Baseball, Football, MLB, NFL, Sports

Softly Does It Goes The Approach


Softly Does It Goes The Approach

There was nothing to be overly enthused about concerning the sports weekend. Baseball seems to be strolling long to as usual inevitable conclusion as far as the playoff races are concerned. Things will somehow get derailed for some teams while others will continue to prosper. Unfortunately for the team things have all of a sudden taken a turn for the worse . Suddenly players are dropping like flies after they’ve been hit with a pesticide. Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland must now feel as if his whole world has come crashing down around his feet.

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The team has lost several key players to injuries that could very well derail their entire season as it now stands. With the AL Central being such a competitive and contentious division it’s hard to see how things will play out in the Tigers’ favor at this juncture. Injuries have left the Tigers without Brandon Inge , Zach Miner , Magglio Ordonez , Bobby Seay , Carlos Guillen , Joel Zumaya and with only Miguel Cabrera there to primarily provide the offensive presence needed , one can understand the problems the team now faces down the stretch run of their season .

What initially looked like a three horse race between the Chicago White Sox , Minnesota Twins and Tigers now looks as if it could end being a two horse race between the White Sox and Twins . How the team can overcome their situation will go long way in telling us about the determination of the organization as a whole.

Well the organized training activities (OTA’s) are the springboard to tell us that the preseason for the NFL is just around the corner. And with many camps reporting for duty the fervor of seeing the “new rookies” as well as the seasoned veterans it can only have the most ardent of NFL fans chomping at the bit for the <a href="http://nfl.com/schedules/interactiveseason to get underway.With the NFL hierarchy’s asinine talk of making the season into an 18 game schedule . I’ve got to ask myself and that of Roger Goodell when will he get it into his thick skull that we have enough games being played as it is but the real problem concerning the game and that of its image ? That image has most certainly been sullied by the irrational behavior of the NFL’s members and the complete lack of authority being shown by the commissioner’s office and that of the NFLPA under their Executive Director DeMaurice Smith . Not only do we now have the players running amok but now also we have team executives now making complete asses of themselves.

Personally, I can’t curtail my excitement concerning the upcoming season within the NFL. Teams are certainly looking to prove themselves and the young rookies will no doubt also be looking to make ther statement that they too belong in the league. Strangely enough there are several players yet to be signed by the respective teams , given the fact that the NFL Draft took place over over three months ago. Players and ther gents are looking at the salary slots and how things pan out as the top tiered players taken in the draft sign their contracts.

Sam Bradford taken first overall by the St Louis Rams still remains unsigned and with his agent Tom Condon of CAA (Creative Artists Agency) looking for the his client to sign what will be an extraordinarily lucrative contract which could be worth close to $100 million . Call me naive but $100 million to a kid who’s yet to play a “down” in the NFL ? Unless he’s defecating gold bricks out of his ass then there’s no way in hell that this kid is worth anywhere close to $100 million. Both the NFL and their union counterpart (NFLPA) re crying bout escalating costs and salaries but they’ve done little if anything to rein in the rookies’ rising pay. And the fans are now to believe that Bradford’s situation will be enough to assure us that this won’t continue to happen within the game ? Surely there’s now something wrong with the thinking of both Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith ? They’ve spent more time having a pissing contest between the both of them, rather than conducting business that concerns not only the well being of the game but the continued long running support of the fans. But I digress, we’re taking about the NFL and not the government who at present show about as much concern for the electorates’ well being than a boa constrictor would for its dying prey.The two to my mind are cut from the some cloth ! Despicable elements who claim that they have our best interests at heart !

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Other than the NFL precursor what if anything over the summer months thus far in the world of sports has had you in awe ? Comment on this or any other subject that has been of interest you and I’ll do my utmost to respond in a timely manner . Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated.

tophatal ……………………….. 🙂

The Fugees ……………………….. ” Killing Me Softly”

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Baseball, Basketball, Major League Baseball, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, Sports

In My Wheelhouse From Where I Sit ….


In My Wheelhouse From Where I Sit ….

It feels like the dead of winter and not much is happening in the world of sports. I don’t want to go on a political rant as that wouldn’t solve anything at present. Isn’t it enough that we’ve got two political parties at present that are bout as much use as a fart in a thunderstorm. ?

Less we forget also that the members of Congress would seemingly make the members of the Colombian and Mexican drug cartels seem like mild mannered businessmen . To say that they’re not devious or corrupt would be to suggest that Paris Hilton would have some credibility if we were to call her talented. Which of course no one would ever suggest that the “celebutante” was indeed talented !

