AFC East, Amar'e Stoudemire, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Miami Dolphins, MLB, NBA, New Jersey Nets, New York Jets, New York Knicks, NFL, Ricky Williams, Roger Goodell, Ronnie Brown, Sports

Read All About It ……..


Read All About It ……..

It’s something of a down time for me in terms of writing on a topic with regard to the sport’s world at present. There’s not really a great deal going on albeit that Spring Training has arrived and teams preparing for the 2011 season . Remarkably though this time of the season as it relates to baseball doesn’t particularly interest me though I may well be in tow with friends to see perhaps one or two games . The Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues are a precursor for the fans to see their favorite teams but in reality you can’t really take anything away from the performances by the teams during Spring Training . One thing for certain though, this season will be unlike any other because for once I do not believe that there is a clear cut favorite for the World Series . Albeit that the talk was of the moves made respectively by the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies we all know that all it takes is one major injury or a player not performing up to par and the ambitions of a team can essentially go up in smoke .

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As defending champions the San Francisco Giants will be a somewhat team from the one that simply made light work of the Texas Rangers in the game’s showcase event. For the Giants’ fans they’ll have something to appreciate but now comes the hard part for Bruce Bochy and his assistants as they look to have that right frame of mind and attitude as they look to make a successful regular and postseason run.

Now while the advent of baseball there’s still the giant shadow that’s cast by the NFL and a season that essentially has now become a year round business. There’s no two ways about it but even in the offseason the print media, major broadcast and cable networks as well as the radio talk show hosts out there will continue to make the NFL a topic of choice. There’s no denying that the ongoing labor negotiations mediated over by a Federally appointed abritrator George Cohen . The mediator has stated that there has been progress made between the two sides but I’m not so sure that’s all so clear as neither Roger Goodell on behalf of the NFL and owners have issued a public statement to that effect . The commissioner’s counterpart NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , Executive Committee member and President Kevin Mawae have been equally silent with very little on appearance in outright candor on the issues .

At this juncture I’m not about to suggest what the outcome of this will be but I do know this , the goodwill built up between the NFL and fans is about to disappear up in a puff of smoke. And with there being a very distinct possibility that a possible labor stoppage we could no football for the entire 2011-12 season and one should also consider that there won’t be a Superbowl (SBXLVI) either , which would be staged at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis , Indiana , home to the Indianapolis Colts .

Well it goes without saying that the NBA trade deadline was awash with trades that essentially set a number of teams up for the remainder of the season . I’m not about to think that this will make the New York Knicks a real standout amongst the contenders with Donnie Walsh , James Dolan and Mike D’Antoni have maneuvered a three team, thirteen player deal , that saw both Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups make their way to the Big Apple . To the Knicks’ benefit from a competitive and financial standpoint the deal makes sense but at the same time you simply don’t get the impression that even with these additions this team will be able to take on the likes of the Miami Heat , Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls . To my mind those three teams are far better equipped for a playoff run than within the Eastern Conference .

Amongst the trades that took place we also had the arrival of Deron Williams in New Jersey to the benefit of a New Jersey Nets’ —- team that was actually precipated by the moves of team owner Mikhail Prokhorov who feels that the arrival of the former Utah Jazz star sets them up for the future . Given the upheaval that has taken place within the Jazz organization since the abrupt resignation of former coach Jerry Sloan , you simply can’t help but wonder what’s now in the immediate for the Jazz. As to the Jazz and the tumult that took place with the resignation of Sloan and the installing of Ty Corbin as his successor , who’d have thought that the history of the organization would be a topic of conversation and the unprecedented notoriety they had under Jerry Sloan ?

And back to the NFL , given the undistinguished season had by the Denver Broncos in which we saw the firing of Josh McDaniel , the interim tag given to Eric Studesville before Jon Fox was hired in the offseason by their now Head of Football Operations John Elway . The question now being asked is this now where we see the era of Tim Tebow and their organization’s hopes ? Incumbent quarterback Kyle Orton has let be known publicly and through his agent that he wants out if he’s not the team’s starting quarterback next season . Now given the unevenness of Orton’s play over the season and the mere fact Tebow seems to have won over the fans at Invesco Field and therein lies the dilemma that’ll no doubt face Fox and his coaching staff . Stay with the college star and rookie quarterback or rely completely upon the presumed journeyman veteran ? My bet would be on Tebow , given the fact that the Broncos need a fresh start and way of keeping the fans interested with what’s happening in Denver !

Miami Dolphins’ GM Jeff Ireland has stated that for the moment that Chad Henne will remain the starting quarterback of the team but has stressed that he won’t hesitate to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft . Now unless I’m mistaken Henne had a season that one would rather forget and so have the Dolphins over the last two years . For me the failings of the Dolphins really has come down to the fact that they’d become a one trick pony with the wildcat scheme and essentially not being a well balanced attack and a team where defense was essentially hazardous to their health !

Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano and his coaching staff if anything has failed this team and so too has Ireland as the general manager. At some point the Dolphins as a team lost focus last season and it showed in their play throughout much of the year . Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown as the team’s most potent offensive players but that simply explain the failings of this team as they fell out of contention not only within the division (AFC East) but also the league as a whole . At no time would have got the impression that they were actually capable of contending within the conference much less within the division.

Given that the Dolphins had to contend with the New York Jets , New England Patriots and shall we say the wayward Buffalo Bills ? As we know the postseason for both the Patriots and Jets came to something of an abrupt finality with their eventual woes. If anything the AFC East and its competitiveness during the regular season one thing but it appears that the teams and their ambitions fell well short of what they and their fans were expecting . And now we have Jets’ coach Rex Ryan once against stating that the New York Jets will be the team to beat for the Superbowl next season . I’ll take Ryan at his word but now having come up twice when it matters the most I’m beginning to think that New York Jets have been snake bit when it comes to postseason play.

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The NFL will have us engulfed in its coming and goings while the NBA’s season heightens up but we now await the opening of Spring Training and then the regular season . There’ll be a great deal on the line within baseball and I for am hope that it’ll meet all of our expectations . As to what lies ahead within regard to the NBA , well to be to sure the postseason there will be an eventful one . The NFL however still has to deal with its own misfortunes as it relates to the ongoing negotiations between the two sides . We simply just be sure where the whole situation stands because there still seems to be no case to lead the fans to believe that there’s liable to 2011-12 season.

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the topics raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as how you see things panning out and as always thanks for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details

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(1) San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Ariz. Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ……

(2) An usher watches as San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Steve Edlefsen throws to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Xavier Nady during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Ariz. Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …….

(3) Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Conroy ……

(4) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Jake Locker of Washington runs a passing drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……..

