Football, NFL, Sports

Go West Young Man , Make Your Fortune And Claim The Fame That Awaits You ……


Go West Young Man , Make Your Fortune And Claim The Fame That Awaits You ……

Now the most avid and voracious of us await the countdown and start of the NFL season . And we’re all looking and praying that our teams will strive to do their very best . From afar I liken this season to unlike anything we'll see. First , this season will be one where there's no salary cap and it'll be left to the likes of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins to spend lavishly like drunken sailors on furlough come time to bolster their rosters. With that being said I’m essentially looking at the NFC West to see what will transpire for much of the upcoming season within the division.

The class of the division for the past two seasons has been the Arizona Cardinals but with the retirement of Kurt Warner the Ken Whisenhunt coached team will entrust the starting quarterback position job between seasoned veteran Derek Andersron and former USC Trojan ——– Matt Leinart . And for Leinart merely five years removed from his introduction to the NFL where he was taken tenth overall in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft . We’ve seen the player struggle find his game and gain not only the respect of his teammates but the entire coaching staff , fans and the front office of the Cardinals. At this juncture one can only surmise that team GM Rod Graves and team owner Bill Bidwill must’ve reached the end of their tether concerning Leinart . With a great deal of money vested in the player but with him having not yet shown any degree of maturity in any aspect of his game. One now wonders whether not Leinart still has a future within the NFL ? Certainly his career stats don’t seem to bear this out and his continual complaining that he’s done everything asked of him by Whisenhunt and his staff gives credence that he’s yet to show any maturity as an individual.

Leinart’s days at USC where was seemingly coddled by his then coach Pete Carroll and Carroll’s coaching staf must have created the perception that he would be in for an easy ride once he made it to the NFL . If anything we’ve now seen that the player hasn’t applied himself to the task at hand. And what does it say about him that not having been able to beat out Warner for the starting position that he’s now once again in a battle with Derek Anderson for the signal caller’s position ? Clearly for Leinart this will be a make or break season . This isn’t so much an indictment of the Cardinals but more so with Leinart and his immediate future within the NFL . At this juncture this has to be the last draw for Whisenhunt and his staff. With the loss of Anquan Boldin to the Baltimore Ravens via a trade the Cardinals still remain a potent force on offense. Albeit , we’ll have to see who’ll be part of the tandem receiving corp alongisde Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald . And defensively team defensive coordinator Billy Davis will have to show the rest of the league that the team doesn’t remain a liability on that side of the ball. If anything it has been the team’s inconsistency there that has stymied much of their play. Though in their Superbowl (SB XLIII) run we saw that they could apply themselves to the task at hand . This season we ough to be able to see whether or not those improvements have as such continued.

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Within the division I can’t say that I’m entirely enamored with the San Francisco 49ers —— Seattle Seahawks or the St Louis Rams . A great deal is now being asked of Pete Carroll this time around upon his return to the NFL. And having choice choosing to flee the cauldron of USC and the possible aftermath of his actions there and that of Reggie Bush . Can we say that Seahawks’ owner Paul Allen either had to have been desperate or Carroll was indeed that persuasive in the interview process in landing the job that now makes him one of the highest paid coaches in the league. Carroll will no doubt look to instinctively stick with what made his teams at the college leve such a success. But what one applies at the college level doesn’t necessarily work in the NFL . Simply ask Steve Spurrier that ?

And even with heightened expectations from the fans there in Seattle it remains to be seen whether not Carroll can work his magic with a team led by an aging Matt Hasselbeck whose best days are indeed behind him and not ahead of him ! My own thoughts are that the Seahawks could well end having a respectable season or they could well end posting a rather moribund record of 5-11 . You simply throw the dice and look to see how they might land .