Interesting read ___ “dwindling attendance” for NASCAR events ………who knew ? Shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who’s a keen follower of the sport to begin with. NASCAR President Mike Helton and CEO Brian France over the past five years seem to have forgotten about the fans while they’ve chased after corporate sponsorship dollars the way that a “hooker” chases after her “John “ in order that she’ll always be well rewarded for the services rendered. Never mind the fact that the race events themselves are now becoming about as exciting to watch as seeing two pachyderms mate ! Suffice to say seeing Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards dog each other out after their little tête-à-têtes on the track makes them appear about as masculine as Richard Simmons would be deemed to be, if he were still dancing and sweating to the oldies.

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Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & Associated Press

Edwards, Keselowski put on probation by NASCAR

By Will Graves , AP Sports Writer

NASCAR docked star Carl Edwards 60 Nationwide Series driver points, fined him $25,000 and placed both Edwards and Brad Keselowski on probation through Dec. 31 following their last-lap antics at Gateway International Raceway.

Jack Roush, owner of Edwards’ No. 60 Ford, was also docked 60 owner points after the latest run-in between the feuding drivers ended with a chain reaction accident that left Keselowski’s No. 22 Dodge in tatters and another nine cars sustaining damage last weekend.

Edwards and Keselowski were battling for the lead on the final lap when Keselowski nudged Edwards out of the way coming out of Turn 2. Edwards returned the favor a few seconds later, sending Keselowski into the outside wall coming out of Turn 4. Keselowski slid toward the inside wall before being struck by several opponents, his car a shattered mess as it crossed the finish line in 14th while Edwards celebrated his second win of the season.

Though NASCAR has publicly encouraged drivers to police themselves by encouraging a “boys, have at it” philosophy, director of competition Robin Pemberton said Keselowski and Edwards took things a little too far even though Edwards maintained afterward he was not at fault. NASCAR disagreed.

“We felt like at that time they had stepped over the line of what we would consider to be good, aggressive, healthy hard racing,” Pemberton said.

That’s nothing new for the two Cup and Nationwide regulars. Keselowski and Edwards have a long-simmering rivalry dating back to the spring Cup race at Talladega in 2009 when Keselowski nudged Edwards out of the way—and into the catch fence—to collect his first Cup victory.

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Now as the sport tries to pick up the pieces after the debacle of the travails of the domestic automotive industry. We’ve seen each of the domestic manufacturers cut back to some extent on their commitment to NASCAR . Albeit, that they’ve still a presence there but given the health of all three companies Chrysler ,__ Ford and GM no one can really say that they’re all out of the woods as of yet. As to the Sprint Cup season within the sport well once again Dale Earnhardt . Jr continues to disappoint and no mount of excuses can now be made for his poor showing overall . But his most ardent fans as always will continue to stick with him come what may. If his last name wasn’t Earnhardt one seriously doubts whether or not the press , TV media or fans like would be the slightest bit concerned. But Earnhardt Jr has a “family legacy” to uphold. One of which he hasn’t proven to be successful at in the highest echelons of NASCAR and that‘s with him now being a driver with perhaps one the most powerful teams in the Sprint Cup Series , Hendrick Motorsports .

Baseball and its owners are a proud bunch but inherently “the owners” are now coming cross like a bunch of buffoons given their unprecedented wealth couldn’t manage lemonade stand much less run a professional sports franchise ! Now with the death of New York Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner the legacy of running the storied franchise is now left to his sons Hank and Al Steinbrenner to keep in tact and the keep the success going. No tough task given the resources to be had within the ball club. But the same can’t be said for at least 28 other teams around MLB. Who other than the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have such vast revenue streams whereby they can literally spend at will ? Luxury tax revenue sharing or not it hasn’t stopped either of the baseball behemoths from doing as they please.

Come the trade deadline __(31st July) both the Red Sox , Yankees and several other teams with a chance to make their presence felt in the postseason will be looking to acquire the players needed to put them over the top. Think of it in large part as renting a player for the short term in order to attain the success sought.

Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Nolan Ryan testifies: Rangers could lose Josh Hamilton, prospects

By Barry Schlacter / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Fort Worth _Tx,. – Rangers president Nolan Ryan testified at a bankruptcy hearing Wednesday that financial pressures are hurting the club and could prevent it from keeping slugger Josh Hamilton, whose contract is up this season.