(5) Eric Berry (R) from the Tennessee Volunteers is greeted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Kansas City Chiefs selected Berry (5) overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. Goodell and the league’s hierarchy have met with his union counterpart NFLPA Exec Director DeMaurice Smith through a court appointed mediator George Cohen. The two sides are still somewhat apart as to the negotiations and quite possibly if an agreement isn’t reached by March 3rd then we could quite possibly see the first mandated stoppage in the league since 1987. Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images North America . …………

(6) Miami Heat’s Mike Miller (13) drives as teammate Chris Bosh, right, looks on and New York Knicks’ Chauncey Billups (8) defends in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. The Knicks would go on to defeat the Heat 91-86 .AP Photo/Alan Diaz ……….

(7) MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Amar’e Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks takes a charge against Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(8) Denver Broncos head coach John Fox responds to a question during a news conference during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ………..

(9) Englewood , Co,. Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(10) Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins is brought down in the first half by Jerod Mayo #51 and Landon Cohen #66 of the New England Patriots on January 2, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Elsa Martinez / Getty Images North America ……….

(11) Miami Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland, left, poses with Tony Sparano, the newly named Dolphins’ coach after a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 at the Dolphins’ Training Facility in Davie, Fla. Sparano, who had been the Dallas Cowboys’ assistant head coach, accepted a job offer Wednesday from new Miami boss Bill Parcells. They worked together with the Cowboys when Parcells was head coach from 2003-06. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee ……

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Q Tip ………………… “Breathe And Stop ”

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Basketball, Ben Wallace, Bill & Karen Davidson, Detroit Pistons, Joe Dumars, John Kuester, Magic Johnson, Michael Ilitch, NBA, Palace of Auburn Hills, Sports

Mutiny On The Bounty And At The Palace of Auburn Hills …………


Mutiny On The Bounty …………….. And At The Palace of Auburn Hills

Well we have overpaid players within the NBA so why not petulant ones as well …say it ain’t so ? That appears to be the case at the Palace of Auburn Hills as the Detroit Pistons’ season seems to be unraveling in front of their very eyes. This situation for coach Jon Kuester as well as GM Joe Dumars can’t be a happy one at this juncture . It’s hard to realize that this is the same organization that went to five Eastern Conference Finals during an eight year span and along the way winning an NBA title —-(2004) with Dumars at the helm as the general manager with Larry Brown as the coach at the time.

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This time around for the struggling Pistons and their disastrous season , veterans such as Tayshaun Prince , Richard Hamilton , Tracy McGrady , Ben Wallace and two year starter Rodney Stuckey have seen fit as an act of defiance was to stay away from a team practice but in doing so the official statement from the organization were that the players in question who numbered six in total ____ were that they’d been suffering from a stomach virus. Well if the virus is said to show such symptoms as rash petulance, questioning the coach’s playing strategy and in essence letting down teammates then clearly all is not well within the Pistons’ organization ! Never mind the fact over the uncertainty of the team and the concerns of its immediate future as it relates to the ownership. Karen Davidson widow of Pistons’ owner the late Bill Davidson is the now the owner of the team along with family members but due to the heavy financial burden placed upon the family in terms of estate taxes the family is now pursuing the sale of the team. There at present doesn’t seem to be a clear cut potential buyer of the team but there have been varying interests from a few well known suitors.

Courtesy of Sports tri-cities.com

Hamilton, Kuester say they’ve talked things out

By Noah Trister

Auburn Hills-Mi,. – Detroit’s Richard Hamilton says he met with coach John Kuester recently in an effort to repair their relationship.

Hamilton has played only once since Jan. 10. He was benched for the latter part of January, and although he played Feb. 5 in Milwaukee, scoring 15 points, he’s been out since then because of what the team has said is a groin injury.

On Friday, Hamilton was one of several players who missed at least part of a shootaround before a game at Philadelphia. The coaching staff used only six players that night, sticking with those who were at the full shootaround.

Hamilton wouldn’t specify when he and Kuester spoke. He took passes from the coach while shooting at the end of practice Monday.

Similar stories: Several Pistons miss game shootaround

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At a time when the Pistons are said to be struggling it does appear that the team’s on court problems pale into comparison when measured against that of their off the court situation. Michael Ilitch the present owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings is said to be interested and his intention to have the team remain in Auburn Hills , a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. For a while it had been rumored that former MSU Spartans’ alum Magic Johnson was also interested in buying the team outright or be part of a syndicated partnership that would buy the team. But it appears that the Lakers’ great is no longer interested and that his pursuits are now that of trying to bring an NFL franchise to the city of Los Angeles .

The Pistons do seem to be facing an act of attrition and wherein the team seems to have lost faith in their coach and at the same time when losing becomes something of a consistency then any dynamic that changes the formula for success tends to bring about problems and strife internally. At the same time one would have thought that veterans such as McGrady and Hamilton would look to lead by example rather than showing an act of petulance and to an extent disdain for their coach.

I’d hazard a guess that Dumars for his part can’t be entirely happy at present and at the same time it underminds his position as general manager as he was the primary participant in seeking out and hiring Kuester after the firing of Michael Curry , Kuester’s predecessor. John Kuester for his part has struggled to bring some semblance of team cohesion and playing with consistency this season . And the team’s struggles have been well documented this season as they may well have now played themselves out of contention for a playoff berth this season.

At 21-39 the Pistons are at present 6 1/2 games out of the eighth and final spot and they currently sit eleventh within the Eastern Conference three places behind the current eighth placed Indiana Pacers (26-30) , Charlotte Bobcats and Milwaukee Bucks . The Detroit Pistons sought not to make any moves prior and at the trade deadline choosing to stand pat . It may well be that as the general manager Joe Dumars is looking towards the NBA Draft and looking to assess the crop of new talent that will be there at the college level . He knows that in light of that fact fans are at present more concerned with what’s said to be happening now, rather than looking to the immediate future. Tracy McGrady for his part is team’s floor general having been converted to a point guard but the team’s struggles has manifested itself in the fact defensively they’re a complete mess !

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The team doesn’t appear to be responding to what Kuester is asking of them and at the same time players such as Wallace , Prince , McGrady and Hamilton seem to be under the impression that their actions actually ingratiates them with the fans . If anything , nothing could be further from the truth ! For the long short and long term future of the team there may well be nothing immediate that Joe Dumars can do but perhaps suspend and fine the players in question. Had this maneuver been engineered prior to the trade deadline then it’s my belief that as general manager Dumars would have imploded the team altogether and look offshed the players involved that were surplus to the team’s needs as both he and Kuester saw it !