The San Francisco 49 ers will look to excel under their coach Mike Singletary but to my mind I think that this team can only go as far as Alex Smith can lead them. And like Matt Leinart , Smith has had his problems convincing the fans and teammates that he step his game and play at the next level. Insomuch as the Niners are a storied franchise , of late their legacy has been that of an organization that his been mismanaged and whose ownership merely see the team as a bauble that they can show off to their socialite friends. Pardon me for saying this but the interest shown by Dr John York and his wife Denise Bartolo-York is like of that of a parent who has a misbehaving stepchild . Their concern seems to be merely with the overall worth of the franchise rather than the product that is on the field on any given week. And this season for the Niners could be telling in more ways than one as many feel that they are capable of a postseason berth in the playoffs. Much of that however will be predicated upon the play of Smith and his teammates. They could well be the presumptive favorites in many people’s eyes within the division. Not one to normally hazard a guess but if they were to end up with a 10-6 record and garner a postseason berth then I wouldn’t at all be surprised ! But then again should they fall short of that then I wouldn’t again be surprised by that at all ! Such are the machinations within this division that it’s easy to understand why the football played within the division has been so bad in recent years.

Crazy as this might seem but if Sam Bradford is meant to be the savior of the St Louis Rams then his offensive line had better do a great deal more to protect his ass . If not then his and their season could be over before it has even started. Steve Spagnuolu and his coaching staff coming off a rather horrendous season in 2009 (1-15) will look to rebound from it all. And for those fans hoping too see something different this upcoming season at the Edward Jones Dome Arena in St Louis. Well they can look no further at a revamped team looking to find its way back to their halcyon days where they once were described as the “greatest show on turf “. Now of late it’s been more like a team steeped in cow dung right the way up to their shoulders in terms of their performances within the league in recent years.

And one could ask whether or not the Rams are good in enough to shake things up within the NFC West ? But then again we could ask, is Bradford ready to lead the team and are his teammates prepared to follow ? No doubt also much of the team’s success will be derived from the coaching tactics of Spagnuolo and his staff. And at the same time if that offensive line can protect their quarterback and the defense plays with a great deal of resolve. Then we could well see the Rams spring or one or two surprises along the way this season. Suffice to say there’s a great deal hanging on the shoulders of the first year quarterback and it’s now up to him to prove that he can deliver. Chances are both Bradford and the Rams will have a season which they and management will deem a success if they can show signs of overall improvement .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming NFL season and in particular within the NFC West. I think that we can all attest to the fact that the division itself could never be viewed as a powerhouse within the NFL ? Albeit that in recent years it has been the Cardinals and Seahawks that have been viewed as the teams that have shown a modicum of consistency. But more often than not the brand of football being played there has been either way too sloppy and inconsistent or we have seen from time to some flashed of brilliance. Which is it to be this year within the division ? What thoughts if any do you have on the subject matter ? Chime on in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support !

🙂

Alan aka tophatal …………………………………

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Maggie Q

Actress Maggie Q soon to be seen in the CW’s action drama series “Nikita” reprising the role first played by Bridget Fonda in US version of the hit French movie ” La Femme Nikita” and then reprised by Peta Wilson on a short lived tv serial .

🙂

Baseball, MLB, Sports

Sorry I Can Smell What Selig Is Cookin’ And I Prefer To Stand Neither Upwind or Downwind From His Flatulence !


Sorry I Can Smell What Selig Is Cookin’ And I Prefer To Stand Neither Upwind or Downwind From His Flatulence !

I’ve no doubt in my mind that the commissioners of baseball (MLB) , NFL —- NBA and NHL have always considered themselves to be upstanding men and individuals. But as of now I’ve had enough of all four of the quartet. Much like I’m annoyed by anything being uttered from the mouths of the now apparent “King” and “Queen of Pop” music ! To hear the mind cringeing tones of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga is akin to having a hot poker shoved up one’s rectum and being told that you’ll find it all too soothing. And it’s now the same with Roger Goodell , — David Stern and in particular Allan “Bud” Selig the MLB Commissioner. To hear that triumvirate regale with us anything to do with their respective sports is very much like listening to the inane rants of Bieber and Gaga. Ah well I might as well lambast the oafs within both the US Congress and US Senate as well as we’ve yet to have had any semblance of intelligence from either chamber since Barack Obama was installed in office as President. Not that the President himself has done that much to impress me to begin with ! I guess he’s still waiting on someone’s ass to kick after the BP fiasco ?

