnoxious when the case calls for them to be so. That’s not to say that the Phillies’ fan can’t reciprocate in the same manner. If they can boo Santa Claus , well who won’t they boo in terms of voicing their disapproval ? So, for the faint of heart , this won’t be your ordinary run of the mill World Series , in terms of fan presence and demeanor.

Televised coverage of the game will be carried by the Fox Network and the broadcast will also garner great deal of interest not only nationally , but also internationally. They’ll be looking to maximize the attention that they can muster, in the hopes of ratings’ bonanza. Something that Fox hopes will be played out by having both the first and the fourth largest tv markets in the nation being represented in the ‘Fall Spectacular’. And it’s hoped that this’ll be borne out by the viewership response . It they can garner anything of in excess of a 12.5 Nielsens ratings’ share for the series as a whole, will be considered to be a success not only for Fox but also for the denizens of corporate giants on Madison Ave. Because, at the end of the day it’s the viewership that drives the ad revenue rates, that in essence makes both Fox and MLB a great deal of money. And that’s not to say that the Yankees will be left out of the equation at all. They have their own cable tv broadcast outlet that carries their ball games in the local and surrounding media market. And therein , for the Steinbrenner family, as the team’s owners , lies their monumental cash cow , known as the YES Network. And one wonders why there’s said to be a major financial imbalance between the haves and have nots– when it comes to Major League Baseball (MLB) ? Look no further, than what the Yankees are said to be capable of doing almost at the drop of a hat, at will. For lesser teams around the league ,they can only wish that their harvest was as bountiful , in terms of the Yankees’ cash windfall each season.

Tonight’s pitching match up will have both team’s aces on the mound. For the Phillies it will be former Cy Young winner,Cliff Lee. And not to be outdone, the Yankees will throw out their former Cy Young winner as well , in C. C Sabathia. Both Lee and Sabathia were teammates in Cleveland, with the Cleveland Indians.
And this first match up may well dictate the pace , tempo and quite possibly the direction that this series could well take. The Yankees may well be seen as the prohibitive favorites. But being as they’ve not played in a World Series since 2003. I’d have to say , that if anything they’ll be under a fair amount of undue pressure in that presumed role. I, for one, feel that this will be a hard fought series and it will be dictated by which team can deal with any unforeseen adversity the best. There’s really not that much to separate the two teams in terms of overall talent. As they’re both equally adept in churning out runs with their how powered offense. Though pitching wise, the New York Yankees might hold a slight edge over the Philadelphia Phillies. The margin isn’t that great on the face of it. These two teams are evenly matched in more ways than one would care to presume. It’s just a matter of looking at the intangibles to see who might have that slight edge, overall. From that we might be able to determine who could eventually end up being the World Series’ victor.

Perhaps, the hardest part may well be determining who could end up being the MVP of the World Series. There’s a plethora of talent there on either side. And though it mightn’t be one of the more recognized stars who’ll step up to the plate. I’d like to think that one of the run of the mill behind the scene’s players could end being a noteworthy winner. But that’s merely my own wish for the accolade. And so there you have it as to my own thoughts on this World Series between two very worthwhile adversaries. Let the games begin and ultimately may the best team win. What else ,could an ardent baseball fan ask for ?

NB : The Yankees’ YES Network not only carries the Yankees’ ballgames but also a slew of other sports’ events ranging from the NFL , NBA ,College Football , College Basketball, NHL and other sports’ events that encapsulate the tri state area.

Mr October ……Blah , Blah , Blah A-Rod Ain’t It !

Mr October …… Blah , Blah , Blah…… A-Rod Ain’t It !

It never surprises me as to the sheer idiocy of many of the sports writers and tv analysts who claim to be intelligent and knowledgeable enough about their sport. Well in the case of Major League Baseball (MLB). All of a sudden the pundits are already lauding over the postseason exploits of the New York Yankees‘ 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez . Commendable as his exploits have been this postseason. To be making comparisons between A-Rod and another Yankees’ great, Reggie Jackson is as asinine as they come.

Yankees  third  baseman   Alex  Rodriguez  gets  a  pat  on the  head   from  team   captain   Derek  Jeter after    he  scored a  run  against  the  Minnesota  Twins  in  game 3  of  the  ALDS  game   played  at the  Hubert  Humphrey  Metrodome  in  Minneapolis,  Minnesota,.     picture appears  courtesy of  getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ................
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez gets a pat on the head from team captain Derek Jeter after he scored a run against the Minnesota Twins in game 3 of the ALDS game played at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota,. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ................

Now unless my memory is completely out of whack with regard to the historical relevance of Jackson’s postseason exploits. Rodriguez’s own exploits in the postseason just doesn’t even measure up when compared to that of Reggie Jackson. That tends to be the case when you have on air personalities and former players now making such stupid statements. Whether or not they’re doing this in order to maximize their exposure on television. It makes their credibility all the more ridiculous to begin with in that regard. An on air personality once again looking to make complete fools of themselves.And in that regard when it comes to that , the personalities on Fox, ESPN and TBS tends to overstep that line of credibility. Wherein , there’s none to begin with !