Instead the coach now has six disgruntled players on this team who’ve simply lost faith and whose professionalism now has to come into question. Simply because rather than saying to the coach directly that they’re unhappy with the current situation they simply saw fit not to turn up for a team’s practice session. What might be even more disturbing after this maneuver was that in the team’s next game against in their loss the Philadelphia 76 ers the players in question were seen laughing on the sidelines during that resultant lopsided defeat. And those very same actions were again repeated by those players even though they’d end up defeating the newly revamped —- Utah Jazz —- 120-116 .

I’ve always maintained that the NBA had lost sight of its goals the moment the balance of power swayed over to the players. Now when a team has become way too inconsistent and the players inevitably rather than holding themselves accountable will look to lay the blame elsewhere. And the vast majority of the time the blame as apportioned and placed squarely on the shoulders of the coaches and their staffs. Rarely will you ever them step up to the plate and say ……………”it’s my fault or it’s our fault “. And much of that has come down to the fact that the owners are now in a position of weakness and much of that comes from the league hierarchy and the way in particular that Commissioner David Stern has sought to brand his product as more about the stars within the NBA rather than the teams and the game’s history and that of its teams .

The game has its loyal band of followers but I do believe now that they’re more inclined to follow the stats of the game rather than the aspirations of a team that they well allegedly support. I could very well be wrong
in my summation but I very much doubt it at this juncture !

What thoughts if any do you have on the actions of the Pistons’ players and their subsequent behavior ? Do you feel that Dumars and the coaching staff ought to take disciplinary action against them or do you feel that this ought to put in the past and the team should basically move on ? Let me know your opinion on the matter and anything else concerning the NBA at present ?

Picture and slide show details below.
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(1)Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey (3) drives on Utah Jazz guard Devin Harris (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …….

(2) Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) fouls Detroit Pistons power forward Chris Wilcox (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …..

(3) Detroit Pistons coach Johh Kuester, left, gives directions from the sidelines as assistant Pat Sullivan looks on in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, in Auburn Hills, Mich. AP Photo/Duane Burleson ……….

(4) Detroit Pistons players Rodney Stuckey, from left, Tracy McGrady, Ben Wallace and Chris Wilcox sit on the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum ………

(5) John Kuester is seen here with team GM Joe Dumars (right) at the team’s headquarters at the Palace of Auburn Hills , Auburn Hills , Mi,. Kuester succeeded Michael Curry as the team’s head coach and since his tenure the Pistons’ play has been somewhat inconsistent. Allan Einstein /NBAE Getty Images ……….

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/ πŸ™‚

NB: The Davidson family have sold a controlling stake in the organization to the Detroit Pistons Baskebtall Company of which Michael Ilitch is a controlling partner and stake-holder through his holding company Ilitch Holdings .

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April it seems is eager for a helping hand in order to get out of her panties . Any takers ?
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Keri Hilson …………….. “Pretty Girl Rock”

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Baseball, Bud Selig & Bob DuPuy, Don Mattingly, Frank McCourt, Fred Wilpon, MLB, New York Mets, Saul Katz, Sports

Brother Can You Spare A Dime …….. ?


Brother Can You Spare A Dime ?

As a precursor to the MLB season two stories still stick out and really indicate the plight of the game at present . Competitively we could prescribe to the fact that baseball has never been better . We had two surprising penant winners take aim at winning the World Series . The San Francisco Giants essentially had their way in taking down the Texas Rangers on their way to winning their first championship in over four decades . And for the Giants this upcoming season comes the hard part in trying to make a successful defense of their title.

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Away from the game the continuing story is that of the New York Mets and their financial woes and that also of the Los Angeles Dodgers . MLB through the commissioner’s office issued a public statement that as recently November of 2010 the New York Mets had sought to borrow $25 million from the league in order to meet certain obligated expenses . .Now as we know the Mets’ ownership led by Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz . Both individuals as well the Mets an entity are being sued by Irving Picard the lead attorney for the plaintiffs who were victims of the Bernie Madoff “Ponzi Scheme” Picard vs Wilpon , Katz et all leads us into the depths that the Wilpons went to in trying hide the fact they were indeed the benefactors of ill gotten gains in the profits that they’re said to have received over the last two decades. It is estimated that collectively the Mets , Katz and Wilpon received in excess of $550 million but the Wilpons specifically have argued that they were unaware that the monies received from Madoff’s company were in fact of or from a fraudulent act. Pardon me for saying this , Madoff claimed that he was able to gain his clients in excess of 30 to 50 % return on their investments at a time when banks and major financial institutions were playing simply no more than 4% at the time . Somehow the Wilpons and Katz are either stupid or one can indeed surmise that they’re trying to blow smoke up everyone’s ass !

Neither Wilpon , Katz or Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon have claimed any wrongdoing on their part and they claim that they too were victims of this Ponzi scheme . But that doesn’t hide the fact that once the indictment of Madoff by the Justice Dept and his arrest by the FBI before his trial the defendants still denied wrongdoing but when asked why it is that they chose not to return the monies received. It’s interesting to see how it is that the league and in particular Commissioner Bud Selig would now make it a point of now making this news public as it relates to the New York Mets.

After the acrimonious divorce of Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt from his now ex wife Jamie McCourt the LA County Courts decided that the team and organization was a communal property and an asset that should be split between the two. The Los Angeles Dodgers it’s estimated worth is in excess of $1.1 billion and with the team being in the nation’s second largest advertising market it has been a boost to the ownership and the rewards reaped . However , in light of this all Frank McCourt has been extravagant in his spending and has simply burdened this team with an unwanted debt . That debt of $800 million ( $800,000,000 ) could seriously jeopardize hamper the financially viability of the ballclub and any ambition that it might have as to its future . Team GM Ned Colletti has been cautious in not making any public statement concerning the team’s present predicament.

The Dodgers had requested a loan of $250 million from the league in order to meet certain financial obligations of which they haven’t made clear. McCourt had stated that the loan would be guaranteed by the broadcast television rights that the team has with the local Fox affiliate and their partners nationwide. The sum involved there is a twenty year $2 billion ($2,000,000,000) contract. Given the precarious situation of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the decision made by the league’s hierarchy is a prudent one at this juncture and for once it looks as if Bud Selig is either getting some prudent advice rather than simply going out and making rather irrational decisions that in the end tends to hurt the image of the game rather than add to its luster.