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Pittsburgh Pirates are still mediocre and considering that it’s almost two decades since they last had a winning season within the league . Then to expect them to turn things around overnight could well be viewed as somewhat astonishing were they to have to right personnel in place within their front office . But alas, that’s not the case given the fact that their ownership group is led by none other than Bob Nutting . As the principal partner in the syndicate partnership that owns the team can we say that Nutting and his group are no better than his predecessors ? Nutting’s idea of success it would seem is to pocket the tens millions that he and his partners have chosen to deem fit that they’ve allegedly earned while doing very little to invest in an impoverished team and organization . The roster itself while on paper one might deem it to be interesting to look at , all of the sound bytes forthcoming from the front office and that of the coaching staff and in particular from Nutting , GM Neal Huntington and team manager John Russell have been the rather asinine sound bytes that they’re building towards the future. Shouldn’t the future for this ballclub be about the here and now ? Especially given the fact of its recent history and the almost two decades of sheer mediocrity that the fans have had to suffer ?

Courtesy of USA Today & Associated Press

Financial records show Pirates win while losing

By Alan Robinson , AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH — Don’t feel too sorry for the cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates . Losing has been profitable.
The Pirates made nearly $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008, according to team financial documents, years that were part of a streak of futility that has now reached 18 straight losing seasons. The team’s ownership also paid its partners $20.4 million in 2008.

The documents offer a rare peek inside a team that made money by getting slightly less than half its income (about $70 million) from MLB sources including revenue sharing, network TV, major league merchandise sales and MLB’s website. The team also held down costs, keeping player salaries near the bottom of the National League, shedding pricier talent and hoping that untested prospects would blossom.

The club’s earnings were included in nearly 40 pages of statements that the Pirates submitted to Major League Baseball and were recently obtained by The Associated Press. Team officials briefed local reporters on portions of the material Sunday. The AP wasn’t invited to the session, which owner Bob Nutting said was “aimed at the recent leak.”

“The numbers indicate why people are suspecting they’re taking money from baseball and keeping it they don’t spend it on the players,” said David Berri, president of the North American Association of Sports Economists and the author of two books detailing the relationship between finances and winning. “Teams have a choice. They can seek to maximize winning, what the Yankees do, or you can be the Pirates and make as much money as you can in your market. The Pirates aren’t trying to win.”
Club executives vehemently disagreed with that assessment. Yet the numbers show Pittsburgh hasn’t spent as much as its opponents and hasn’t won.

By 2010, the Pirates had baseball’s lowest opening-day payroll $34.9 million or just $2 million more than in 1992, the club’s last winning season. The Pirates run of consecutive losing seasons is now the worst in the history of major American pro sports teams. They lost their 83rd game of the year Saturday to the Mets.

Pirates officials say they are trying to field a competitive team, and that there is nothing nefarious in the team’s financial dealings. MLB backs them up, saying Pittsburgh has complied with the rules for revenue sharing, which are supposed to help less well off clubs compete with likes of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Still, Pittsburgh fans have long complained that the club’s various owners have been more interested in profits than performance, and top sports economists who reviewed highlights of the team’s statements wondered if it now makes more money losing than it could by winning.

“If they won and were forced to increase their payroll from $34 million to $75 million or $80 million … how profitable would they be?” Berri said. “There’s a ceiling in terms of gate revenues.”

Economist Roger Noll, a Stanford University economist, said: “Probably the Pirates would be less profitable if they tried to improve the team substantially.”

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Click on the above link to read this article
in its entirety.
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The Pirates’ home venue of PNC Park has become an elephant’s graveyard in terms of attendance for home games scheduled at the ballpark . The silence can be utterly deafening when the team has something to cheer about which nowadays it seems to be something of a rarity. The die-hard fans may well just turn out for the sake of it as the ballpark is one of the newer venues with the league. And given the fact that teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s are said to be facing an uhill battle politically as well as economically just to get their respective new facilities built . One has to ask what the hierarchy of baseball is doing to assist the teams in their endeavors to make it a reality. Certainly Bud Selig hasn’t been of any help to the ownership groups of Lewis Wolf or Stuart Sternberg of the A’s or Tampa Bay Rays . Instead Selig has essentially established that if those two teams are stage the game’s midseason showcase the All Star Game ___ they essentially would have to have their stadiums built as quickly as possible in order to be considered for the staging of the event. In other words extort the money from the local communities but if you can’t , then to hell with you .