“I don’t know that I want to be there [if] Josh Hamilton doesn’t come back next year,” Ryan testified.

Ryan said the cash shortage is affecting the team’s trades and its need for a new video board and forced it to close a summer-league farm team in the Dominican Republic.

He wants the court to keep the Aug. 4 date to auction the team, while lenders want the date put off to allow rivals to put together a higher bid than the $575 million offered by Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg.

Under cross-examination, Ryan said he was unaware that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn could order Major League Baseball – on which the bankrupt AL West leader has been dependent – to loosen its purse strings.

“I want you to know,” Lynn later assured Ryan, “this team is going to get through this season, win the pennant and the world championship – and the bankruptcy is not going to interfere with that.”

Hamilton, an all-star outfielder, could see his $3.25 million earnings rocket to $8 million to $10 million if he goes to salary arbitration bearing such awards as American League MVP and the Triple Crown, Ryan testified.

The bankruptcy put a “very expensive cost” on the recent trades for pitcher Cliff Lee and catcher Bengie Molina, Ryan testified. Though the deals also brought in $4 million in cash, this didn’t compensate for the loss of minor league talent, Ryan testified.

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While this has been happening the ongoing saga of the ongoing sale of the Texas Rangers seems to be taking a nasty turn for the worse. The preferred choice of the league hierarchy is that the team be sold to a consortium led by former Rangers’ player Nolan Ryan and noted sports attorney Charles “Chuck” Greenberg. The fact the current ownership led by senior partner Tom Hicks is unwilling to sell the ball club in order to meet the team’s and his own debt obligations to his creditors has me wondering why the hell hasn’t Bud Sleig and his office intervened in the ongoing fiasco ? Bluntly put Bud Selig is no more a businessman than George W Bush could be considered to be a noteworthy politician, much less a Head of State. But somehow both have been lauded as being good for their respective endeavors. Pray , do tell what either has achieved that has been noteworthy much less of benefit to either fans of the sport or that of the country that can be viewed as being tangible and having a lasting effect that will be of benefit to everyone ? Don’t take too long in coming up with an answer mind you ?

Come what my the situation now rearing its ugly head in Texas will go a long way in telling us not only about the health of the game from financial standpoint but also how weak a leader Bud Selig has been as baseball’s commissioner. In Selig, to my mind he can’t retire from his post quick enough as far s I’m concerned ! The game needs someone with authority and who at least has a great deal of business acumen rather than a blithering idiot who continues to hang his head out in the wind just to see which way it is blowing before he can come to a decision !.

The Summer League in basketball (NBA) gives a number of undrafted players to shine ,blossom and prove to the GM’s who overlooked them that they made a mistake in not drafting those players. It also gives several players who’d spent time recuperating from injuries to prove that they’re now back and ready to show their worth to their respective franchise with regard to the rigors of the upcoming season. Thankfully, while this is going on the talk of the “newly anointed trio “in Miami can perhaps take a back set? There hasn’t been this much talk bout three human beings since the three wise men went in search of Jesus Christ prior to his birth. Now there’s no star in east nor has God commanded the trio of Bosh , __ James and Wade to go forth and do good deeds. But the way that the three are now being fawned over you would guess they were placed in their present situation through divine intervention.

For the sake of the Miami Heat fans I just hope that God loves this because as we all know he doesn’t like ugly. Things could actually turn out this way should “the team” fail to live up to expectations. Winning seventy plus games in the NBA season is nothing if you can’t land the brass ring of winning an NBA title at the end of it ll. And that is what is expected of this team and I’m not just talking about winning a single championship multiple ones over the years to come. That’s the least that is expected of this Heat team and of the architect who created this grand scenario, team President Pat Riley . They screw this up and about the only thing the fans of the Heat and NBA are liable to say bout the trio ……… and that would be to question their manhood , parenthood and anything else that’s possible without seeking to be overly personal in their criticism.

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So this has been my little view of the sporting landscape at present . What if anything has you keenly looking over that specific scenery at present ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………….. 🙂

Marvin Gaye ………………… ” What’s Going On/ What’s Happening Brother”

Basketball, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, NBA, Sports

Is There A Nigger Around With Some Common Sense Please ?


Is There A Nigger Around With Some Common Sense Please ?