And given the Dodgers history and its recent showing in the league one has to ask the question where does all now take the team and specifically how can Don Mattingly and his staff ignore the off the field issues and get the team playing with any degree of resolve and success. It should come as no surprise that Mattingly’s predecessor left the Dodgers in the way that he did as there was no clarity as to the organization’s situation and it certainly hadn’t help the situation with the constant bickering that was said to be taking place between McCourt and his wife as well with Frank McCourt and certain individuals within the front office , so much so that you got the feeling that there was indeed more than a great deal of unrest within the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If there’s no resolve as to an amicable solution to the issues between Frank McCourt , his ex wife Jamie and the Los Angeles Dodgers then the team will have to be sold to an interested third party. It would be embarrassing for the team to go into the regular season and their situation still not resolved , albeit that McCourt is now divorced. Frank McCourt now is in the process of suing his legal representatives in his case because it’s been stated that one of his lawyers apparently forged a signature pertinent to the divorce proceedings that had a bearing on the case, which subsequently the presiding judge and jury would side with Jamie McCourt in reaching their verdict of granting her petition to divide the couples’ assets as communal property apart from the finalizing of their divorce. Do you get the impression that had this been two mature adults then quite possibly this situation could have reached an amicable solution for both parties ? Now you have a situation where one of the games most renowned and fabled ballclubs now wrestles for its survival and there’s not yet to be a certainty that the Dodgers will exist in its present guise under McCourt’s ownership.

In order to meet the judge’s verdict of dividing the couple’s assets of which the most prized is the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt will have to adhere to the verdict. . McCourt for his part hasn’t yet said how he intends to deal with ballclub’s financial problems of a mounting debt and the fact that his creditors are hovering closely like vultures circling a dead animal’s carcass. Personally I’d think idiotic had baseball even thought of meeting the Dodgers’ request for a loan of a quarter of a billion dollars ($250,000,000) specifically in case where the team itself has an $800 million debt and its creditors are said to be unduly happy with the actions of the ownership group. But that being said when it comes to showing business acumen as it relates to the game the league hierarchy and the owners in particular I’ve never felt that they were ever smart much less had any real business acumen. We’re often told that these men are corporate executives and they’ve made their fortunes showing sound judgment , however when it comes to business of owning a professional sport’s franchise they’ve shown the actions of a blind man taking the chance of thinking that they can walk safely through a mine-field .

Baseball’s owners aren’t all that smart and neither is Bud Selig and the executives who are his subordinates within the league’s head office. If nothing else they’ve shown that they don’t completely understand the economics of running a professional sporting concern ! The game itself is in something of a financial mess which Selig isn’t prepared to address publicly when broached on the subject.

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In light of the statements now made by the commissioner’s office concerning both the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets do you feel that the right decision was made by the commissioner ? And in light of another rumor now brewing that after the league’s existing collective bargaining agreement due to expire in 2013 do you believe that there will one or two teams that quite possibly will be contracted ? It has been rumored that one of the teams in question could very well be the Tampa Bay Rays if they’re unable to find a new home within the state of Florida or elsewhere. Simply leave a comment on this topic or any other as it relates to baseball .

Picture and slide show details .
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(1) JACKIE ROBINSON FIELD: Mets owner Fred Wilpon (left), MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (center) and former MLB COO Bob DuPuy (from the MLB) were on hand for the naming of the field at Forest Hills HS in honor of the late Jackie Robinson. The Mets are now seeking to borrow $25 million from the ML hierarchy in lieu of pending litigation against team owner Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz. AP Photo / Andy MacDonald ……………

(2) Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson, New York Mets new manager Terry Collins, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz pose for pictures during a press conference at Citi Field on November 23, 2010 in New York, New York. Chris McGrath / Getty Images ……….

(3) Dodgers owner Frank McCourt (to Torre’s left) congratulates incumbent manager Don Mattingly as he’s flanked by current Manager Joe Torre (left) and General Manager Ned Colletti (far right) on Friday during a news conference to announce that Torre will not return next season. McCourt has requested a $250 million loan from the league’s hierarchy and in doing so wishes to place as collateral the team’s broadcast rights that they have with the local Fox affiliate and its partners nationwide. Wali Skalij / Los Angeles Times ……….

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Alan aka tophatal ……………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

πŸ˜›

NB: If the league should subsequently choose to purchase the team from Frank McCourt then it’d mean that the other teams in the league will would instantaneously become adjunct owners of the Dodgers and more likely than not would have to assume the debt ($800 million) . If anything it’d be preferable for McCourt and his ex wife to either file for Bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 while trying to clear its debt and then come back out of bankruptcy as a newly reorganized ballclub clear of its original indebtedness.


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Tastin’ the flava lickin’ and suckin’ it well !

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Bill Withers ………….” Lean On Me”
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Abe Pollin, Basketball, Charlotte Bobcats, David Stern, Kwame Brown, Michael Jordan, NBA, Sports, Washington Wizards

#23 Come On Down ………………


#23 Come On Down ………………

I’m still trying to figure out where it is that the Charlotte Bobcats and their erstwhile owner Michael Jordan appear to be heading . This team has become increasingly inconsistent and I do believe that as an owner Michael Jordan is merely living in the moment. All this from a player who’s a multiple league and Finals’ MVP winner within the NBA . We know of Jordan’s legacy as a player and his feats with the Chicago Bulls . With the mantel now being passed on to Derrick Rose it remains to be seen whether or not Rose will be the heir apparent to Jordan with the Bulls and their home at the United Center in Chicago.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Watching the Charlotte Bobcats I can’t but help feel that this team will struggle even if the happen to garner a playoff spot within the Eastern Conference . At 23-31 they currently hold the eighth and final spot in the conference but lie third within the Southeast Division headed by the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic . For his part Larry Brown having relinquished his position as head coach Jordan and the front office had to head in a new direction from a managerial standpoint. Brown’s successor is seasoned veteran NBA coach Paul Silas who has brought about something of a more of free flowing approach to the play of the team .

Jordan for his part relies heavily on the input given to him by Silas the coaching staff as well that of COO Fred Whitfield concerning personnel decisions with regard to the team. But in large part the final decision still remains his overall.

Inconsistency has been the problem for the Bobcats and even with the veteran experience of Stephen Jackson , Gerald Wallace and the supporting cast you simply get the impression that the this team is summarily going through the motions. I do feel that if the Bobcats are to prevail this season then much of what they aspire to achieve will come down to the decisions made by Jordan and the front office. I do believe that they need to make a trade by the deadline . But the troubling for the Bobcats would be who they’re prepared to give up on their roster in order to get an offensive threat in order to assist this team ? It’d be pretty safe to say that they’re out of the running in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. And that scenario seems to be spiraling from the sublime to the ridiculous .

I’ve long suspected the real reason why Jordan became so intent on being an owner stems from the fact that he failed miserably as a general manager when he ran the Washington Wizard’s organization while Abe Pollin was the owner of the team. His well chronicled ineptitude in acquiring Kwame Brown as the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft . What transpired thereafter was enough to show us that Jordan’s acumen when it came to assessing and making the right personnel decisions left a lot to be desired. This time around with the Bobcats he does have well trusted front office personnel who seem to have been making the right decisions , albeit with input from the owner.