In the case of the Pirates there’s is a situatuion where like all other small market teams within the league they’re considered to be in need of assistance from the game in terms being able to obtain an additional windfall of monies by way of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme. Since its inception the organization has been in receipt of over $50 million to facilitate the organization investing in its roster. Unfortunately the Pirates and their fans have yet to reap the dividends of those rewards as that either has come through mismanagement or simply from the fact of rather naive personnel decisions and acquisitions. Huntingdon and Nutting would have the Pirates’ fans believe that they’re doing their utmost to stem the tide and turn things around. And though the Pirates have the lowest payroll in all of baseball ($34,943,00) of which ranks at the bottom of the thirty teams in MLB . One now has to ask the question how is it that the front office led by Bob Nutting can afford to pay themselves in excess of $20 million in 2008 while still suggesting that they’re investing in the team structure ? And while much of this has been ongoing Bud Selig and the hierarchy of the game have remained ominously silent while this has gone on. MLB President & COO Bob DuPuy and Selig as the game’s two most senior ranking executives would rather not answer any questions direcrtly relating to the matter. Instead they give us their rather bloviated opinions as to how healthy the financial state of the game is. Well, considering that there’s no transparency from the game of baseball when it comes to their finances and the very fact that at the largess of Congress they can hide behind their anti-trust exemption status it clearly gives credence to the fact that the owners and the game’s hierarchy will be allowed to continue to defraud the fans and ther’s not one thing that the fans can do about it. Especially given the fact that Congress has given MLB such wide latitude to conduct their business as they deem fit .

While I question what it Nutting and his partners are doing I question even further the motives of major league baseball and their larcenous ways of doing business . One would now think that this would be the appropriate time for Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to subpoaena the financial records of all thirty teams within MLB and that of the financial records of the game’s hierarchy itself ? But that’s unlikely to happen given the presence of a number of Congressmen who benefit financially by way of the political donations from the teams within the league and directly from MLB itself . What with Bud Selig said to have earned in excess of $18 million in 2008 and and exponentially more in 2009. I’d certainly like to think that if state governments , county and municipalities are giving the team’s tax breaks besides those given by the federal government would it not be right to know exactly where much of that money is going to begin with ? Surely after the fallout from steroid fiasco and baseball’s handling of that episode this too ought to be a subject that ought to be addressed once and for all ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

I can smell what Bud Selig is concocting and cooking and the odor emanating from his kitchen isn’t at all enticing . If anything the smell emanating is that of a dead fish or that of his own self indulgent flatulence and we all tend to know what that means don’t we ? What are your thoughts if any on that of the Pirates , in particular the actions of their front office and also that of Bud Selig and MLB hierarchy ? Chime on in with a comment on your thoughts on this and the state of baseball as a whole as you see it at this juncture .

Alan aka tophatal …………………. 🙂

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Emmanuelle-Chriqui

Actress Emmanuelle Chriqui

Baseball, Basketball, FIBA World Championships (2010), Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL, NFLPA, Sports

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

Well the NFL __ preseason has now started and a number of teams are looking to find a rhythm and sense of where they’re at before the regular season begins. Though I’ve never put much store in the preseason the way that some fans do. I do however believe that the rationale behind the league and owners wanting a four game preaseason schedule is merely being done out of greed and not much else . It’s bad enough that we have the coaches and GM’s tying their season to the fans exhibiting their wish to viiew their teams in the preseason and having to pay full price for those exhibition games and viewing somewhat of a watered down product . Now the fans may well have to put up with the fact that neither side can reach an amicable agreement in terms of an ongoing negotiation process of the league’s collective bargaining agreement . The NFLPA and Roger Goodell seem to be at loggerheads insofar as showing sound judgement .