Well the fallout from the LeBron James episode has created some seismic shifts but at the same time some respected African Americans have come to the fore making the most asinine of suggestions. Now don’t get me wrong in their chosen professions I’ve no doubt that they’re well respected. But when I here the likes of Jesse Jackson calling an NBA owner , a person with a slave owner’s mentality then I for one have to question Jackson’s mendacity and intelligence ! This being the very same person , who while in New York chose to disparage the Jewish community and then had the temerity to act as if he’d done nothing wrong. Now we have respected journalist and ESPN show host Michael Wilbon coming out in support of Jackson . Now had this been Jason Whitlock making that statement in support of Jackson then I’d have thought nothing of it. But given that , to my mind Wilbon being a highly respected sport’s journalist , I do believe that he of all people ought to have known better.

Now in this day and age where there are very few African American males where the young men of that race can look up to and say that’s a proud example of a man let alone an African American man. We’re now bereft of leaders and men who can actually sustain an eloquent conversation much less talk about a subject that might have a bearing on a young person’s life.

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Courtesy of Examiner.com (Tampa Bay)

Jesse Jackson: Spewing hate and his own brand of racism

No matter how we try to downplay it, cover it up, smooth it over or seek to put it in the context of what hopefully will one day be ancient history, there is simply no denying a tragic fact.

We are a civilization that uses racial differences as a weapon.

American sport and our very history is riddled with examples, most of which have become the core of our sensitivity to race and the need to treat everyone equally.

Jackie Robinson endured torrents of verbal rage and emerged an early champion of civil rights. Jack Johnson refused to “know his place” as a black man and was later jailed for preferring white female partners. His pardon waited almost a century. Countless athletes from varied walks of racial life can still remember being treated to their own water fountain, dining counter or rest room.

We are certainly not alone in fighting these stigmas. Players of color are routinely mocked with monkey chants in European soccer. One star player made no attempt to hide his use of the Nazi salute to honor his despicable brethren in the stands. A former star rugby player and current broadcaster speaks to a team and allegedly calls an opposing player a “black c***”.

Despite all this, people of intelligence, honor, wisdom and patience soldier on to stem this fetid tide of racial bile. Secure in the knowledge these are the most useful weapons one can use in fighting what remains a raging battle not only on our fields of play, but certainly in our daily existence as well.

But then, just when you think a time has come for an athlete to be judged on the merits what was earned working in that uniform instead of the skin shade underneath it, comes the one person, the one comment, the one action, that restarts the pinwheel of hate, misunderstanding, and disgusting racial examples that we are better off diligently erasing from our memory.

Jesse Jackson has in one verbal swoop inundated the fires of racism with more than enough fuel to reignite the mud-dwelling mores of those who revel in continually joking and mocking the tragic and insulting slavery of African-Americans.

“His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality,” Jackson said in a statement released Sunday responding to the angry post-Lebron signing statements from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. “(He) sees LeBron as a runaway slave.”

No one will argue, at least successfully, that Gilbert didn’t shoot his mouth off and take a chunk of foot with the blast. Following James’ departure, Gilbert became the shining example of not merely being a boorish sports baron, but of mixing in a heavy dose of petulant adolescent child to create a sad and, at the same time, laughable mutation.

Gilbert roared that James was a coward for leaving Cleveland. He quit during a handful of Cavs playoff games. And compared the holding of James accountable for his actions to that of dealing with a spoiled child. And even while being fined $100,000 by the NBA for his words, he remains adamant there was no racial connection whatsoever.

Emotional? Certainly. Insulting? Not in the least when players such as James have dealt with much worse on a nightly basis during an 82 game season. Words that mask racism? Go ahead and read them for yourself. I’ll dare you to find something even remotely connected.

But racist? Taking race into consideration as a basis for dropping the hometown hammer on this once-favored son? Considering James little more than an indentured servant who should be using a scythe to clear fields when he’s not nailing double-doubles? And taking to task the very sports league that has become the model for race relations?

While I was taught at a very young age to never use this word in describing anyone, there is no better fit for anyone making this connection.

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Let me see, Jackson’s claim to fame a follower of the late Dr Martin Luther King and whose claim that he was at his side when he was shot has since been found groundless and false. He’d met with him on that fateful day but as to him being at his side ….. that’s simply Jesse’s idea of being economical with the truth. This is also the same man also disparaged the current sitting President by using a profanity whilst on camera and we’re meant to take his claim seriously concerning his statement concerning Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert ? Is it any wonder that young African Americans can’t identify with a generation of leaders from yesteryear who are now bereft of intelligence as they are to their ongoing reason to be a part of a legitimate political debate ? Can someone answer me this but when was the last time Jesse Jackson actually had something of relevance to say on any given subject ? Much like certain members of Congress , he’s about as useful as fecal matter would be on the sole of someone’s shoes.