The Charlotte Bobcats much like a number of teams around the league will struggle to contend with the likes of the Boston Celtics , Miami Heat , Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls , the four teams within the Eastern Conference that many believe will be contesting the conference semi-finals. That quartet as of now seems to be the presumptive participants for the semis as things now stand.

With the NBA All Star Game and the surrounding events due to take place over this upcoming weekend at the Staples Center , Los Angeles , California . The midseason showcase event is the NBA’s time to shine with all of its perennial stars there to be seen by the fans across the globe. NBA Commissioner David Stern for his part along with the game’s hierarchy will do their utmost to make sure the event is presented in the best way possible .

And for his own part I’m sure that Commissioner Stern is happy that Michael Jordan still remains a part of the NBA fraternity. He still is the most recognized face in the game even with the advent of such stars as LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony , Dywane Wade , Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin . Michael Jordan has and always will be the face of the NBA and for years to come . Without the era of Jordan and the Bulls the NBA would still be playing second fiddle to the baseball . If anything in terms of their business template they might just be the most well ran of the four major sports . And although the league faces a stiff upcoming obstacle with regard to the existing collective bargaining agreement between themselves and the NBPA headed by their Executive Director Billy Hunter .

Thankfully the negotiations between the two parties doesn’t appear to be as acrimonious between the NFL and NFLPA . There the chasm between the two parties appears to be as cavernous and as wide as the Grand Canyon . Both Roger Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith have a great deal to mull over before the deadline comes about before the collective bargaining agreement is no longer in existence. It seems somewhat ridiculous that both parties who claim to be acting in the game’s best interest have seen fit to only meet twice officially behind closed doors over the last three months to try and hash out their differences. But then again should we have expected anything different between the two sides.

Stern , the league hierarchy and Hunter’s office have met regularly and have discussed their differences over the existing agreement and the concessions each side are said to be looking for. David Stern for his part and the owners have unsuccessfully tried to convince the union that the league has reached a dangerous precipice from which there’s no return unless they are able to make concessions. Stern contends that the league on target to lose upwards of half a billion dollars ($500,000,000)for the 2010-11 season . But herein lies the caveat to this all, the league isn’t prepared to open their books for public scrutiny . And even if the NBA for all sense and purpose is a private business concern many of the league’s teams are in fact the beneficiaries of taxpayers’ monies by way of incentives given when many of these teams to build or renovate their venues. You rarely hear a fan counter this argument but what surprises me is the very fact that they’ll shout to the heavens when they see that their monies are being misspent by their city , county , state and federal government.

And even now with the Obama —- administration , House and Senate fighting over the budget and federal deficit you can’t but help not hear the cries now coming from both the right and left of the political argument. But those very same voices when it comes to landscape of sports never question the why multi-millionaire and billionaire owners are able to circumvent the rules . But then again when you have the antitrust exemption that’s given to the major professional sports courtesy of Congress , it’s easy to understand why it is that you have corporate titans willing to pay big for a sports franchise and then use that as a major tax write off .

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Once the season resumes after the All Star Game it will be interesting to see how teams such as the Bobcats, Minnesota Timberwolves , Cleveland Cavaliers , Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings proceed over the remainder of the season . We can all agree that the major contenders for the NBA title are all sitting comfortably at this moment in time but those on the lower rungs of the NBA ladder will no doubt have a hard time playing themselves into contention much less have a decent season by their own lofty standards.

How do you feel with regard to the Charlotte Bobcats and the direction that they’re said to be going under their owner Michael Jordan ? Do you feel quite possibly that they can contend within the Eastern Conference or are they still some years away from being legitimately considered to be contenders for an NBA title ? Also do you feel that the NBA will be able to have a working collective bargaining agreement in place before the existing one expires ? We do know that the NBPA has already considered decertifying themselves should there be a remote chance of a labor stoppage. As in doing so it would enable them (union)to press their case within the US Federal Court System in challenging the league’s right shut down the NBA’s operations .

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson yells at the officials during the first half against the Charlotte Bobcats in an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. Charlotte won 109-89 . AP Photo/Bob Leverone …..

(2) Ron Artest (15) of the Los Angeles Lakers reaches for the ball against Gerald Wallace (3) of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ……..

(3) Andrew Bynum (17) of the Los Angeles Lakers tries to stop Stephen Jackson (1) of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ……

(4) Head coach Paul Silas of the Charlotte Bobcats yells to his team during their game against the New Jersey Nets at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images ………..

(5) Seen here from left to right Dennis Rodman , Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan in their glory days with the Chicago Bulls . The three players have combined for 17 NBA titles between them . AP Photo/ Neil Crosby ……..

(6) Kwame Brown (left) is seen here with then President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards Michael Jordan. The player was taken # 1 overall by the Wizards in the NBA Draft of 2001 and has struggled to acclimatize his game within the NBA over the course of his career . Jordan and the organization at the time were ridiculed for taking Brown straight out of high school when they were other more proven players within the draft of that year. Amongst the players in the draft of that year were in the top ten at the time …… Tyson Chandler , Pau Gasol , Eddie Curry , Jason Richardson , Joe Johnson , Richard Jefferson and Shane Battier . Which would lead us to conclude that the pick made by Jordan was far from being a prudent one. AP Photo / Marcus Williams ………..

(7) Charlotte Bobcats’ majority owner Robert Johnson , left and Michael Jordan, right, manager of basketball operations listen as team president and COO Fred Whitfield speaks during a news conference at the newly named Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 in Charlotte, N.C. The Bobcats reached a naming rights agreement with Time Warner Cable, and a television broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports Net South. Johnson has since sold a majority stake to Jordan who’s now the majority owner of the franchise. AP Photo/Rick Havner ….

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NBA News

Charlotte Bobcat news

Charlotte Bobcats’ history

Charlotte Bobcats roster …..

Charlotte Bobcats’ team stats

Charlotte Bobcats’ head coach Paul Silas

Charlotte Bobcats coaching staff

Charlotte Bobcats’ front office

πŸ˜‰
Alan aka tophatal ……………….

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Eye candy …….. Summer Walker

Cover to cover that’s our Summer alright !

Summer  Walker

The season of Summer never looked this good when I was a kid ! Damn !