With the talk being amped up that for the 2011-12 season there’s talk of a labor dispute and possible lockout . I’m now beginning to wonder whether or not this season could be the last of what we could see as in terms of professional football being played. Never mind that the now fledgling organization UFL enters its second year looking to make some inroads. But no one could ever view the UFL’s brand as being comparative in terms of the talent or competitiveness on display. That’s akin to comparing caviar and a meal bought from a roach mobile . Suffice to say that while the NFL is on display the earnest fans of the game will be on hand to witness the brand and cheer on their teams.

OK so the baseball season has not only heated up but there are now some teams now fighting for their very survival as the divisional races are now really on the line. Other than the AL West where the Texas Rangers now possess an 8 1/2 game lead over their nearest rival within the division the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim one can surmise that the Rangers are pretty much on their way to postseason play. As to who they’ll fare and whom they will meet is now open to a great deal of conjecture and debate. The one thing we can be sure of however is that the Rangrs under the new ownership of Charles “Chuck” Greenberg and Nolan Ryan are looking to make the team a complete success and bring some sense of respectability to the organization.

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Of the remaining divisional races I for one am not about to make any prognostications as to how things will fare for the teams said to be in the midst of those particular races. It’s one thing to see how error prone or inconsistent some of those teams have become without them being further handicapped by my own thoughts on their play. The one thing I do know however and think will have to happen and that is that the New York Mets will have to gut their team and completely start afresh. But what might be even more worthwhile is for Mets’ owner Fred Wilpon to fire not only GM Omar Minaya but also team manager Jerry Manuel and the coaching staff . If the two men in question can’t assess talent much less place a worthwhile product on the field of play. Then what use are they given the vast financial resources at their disposal ? And given the fact that the Mets have a payroll that exceeds $132 million , that ranks fifth amongst the teams in baseball . One has to ask the question where’s the so called “talent “ that the front office seems to have squandered this money on ? Depth alone and the entire roster seems to be made up of players that are either vastly overpaid or who are well past their prime.

Well having won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing and now back at the summit of men’s basketball . The stars of the NBA have assembled to represent team USA for the upcoming World Basketball Championships to be held Istanbul , Turkey , from the 28th August to 12 th September 2010. As the reigning Olympic champions the team is highly favored to win the competition outright. But this time around even with the team being coached by Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants Jim Boeheim , __ Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan in tow. I’m not so sure that this time around that team USA will have it as easy some might first think. Especially when in light of the fact that upon reviewing the roster the most experienced players on the team with international experience are Chauncey Billups and Lamar Odom . That being said with the coaching pedigree that’s on hand there should be no reason to believe why the team shouldn’t prove to be successful at these championships. The one thing that we don’t want to see is the sort of complacency that was seen in 2006 and and then in the two most recent Olympic games prior to 2008.

Playing in Group B and based in Istanbul the team is grouped alongside Brazil , Croatia , Iran , Tunisia and Slovenia . The team’s sturdiest opponents in the first round of group play will most likely come from Slovenia and Croatia and perhaps Brazil. But in no way should one overlook any opponent at this stage given the fact that these teams all qualified for what is the most prestigious international team event outside of the Olympic basketball competition , itself.

As the tournament progress beyond the opening stages it’s hoped that the team will be able to show its guile and skills under the coaching philosophy of Krzyzewski and his staff. The play of the NBA being what its is , it becomes a completely new ballgame at the international level literally. And instead of playing four quarters as we’re accustomed to seeing within the NBA , at the international level the game is played in two halves of 20 minutes apiece and where the NBA rules do not apply. But given what we know has been the preparation of the squad we should expect the players to adjust and acclimatize themselves to the rigors of the competition. One would coach Krzyzewski and the team can home victorious at the culmination of the event with another dominating performance and with the trophy in hand as well the applause of his peers and the other participants there in Turkey. Over the next three weeks we shall see if this all comes to fruition .

The fallout from the LeBron James’ fiasco notwithstanding it appears the player’s skin isn’t as tough as was first deemed. God knows based on his play within the NBA and the demise of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this past season against the Boston Celtics . I’m now beginning to wonder who’s tougher ? LeBron James or the now “out of the closet” homosexual Ricky Martin ?