Now as to the situation of James and his move from Cleveland to the wiles of Miami and the Miami Heat . Admittedly it was a surprise that he moved to the Heat when every indication might be that he would either remain with the Cavaliers or quite possibly go to the Chicago Bulls . That asides the premise I see behind the move is borne out by the fact that the Cavaliers’ management and front office were complacent but above all naïve to think that their most prized asset would remain with an organization whose idea of improving its talent was to obtain an aging Shaquille O’Neal and get a player in Antawn Jamison who shows flashes of brilliance about as often as Lindsay Lohan has been known to have a hit movie. Come to think of what was the last time Lohan had a “hit movie” and what was it ? Girl has a “rack” though, even if she’s supposedly batting for the other side .

Now come full circle and we’re now to think that Gilbert despite his child like rants against his former employee isn’t without fault ? He’s failed to look at himself in the mirror and ask himself the question what could I have done better in order to have made this situation work ? Now he’s whining like someone who has stolen something of value from him when he in the first place hadn’t made sure that the asset was secure. Somehow if this is a guy who believes that his NBA franchise will win a title before the present incumbent Heat organization does. Then for all sense and purpose I fully hope that he’s made to eat his words ! Though I’m in no way a Heat fan , I do feel that Gilbert has made a complete ass of himself and placed the Cavaliers’ franchise in almost impossible position when it now comes to acquiring players in the future. Players will see his actions and then ask themselves ….. ” is this the sort of guy I’d want to play or even work for” ? And the answer may well be a resounding …..”no” .

An opportunist like Jackson will now look for the next photo op and fire whereby he can add more fuel to it by making another asinine statement . Thankfully, on the international front he’s about as well known as “Joe The Plumber” whose brief fifteen minutes of fame were filled with about as much well meaning sound bytes as a speech by Sarah Palin on the US economy. Either way one can be thankful that Jackson is about as reliable as a ground hog on Ground Hog Day. He pops his head up for the season then disappears back into obscurity . Unfortunately , far too often it’s the times when he does pop his head up for all of the wrong damn reasons , that’s when the public sits up and takes note of the ridiculous things that he has to say. None more so than at present as it now becomes a water cooler topic of discussion. And needless to say this very statement will be discussed , analyzed and then have supporters on both sides of the argument. And the chances are that divide will be drawn along racial lines. Well just to dispel that notion as here’s one nigger who’s not buying into the bullshit that Jesse is now espousing. Let’s just say that Jesse Jackson is about as relevant to my way of life as fecal matter would be on the sole of my shoe. In other words I’ll just scrape it off and be on my merry way. Like I said when was the last time the man had anything of relevance to say on any meaningful subject that would be of impact on our way of life ?

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Chime in with a comment on the topic if at all interested and I’ll respond to your comments as best I can . Thanks once again as always !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………… 🙂

Black Eyed Peas ……………………..“Shut Up”

Baseball, MLB, Sports

You’re Being Paid To Play


You’re Being Paid to Play

It’s not so much of a travesty but the biggest misnomer out there is that the fans are the most important element of competitive sports. My acquaintance sportschump seems to be under the impression the fans are the most important piece of the puzzle . In the business of sports the fans are an element but the biggest element nowadays are the general consumers and the corporate sponsors. Have you seen the devotion shown by the hierarchies of MLB , _ NBA and the NFL to their corporate patrons ? The only sort of devotion that’s shown with such subservience is that of the US Congress and US Senate to a lobbyist. Thereafter the concern of that legislator may well be that of the constituents that he represents. But more often than it’s to the lobbyists and the agenda that they want pushed through. Much as it is with each of the four major sports and then some ! So don’t be fooled into thinking it’s about the fans it may well have been eons ago but that all changed when salaries ballooned to unheard of proportions and then the respective leagues had to look for even more diverse revenue streams.