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Billy Paul ……………… “Let ‘Em In”

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AFC West, Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL, NFLPA, San Diego Chargers, Sports

Autopsy Of A Season ……….. The San Diego Chargers


Autopsy Of A Season ……….. The San Diego Chargers

So much was expected of the San Diego Chargers for the 2010 season but given what we know about this team and their tendency to merely play each season by their halves it wasn’t a surprise that 2010 fell apart in the way that it did. And for the tv analysts , pundits and the fans of the Chargers this has become a case of history merely repeating itself again and again ! Qualcomm Stadium has simply become a graveyard for the aspirations of this Chargers’ team . They have a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Philip Rivers . And an offensive unit that ranked in the upper tier of the league’s teams last season.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Norv Turner and his coaching staff have a team that was thought to be the equal of many within the AFC West if not better and most certainly viewed as one of the prohibitive favorites for Superbowl 45 (SBXLV). Certainly within the AFC as a whole the Chargers were viewed as one of the better teams . Nonetheless, Turner struggled to get this team to play with a level of consistency throughout much of the season. Even with the advent of injuries to players throughout much of the season you simply knew that this team just didn’t have what it would take to even mount a serious challenge to many of the opponents they’d face .

And while many viewed the Chargers as the team that’d go on to win the AFC West that privilege went to the Kansas City Chiefs under their sophomore coach Todd Haley . What might be even more unbelievable was the continued meltdown once again of the Oakland Raiders which ultimately led to a parting of the ways between incumbent coach Tom Cable and team owner Al Davis who would replace Cable with Hue Jackson . I won’t bother to repeat my thoughts as to the mindset of Al Davis as I believe that he’s way past his sell by date ! I’ll say this for the Raiders , they certainly have found ever increasing ways to implode their season without the help of anyone else . Not only that but they decided to cut their Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha merely because he simply didn’t meet the incentives in his contract.

Certainly this team of its own volition won’t be recapturing the form that many of their fans believe that they’re capable of. Especially given the fact that consistency has never been their strong point . And that was self evident throughout much of the Raiders’ season . They were able to win three consecutive games in a season for the first time in over two and a half years. That’s not the sort of record you’d come to expect a team with aspirations of winning a Superbowl . But then again these are the Oakland Raiders that we’re talking about ………. and where the sublime and the ridiculous seems to be representative of the continued madness within the organization .

Not to be outdone in all of this was the fate of the Denver Broncos and where their wunderkind coach Josh McDaniel’s tenure came and went in the blink of an eye. Team owner Pat Bowlen had all that he could withstand with his coach and that of Spygate II courtesy of McDaniels and the team’s videographer. With McDaniel’s firing after their Broncos’ disastrous season the team hired former Broncos’ great and two time Superbowl winner John Elway to be the Broncos’ Head of Operations . Elway’s first task in the postseason was to hire a successor to McDaniels and that would come courtesy of Jon Fox who left the Carolina Panthers in the offseason being one of a number NFL coaching casualties in 2010 .

The Chargers for their part will either have to do a number of things if they’re to remain credible as a contender within the NFL. First and foremost Turner and his staff need to be reminded that a season is one of 16 games and not eight or nine as the case maybe . First and foremost they need to strengthen their roster through the NFL Draft and simply reassessing the strengths and weaknesses on the current roster . Team GM A J Smith and owner Dean Spanos clearly know that this may well be their window of opportunity this upcoming season to finally prove the naysayers were wrong about the San Diego Chargers . If they’re not able to do that then I do firmly believe that Turner and his coaching staff ought to be relieved of their duties . They’ve taken this team as far as they possibly can and it’s my belief that Turner is still riding on the coat-tails of his mentor and friend Jimmy Johnson . How else can you explain the fact that he’s repeatedly been a retread around the NFL as a coach ? It’s certainly not been because of his abilities as a coach that’s for sure ! In reality Norv Turner is a very good offensive coordinator and a marginal head coach at best. His overall record may not actually bear that out but if you look closely, it’s not as impressive as some might have you believe.

This much I do know as prolific an offense as this team is , its Achilles’ heel has been its defense and the lack of a pass rush and run defense . And that most certainly will be something that Turner and his staff must look to improve for next season or whenever the NFL chooses to resume play. And bearing in mind the turmoil that this offseason appears to be bringing by way of the chasm and intransigence being shown between the NFL and NFLPA as it relates to their on or off again labor negotiation talks . It has to be said that a the labor stoppage would do irreparable damage to the San Diego Chargers and numerous other teams around the league. If economic estimates are anything to go by then the impact within each of the NFL’s team markets will cost the teams and businesses on average in excess of $10-$15 million each week of the regular season . Add that all up and you’re talking about a potential revenue setback of countless billions of dollars to the NFL and the encompassing businesses that count on the league’s regular season schedule as a way and means of surviving .

The San Diego Chargers themselves are by no means a financial behemoth when it comes to the NFL as a business concern. Dean Spanos in order to seek some cash infusion had sold a minority stake in the team to wealthy business entrepreneur and entertainment mogul Philip Anschutz a minority stake owner of the Los Angeles Lakers , the owner of the Staples Center , Nokia Theater and of course entertainment giant AEG Entertainment Inc. . And with the constant rumblings of the city of Los Angeles’ wish to have an NFL franchise within its midst , it’s widely been rumored that the Chargers would be a viable candidate to relocate within the greater Los Angeles area. This much we do know the city’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has made it one of prescient tasks of bringing a franchise to the city but at the same time I’d ask this of the mayor …… what about the city’s enormous budget deficit and the fact that’s he’s now said to be cutting many much needed services to the city’s residents as well as laying off city employees ? Never mind the fact that there’s still the uncertainty of the financing of either a new stadium complex and whether or not this will be a public and private partnership in the venture.

Villaraigosa and the proponents of such a deal haven’t exactly told the public how this all would be facilitated. And at the same time Commissioner Roger Goodell though steadfast in his belief that there’s a necessity to have a NFL franchise in the country’s second largest ad market, hasn’t at all said whether or not the NFL itself would in part finance the building of a new venue or in part fund any refurbishment of an existing stadium using the league’s funding specifically that of its account that covers the financial assistance given to teams around the NFL. What a great many of the teams within the NFL tend to do , is to seek out assistance from local municipalities where they in part foot the greater part of the financing with the owners putting little funding if any at all for such a proposal , at the same time this all adds and to the tax burden of the local residents directly and indirectly. But that’s simply another a dirty little secret that the local politicians and the NFL would rather not let the fans tend to know about right off the bat. Moreover , you tend to be told that this is something that will ultimately be of benefit to the local community by bringing jobs and adding the economic standing of that community by enlarge. That may well be the case but rarely does it work out the way that the NFL explains it, as can be seen by the overtures they’re now said to be making by seeking concessions from the NFLPA (union) in order to cover their excessive spending and not reining in costs in terms of expenditure.