James is now said to be somewhat aggrieved to what he feels is the unjust criticism that he’s said to be receiving from such former NBA stars as Charles Barkley , Larry Bird to and to a a lesser extent Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen . Now as we know “Sir Charles” tends not to hold anything back when he has an opinion to offer be it on game of basketball or any other topic for that matter. But it appears that the now Miami Heat player feels that the criticism being leveled at him by Barkley is completely out of line. From where I sit I feel that James has placed himself in this predicament with the less genuine stance taken by him in granting that rather asinine interview with ESPN in announcing his decision to leave Cleveland to ply his trade in Miami alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . In two rather overly boring two hours he spent being fawned over by Jim Gray , James did more to harm his image and came of looking like a narcissistic idiot . Nevermind the fact that he had the audacity to accept $250,000 from the sports programming outlet for granting the interview. As to credibility , neither James or the outlet can lay claim that they now possess any !

And while no one doubts James’ ability as a player it would appear that in terms of maturity he still has a great deal of growing up to do. His vanity and no dobt the belief that he should be fawned over by his predecessors and fans like does give credence that he fully believes that he’s done enough where the asinine proclamations anointing him as King James ought to be believed and that he too believes it to be fact. What we now know to be a fact is that James while being a prodigious talent is nothing more than the usual self absorbed athlete we’ve now become use to . Soft demeanor and with his own personality flaws simply looking to avail himself of all the wealth and power possible but who’s yet to prove himself as an athlete and a leader within the NBA . Unfortunately this tends to come about when members of the press tend to feed the voracious appetites and egos of athletes such as this without wanting to hold them accountable .

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What thoughts if any do have on the topics mentioned within this piece ? By all means do chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂

Baseball, Golf, MLB, MMA, PGA Tour, Sports, UFC

As The World Turns ……… Soap Opera In Sports


As The World Turns ……… Soap Opera In Sports

Is it me but it appears that the none sensical fans in the Tampa Bay area try to act as knowledgeable when it comes to sports as their the politicians not only in the state legislature but also the ones now said to be pursuing high office at present ? Over the weekend the Tampa Bay Rays came within a hair’s breath of being “no hit” for the third time within the space of a year. Never mind the fact that Rays’ manager Joe Maddon seems to have taken on the mindset of a whining child who’s lost its pacifier. But what might be even more preposterous was the insinuation by Rays’ pitcher James Shields that having been given an additional rest day before pitching in the team’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays he wasn’t prepared. What the fu_ck is that all about ? And what the hell is Maddon and his coaching staff doing with these guys ? Are they professionals or are they not ?

Having swept in a three game series by the Blue Jays the Rays now finds themselves 2 1/2 games adrift of the New York Yankees in the AL East. Now I’m not about to suggest that the Rays are about to fold but this half assed belief that the division and the pennant was theirs for the taking was simply that …… half assed ! They’ve achieved nothing as of yet and have recently just learned how to win on a consistent basis . But the fans here within the locale have them as world beaters . Based on their play against the Blue Jays where they comprehensively outplayed . Any hopes that they might’ve had about sweeping through the postseason would be as meaningful as witnessing Sarah Palin assume the position of either Secretary of State or any political office within the federal government . Pretense is a wionderful thing but having the experience counts for something and at this juncture all that the Rays are giving their fans flashes of brilliance one moment and complete ineptness the next. Blue Jays’ pitcher Brandon Morrow was made to look like the second coming of Nolan Ryan as he struck out seventeen Rays’ batters in his team’s 1-0 victory . As he struck out the Rays’ batter it made you see how acute the frailties are on this Rays’ team. If the likes of Carlos Pena , B J Upton , Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria aren’t hitting and scoring runs then this team will find itself in a great deal of trouble against teams where offense is their forte’ and not a problem. And that’s inspite of the team’s strengths as a defensive presence.

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If the temperament and and psyche of the Rays can’t be put back in place where they’re playing to their strengths then Maddon and the Rays’ fans could very well see their season go up in flames .