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Who here is under the impression that the All Star games of NBA , NFL and MLB are there for the benefit of the fan ? Please let’s get one thing straight, though they may well be exhibition games, here are the facts other than baseball’s All Star Game the other two events are merely there to entertain and simply that’s it. I mean are the Pro Bowl of the NFL and the NBA’s All Star games competitive ? When was the last time you saw a competitive game between either of the respective participants of those sports ? Think about and be content with those thoughts because I’d dare that you’re coming around the belief that the games themselves aren’t really worthwhile taking place. It’s only being done to keep the sport in the psyche of the fans and consumers. I mean how many of you out the would’ve been able to afford attending the NBA All Star Game held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas , this past season ? Given the inflated prices of the tickets and the concession prices and for that of the memorabilia that would’ve been on sale. Would you still have been able afforded to attend the game. ? Likewise that of the Pro Bowl game which for the first time in a number of decades wasn’t held in Hawaii ___ isn’t usually heavily attended and if anything the event itself had a meager viewing television audience.

Courtesy of The Orange County Register

Anaheim prepares red carpet for All-Stars

Anaheim – Major League Baseball’s best players are coming to Anaheim for the 81st All-Star Game and the city is literally rolling out the red carpet.

Angel Stadium is hosting the Midsummer Classic for the third time in its history – the first time since 1989.

Events leading up to Tuesday’s internationally broadcast game begin on Friday, giving even those fans who won’t get inside the stadium a chance to participate:

FanFest (Friday through Tuesday): More than 40 exhibits in 450,000 square feet of exhibit space will give fans a chance to hit and pitch, take part in skills clinics, get autographs from the pros and shop for baseball memorabilia. Location: Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets: $30 for adults, $25 for children – available online at allstargame.com.

All-Star 5K Charity Fun Run (Sunday): Registration begins at the stadium at 6 a.m. 5K race at 7:30 a.m. and the 1-mile Fun Run at 8 a.m. Participation is $35; or $30 for runners 12 and under. Jillian Michaels, fitness coach on “The Biggest Loser,” scheduled to cheer on racers.

All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (both on Sunday): 50 top MLB prospects will participate in the Futures Game at 3 p.m., followed by a softball game featuring MLB legends matched up with TV and film celebrities at 6:30. Both games are at Angel Stadium. This year’s softball lineup hadn’t been announced but past participants have included Alyssa Milano, Billy Bob Thorton and Billy Crystal and MLB stars Dave Winfield and Ozzie Smith. Tickets good for both events range from $75-$135 at angelsbaseball.com.

State Farm Home Run Derby (Monday): The top sluggers in the game swing for the fences in a home-run competition, following All-Star workouts. Participants include: Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), David Ortiz (Red Sox), Vernon Wells (Blue Jays), Corey Hart (Brewers) and Matt Holliday (Cardinals). A few tickets left for $120-$350.

Parade (Tuesday): Starts at 11:30 a.m. at Harbor Boulevard and Convention Way in Anaheim and proceeds three-quarters of a mile north along a red carpet to Disney Way. Continues inside Disneyland on Main Street. Free outside Disneyland; inside free with paid park admission.

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Now my friend sportschump would suggest that this is merely an exhibition game but the fact of the matter is the All Star Game in baseball has now become a competitive event because of the edict of Commissioner Bud Selig who saw fit to make it so, by stating the winning division would have home field advantage throughout the entire postseason of the baseball playoffs. No such incentives are there for the NBA or NFL. One other thing , my learned colleague stated that was because the All Star Game was a mere exhibition there’s nothing at all for the players to play. Well if you’re the likes of Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira where in your contract with your team , you have a rider of incentives that can pay as much $1 million for merely attaining a certain feat. In the case of A-Rod he can get as much as $500,000 for an appearance in the game and $750,000 winning the AL MVP . So to suggest that a player has nothing riding on making to the game is somewhat naïve. Riders such as this are also found in the contract if NFL and NBA players. Think of it as a performance bonus. I’m sure that in your place of employment you might well be rewarded with performance bonuses based upon productivity ?

So prior to the main event itself will be the Home Run Derby __(July 12th ) where we’ll get to see the best of the league’s power hitters looking to power their way to glory and acclaim . In 2008 the Texas Rangers’ __ Josh Hamilton gave us an event to remember by powering his way 28 home runs in an early round of the event. The fans were in awe and it made for great television amongst art of the event and this time around hopefully we’ll be able to see the same type of thrills and excitement. If nothing else it’ll give us something talk about as a water cooler topic.

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Picture gallery

NB: The MLB All Star Game will be held at Angels Stadium , Anaheim , California . Click here also to see the list of events taking place between the 9th-13th July, 2010. Click on link provided to see the roster including reserves for both divisions

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………………….

Mase ……….. feat’g Total …….”Tell Me What You Want From Me”