Simply put the NFL not unlike the present administration , Congress and the Senate simply no longer can practice what it preaches and that’s prudent fiscal policy ! Certainly the conservatives within Congress and the Senate may well think of themselves as being that way, as being fiscally responsible but I’d dare say that the vast majority of them wouldn’t know the difference between a balance sheet and a baking sheet ! And that now encompasses the idiocy we’re seeing from the NFL hierarchy and that of the NFLPA led by DeMaurice Smith and its President Kevin Mawae .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As to what the future now holds for the San Diego Chargers that remains to be seen but this much is certain, the team can ill afford to think that they can simply play half a season within the regular season schedule in thinking that they can still hit pay-dirt. It hasn’t helped them yet and it certainly won’t help them in the future . As bad as the AFC West is known to be , surely it cannot continue to remain that way ? Over time I expect the teams there to improve and that’s something that the Chargers’ fans and the staff there ought to expect rather than simply resting on their laurels and thinking that it’s business as usual . That’s the sort of complacency that has derailed the Chargers’ efforts in recent years and will continue to do so if they simply don’t change their mindset ! What thoughts if any do you have on the Chargers and their 2010 season ? And do you believe that they will ultimately improve and be a viable contender in the NFL in the coming years ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter anything else as it pertains to the AFC West or for that matter the NFL as a whole .

Thanks as always for the continued supports as it’s greatly appreciated !

NB:


NFL news

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos runs for a first down past linebacker Antwan Applewhite (90) of the San Diego Chargers as guard Zane Beadles (68) trails the play during the fourth quarter at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(2) Quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers takes the snap from center Nick Hardwick (61) of the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(3) Cornerback Andre’ Goodman (21) of the Denver Broncos breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Malcom Floyd (80) of the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 33-28 . Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(4) Defensive tackle Antonio Garay (71) and linebacker Antwan Applewhite (90) of the San Diego Chargers talk to quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos following the Chargers 33-28 win at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 33-28. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……

(5) Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers leads his team against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……

(6) Head coach Norv Turner talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers as they face the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28 . Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ……..

(7) San Diego Chargers’ first-round draft pick Larry English , second from right, holds up his new jersey as, from left to right, general manager A.J. Smith, president-CEO Dean Spanos and head coach Norv Turner look on during a news conference Sunday, April 26, 2009, in San Diego. English, a linebacker, is from Northern Illinois. AP Photo/Jack Smith …….

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San Diego Chargers’ profile

Chargers’ news

Chargers’ 2010 schedule

Chargers’ team statistics 2010

Chargers’ schedule for 2009 season including results

Chargers’ schedule 2008 and 2008 postseason

Chargers’ roster

Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner

Assistant coaching staff

Chargers’ front office

πŸ˜›
Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Eye candy ………… Denise Milani

Something to smile about with Denise and her bountiful chest of joy !

D 3

Denise’s lovely lady lumps !

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Outkast …………..“Elevator” (Me & You)

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Basketball, Deron Williams, Jerry Sloan, Michael Jordan, NBA, Sports, Utah Jazz

A Shock To The System ……………….


A Shock To The System ……….

There are few things that tend to surprise in the world of sports but I was completely taken aback when I heard that Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan had resigned as coach to be succeeded by his assistant Ty Corbin . Sloan is third on the NBA alltime list of coaches in terms of victories . He stands third behind Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens two esteemed coaches in the annals of NBA —– history . Until Sloan’s resignation he had been the longest tenured coach in major professional sports currently. In his 23 seasons he’d been to the playoff nineteen times and posted 14 consecutive winning seasons (20 overall) as well as 14 straight appearances in the NBA Playoffs. He also went to the NBA Finals in successive seasons ( ’96-’97/ ’97-’98) with the Jazz losing both times to the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls .

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Slide show for your perusal .

In today’s NBA it is no longer about the team or the coach but simply about the players and in particular the superstars of the league . It’s he monster that has been created in light of the post Jordan era . This was the monster that was essentially created by David Stern and has long been the bane of the NBA . The fans no longer really identify with a team but more so with the antics of the stars such as LeBron James , Carmelo Anthony , Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal who look to carve out a niche for themselves in and outside the game. Jerry Sloan was old school and unfortunately for him his young budding superstar point guard Deron Williams is a player of this era where it’s all about me ,me , me and always will be about me !

The league now is a young man’s game and where the players themselves expect to be coached by coaches closer to them in age. Funny thing is the coaches that’ve been recipients of the NBA title as a coach have been those who’ve a great deal of experience and basketball acumen behind them. The Utah Jazz’s Jerry Sloan was never quite able to reach those lofty heights but their coach certainly made sure that the ride was most definitely worth it.

Given the fact that Sloan coached two Hall of Famers in Karl Malone and John Stockton you’d have thought that Williams would be more reverential of his coach . But if the stories are to be believed then the relationship between the two had been severely strained. That tends to be the case when your team has been struggling to win and where offensively you’ve simply become anemic. The Jazz have lost ten of their last fourteen games and their struggles will continue over course of the rest of the season. Williams for his part hasn’t given a public statement after his coach’s decision to step down but you simply get the feeling that all fingers will be pointing towards him should the remainder of the season be one where the team fails to make the playoffs.

Team President Greg Miller son of the late owner Larry Miller , GM Kevin O’Connor and the front office have been reticent to offer up a public statement as the primary reason behind Sloan’s resignation and departure. But it’d appear that things weren’t as close as some might’ve been led to believe in terms of the team’s direction ,the relationship between the coach and several players on the team.

The NBA as I alluded to earlier has now become a players’ league where they can dictate whether or not a coach remains in his position even when the team itself is playing badly and it’s solely their fault. The coach will always be the first and last port of call when a team is having problems on and off the field . Players now within the league are rarely held accountable when they’re playing badly as the focus reverts back to the coach and his staff. And that’s even in spite of the problems we’re now seeing with teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers , Minnesota Timberwolves , Washington Wizards led by Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis and Flip Saunders respectively . It’s pretty safe to say that quite possibly one of those coaches may well be a coaching casualty by the season’s end if not before ? General managers and owners hire a coach with the goal of winning the NBA title . All else is merely secondary in nature in the realms of the NBA.

It’ll be interesting to see what the ramifications will be when the story breaks and how it is viewed by the fans and the NBA writers around the league. This much I do know ESPN and TNT will devote a great deal of time to the story and seeking to analyze everything that went into the decision in the wake of Jerry Sloan’s abrupt resignation from an organization where he spent close to twenty five years of his esteemed career. Sadly , Sloan may well go down as the best coach never to win an NBA title in spite of his impressive NBA resume’ . But that’s simply what the NBA and in fact major as well as collegiate sports is now all about ……….‘ it’s win now at almost any cost’ and if the coach’s head just happens to be served up on the proverbial platter as the price of failure then so be it !