OK so Tiger Woods does happen to be human aftter all ? His inept showing at the PGA Tour event the WGC Bridgestone Invitational from Firestone Country Club , Akron , Ohio. Woods belied his status as the world’s number one golfer by putting up such a poor display . That upon looking at the final leaderboard you’d have found it hard to believe that the player having finished in 78th place did in fact lose the tournament by thirty shots. Yes that’s not a misprint Woods finished in 78th place with an accumulative score of 298 __ 18 over par. It’d be remiss to say that Woods had a bad day at the office but part from his fourth place finishes at The Masters and US Open Woods’ presence and play on the Tour has been somewhat mediocre. And it’s pretty safe to say that should he not fare well in the final major of the season this week’s PGA Championship from Whistling Straits , Kohler Wisconsin then we may see Woods participate as part of the US team in the Ryder Cup . It mightn’t be out the realms of possibility to assume that Woods refuse an invitation were to have a poor performance at the PGA tournament . So erratic has been his play that you’d be hard pressed to believe that he’s the world number one and not some Sunday morning hacker had you witnessed his inept play at Firestone.

Off the course issues asides Woods’ mindset isn’t on his game despite his contention that it was’nt one of his better days . Were this a motor race he’d have been lapped by tournament winner Hunter Mahan at least twice , if not more . Mahan’s -12 under par 268 was enough to earn his second victory on the PGA Tour this season land him the $1,400,000 winner’s check . And any thought that one might have that Phil Mickelson was ready to take up the challenge of assuming the mantel of wrestling away the top spot from Woods atop of the Sony world rankings can be laid to rest. Mickelson’s appetite for that role is like that of an anorexic looking a for a morsel of food. They simply don’t want it nor do they have the desire or persistence to make it their wish. Mickelson merely lulls us all into the belief he wants the role but nothing could be further from the truth. And the world’s number two ranked player hardly made a dent in the lead that Woods has over him in those rankings. Needing to finish fourth or better in the tournament he tied with six other players for forty sixth place in this rarther lavish invitational field.

Those of you who know me from my days blooging within Fox’s blogging domain will know that I’m an avid martial art’s fan and boxing fan. Having served in the military I also taught self defense or in this case unarmed combat to members of the miliary whilst in the service. That being said with boxing now on the wane and some major marquee fighters unwilling face each other I’ve now become totally immersed in & MMA and the UFC . Over the weekend UFC held their showcase event UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland , California . Topping the bill was the middleweight title fight between Chael Sonnen and the champion Anderson Silva . To my mind the Brazilian , Silva, along with welterweight titlist Georges St Pierre are by by far the two most well respected and well rounded fighters in the genre at present . And they might just be two of the most popular fighters that UFC President Dana White has within the organization .

I’ve always maintained that if it’s ever your intention to talk bad about an opponent in a contest of athletic skills then you’d better have the sh*t to back it up when it counts most. In teams sports at times you can get away with it. But when it comes to an individualistic endeavor then there’s no one there to hold your hand or wipe your nose when the going gets rough. So for the idiot NFL and NBA players who think of themselves as warriors and call out an opponents , just simply shut the hell up ! You’re no more a warrior than Clay Aiken would be considered a candidate for the US Marine Corps . Have the time far too many of you talk so much sh*t that you don’t posess the pedigree to back it up !

In what turned out to be rather arduous battle in the octagon wherein Sonnen came to do battle and relieve Silva of his title . The challenger fall of his spirited and at times somewhat asinine remark about his opponent was left to eat his words. Though gamely outmaneuvering Sliva for much of the bout with his wrestling prowess. The one thing that Sonnen and all of Silva’s previous opponents have failed to understand is that no fight is ever over until that last bell is sounded . Sonnen got far too confident for his own good and Silva much like an anaconda stalks its prey simply waited for the challenger to make a mistake. And Sonnen would gladly oblige by allowing Silva take get him in triangle choke hold that would force the challenger to tap out in submission during their title bout. Sonnen to his credit after the bout was magnanimous in defeat but it paled into comparison with all of his pre-fight hype and contention that he’d take the champion down with ease.

tophatal …………………. 🙂

Lucy Pearl ………….. “Dance Tonight”

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