‘Liar, liar , pants on fire . My bad ! Listen intently to Rodriguez’s answers and it becomes abundantly clear as to what the player is truly all about.

Before they really can start to make comparisons as to Rodriguez’s postseason exploits ,they ought to look at the body of the player’s work thus far in the postseason. He’s yet to lead the Yankees anywhere. He’s yet to win a World Series. But what’s even more repugnant is the sheer audacity of these idiots to think that Rodriguez and Jackson are now comparable in stature as to the relevant stages of their careers.

Rodriguez’s public apology. Easily blurring truth and reality. I was somewhat surprise that the ‘Tooth Fairy’ didn’t make an appearance at the time.

While I don’t doubt Rodriguez’s credentials as a player. What I do find somewhat annoying about the player, is the fact that he still lives in a world of denial and the mere fact that he can no longer be truthful as to his use of steroids. Having publicly acknowledged his use of it , earlier in his career. He’s failed to answer questions raised when it was stated that he’d continued to use steroids after the 2004 season.Which clearly signifies to me that Rodriguez still has a great deal to learn when it comes to telling the truth. But much like Rodriguez, Jackson isn’t without fault when it comes to having an ego. Jackson, known for being able to perform on the grandest of stages. He knows how to play to the crowds and though he wasn’t always known to be a choirboy. He he never made himself out to be one. His already legendary meltdowns within the Yankees’ clubhouse and his contempt for Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner , as well as this then coach , Billy Martin. Well in many ways it gives us an idea as to the what Jackson was all about. Still beloved by many New York Yankees’ fans as well as A’s fans in the city of Oakland . The legacy of Reggie Jackson is one that is what the game of baseball is meant to be about , in terms of his on the field accomplishments.

Jackson  hits   one  of three  monumental   home  runs   during  the  game   in  the  1977  World   Series   played  against  the  Los  Angeles  Dodgers .     picture  appears  courtesy    of   baseball archives  ............  Jed  Patterson  ................................
Jackson hits one of three monumental home runs during the game in the 1977 World Series played against the Los Angeles Dodgers . picture appears courtesy of baseball archives ............ Jed Patterson ................................

And for Rodriguez , though his life has been filled with a great deal of controversy. Much of it self initiated , with all too often publicity seeking antics that’ve been as asinine as they come. I’d however, say this objectively as to the only valid observations that can be made with regard to Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Jackson are that in their prime ……these two players were the very best that the game has to offer ! . However, when it comes to making postseason comparisons between the two. Alex Rodriguez is no ……..Mr October ! There will only ever be one player for that lone specific moniker can be referred to . And that is Reggie ‘Reginald Martinez’ Jackson ! That’s because his postseason exploits speak for themselves. As of now , Alex Rodriguez has yet to prove himself as a player within the New York Yankees’ organization. Regular season stats count for nothing , when your team is expected to contend year in year out for the World Series.

Nobody   does  it   better  .... Reggie  Jackson  shows  his  prowess  at  the  plate  during  the   1977  World   Series  .  picture  appears  i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/mlb.top.world.series.moments/images/1977-reggie-
Nobody does it better .... Reggie Jackson shows his prowess at the plate during the 1977 World Series . picture appears i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/mlb.top.world.series.moments/images/1977-reggie-

With Jackson the Yankees’ fans knew what to expect when Reggie was ready to play. And play he did , and though it can be said he wasn’t always complimentary towards some of his teammates or manager as the case maybe. Jackson came to play, and play he did , as if his very life and soul depended on it. At this juncture the same cannot be said of Alex Rodriguez, as he’s yet to truly prove himself on the postseason stage. Rodriguez for his part knows that he has to prove himself not only to the New York Yankees’ fans but also to the fans of baseball in general. If he’s unable to perform upon the grandest of stages in the postseason and not lead this team to a World Series win. Then the only moniker attached to the name of Alex Rodriguez will be ….. great player , ……….. though not that great in the postseason . It’d appear that for now A-Rod will just have to continue to ride on the coat tails of Derek Jeter for the foreseeable future. Jackson never really had to do that whilst a player for the venerable New York Yankees. That my friends, is the stark difference between these two undoubtedly talented players.

Jackson  (left)  now  a  special  consultant with the  New York  Yankees , sits   in the  dugout   alongside  Alex  Rodriguez .  Whatever  the  topic  of   discussion  might've   been  about.  I   doubt  it  had  anything  to  do  with  the  number  of  World  Series   rings   that  Jackson  has.          picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/  Rich  Creswell  ........................
Jackson (left) now a special consultant with the New York Yankees , sits in the dugout alongside Alex Rodriguez . Whatever the topic of discussion might've been about. I doubt it had anything to do with the number of World Series rings that Jackson has. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rich Creswell ........................

So as of now, let’s just have all this talk stop of Rodriguez being the new ‘Mr October’ . As he’s yet to prove himself in October , much less having made an appearance of note in the ‘Fall Classic’ , known as the World Series . There will forever be only one ‘Mr October’ and that’s Reggie Jackson . Need one say anymore ?