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Picture gallery for your perusal

Ty Corbin is now entrusted with the task of having to resurrect the fortunes of this team and it will be extremely interesting to see how he relates to Deron Williams , Paul Millsap and the core group of players on the roster . From my own perspective I feel that even if Corbin has been given this position on an interim basis with a view to securing it long term it could well come down as to how well he’s able to guide this team and whether or not Deron Williams buys into to what he’s selling. The player can become a free agent at the end of this season and the organization will do their utmost to retain the player. Because there’s the likelihood that he may well choose to leave for greener pastures if the team isn’t able to show any overall improvement over the remainder of the season

One of the real problems the Utah Jazz faces as a NBA franchise is the very fact that it has never been viewed as one of the more appealing destinations around the league for a free agent to enhance their NBA career. And as tenured and esteemed a career as was had by Jeff Hornacek , Stockton and Malone the fact that they were never able to win an NBA title although having made two Finals’ appearances speaks volumes as to what Sloan and the trio were able to achieve over the course of the Jazz’s history .

As I said earlier Sloan’s departure did come as a surprise but the mere fact that it was so abrupt has me thinking what other coaches could this type of situation befall within the NBA much less the NFL or MLB ? We saw how acrimonious Jeff Fisher’s fall from grace was with the Tennessee Titans . I certainly hope that the fans and in particular the Jazz ownership are appreciative of all that he’s done for the franchise because were it not for Jerry Sloan I doubt we’d discussing anything remotely suggesting that the Utah Jazz was in fact an NBA franchise.

What thoughts if any do you have concerning Jerry Sloan’s resignation and do you feel that it was indeed time for him to walk away from the game ? Any thoughts that you may well have on the matter simply leave a comment as to your thoughts. Thanks as always for the continued support as it has always been gratefully appreciated !

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Picture and slide show details

(1) Salt Lake City ,Ut,. Head Coach Jerry Sloan (right) and Assistant Coach Phil Johnson of the Utah Jazz speak during a press conference announcing his resignation effective immediately at Zions Basketball Center on February 10, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images ………

(2) Tyrone Corbin, the new head coach of the Utah Jazz, smiles during an NBA basketball news conference where longtime Jazz coach Jerry Sloan announced his resignation Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. AP Photo/Jim Urquhart ……..

(3) Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, left, listens to the NBA basketball team’s president, Greg Miller , at the announcement that Sloan is resigning immediately, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, in Salt Lake City. Sloan spent 23 seasons as coach of the team, and had 1, 127 wins. AP Photo/Jim Urquhart ……….

(4) Head Coach Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz signs a fan’s ticket prior to the game against the Chicago Bulls at EnergySolutions Arena on February 9, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Andy D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images ……..

(5) Deron Williams (8) off the Utah Jazz after the game with Carlos Boozer (5) of the Chicago Bulls at EnergySolutions Arena on February 9, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images …….

(6) Luol Deng (9) of the Chicago Bulls goes for the basket against C.J. Miles (34) and Paul Millsap (24 )of the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena on February 9, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images …………

(7) Al Jefferson (25) of the Utah Jazz goes up for the shot over Kurt Thomas (40) and Keith Bogans (6) of the Chicago Bulls at EnergySolutions Arena on February 9, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images …………..

(8) As Greg Miller takes over for his late father Larry, is it even possible to keep things the same? Miller is seen here alongside his mother ,widow Gail Saxton-Miller , wife of the Jazz’s initial owner business entrepreneur Larry H. Miller . Miller died in 2009 age 64 and his eldest son , Greg , assumed control of the Jazz’s operations and the family’s numerous business interests . AP Photo/Chris Myles ………..

(9) Seated from left to right four NBA Hall of Famers David Robinson , John Stockton , Karl Malone and Magic Johnson . AP Photo / Christophe Parisyan …………

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NBA News ………

NBA Standings Divisional — & — Conference

NBA Statistics

NBA Scores & Results

Friday’s schedule

Saturday’s schedule

Sunday’s schedule

Utah Jazz news

Utah Jazz front office

Utah Jazz coaching staff

Utah Jazz roster

Utah Jazz team stats

Utah Jazz schedule

πŸ˜›

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………

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Angel Lola Luv

Eye candy ………………… Angel Lola Luv


Melyssa Ford

Melyssa Ford show her some love please ?

Kelly Borger

Kelly Borger . On a bicycle made for one but…… can you ride tandem ?

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TLC …………………… “No Scrubs”

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Baseball, Bud Selig & Bob DuPuy, Frank & Jamie McCourt, Jeff Wilpon, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, Sports

Three Strikes And You’re Out


Three Strikes And You’re Out

Well the baseball season is almost upon and already there’s a number of stories that have come to the fore. Februrary 14thh pitchers and catchers report for duty at their Spring Training venues and the 26th for all remaining players . And while I’ll be looking forward to seeing a number of teams in the preseason games scheduled for them. It will be interesting to see whether or not the San Francisco Giants can make a successful defense of their World Series title. I certainly know this, they were thoroughly deserving of their win in the defeat of the Texas Rangers .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while the regular season has yet to begin there is a great deal of turmoil that’s going on within the game and it’s patently obvious that Commissioner Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy are completely out of their depth. The acrimonious divorce of billionaire real estate mogul Frank McCourt has essentially placed the Los Angeles Dodgers at risk as the courts have sided with McCourt’s ex wife Jamie in a ruling that splits the baseball team as a communal asset.

Frank McCourt as the principal owner of the ball-club insists that he has no intention of selling the team and he also insists that his wife cannot contribute in the day to day operation of the organization . Clearly Frank McCourt has no belief in the rule of law and what has made the situation all the more unbelievable has been the lengths and depths McCourt went to in trying to cheat his wife out of a share in the team. In essence he induced his wife into signing a document that had no bearing on the team’s operations but somehow that same document then shows that in part agreed that she wasn’t a stakeholder in the Dodgers. And here was I thinking that this sort of corruption was only conducted within the halls both US Congress and Senate ? Boy was I ever so wrong ! McCourt’s machinations and maneuvers make those of the members of the legislative chambers seem like a romp in the park.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Dodger divorce: New lawyers for Frank McCourt, and for his old law firm

February 7, 2011 | 12:44 pm

With the possibility that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt could blame Bingham McCutchen should he lose control of the team, the Boston-based law firm has retained a high-powered firm with expertise in defense against legal malpractice suits.

Bingham has hired Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, based in Los Angeles and described in the American Lawyer magazine last year as “a top choice for law firms in need of their own rescue, particularly in malpractice litigation.”

McCourt, meanwhile, has hired a premier New York attorney to replace Bingham as the Dodgers’ outside counsel.

A Bingham spokesperson said the firm had “asked Gibson Dunn to advise us concerning various matters of California law related to the ongoing situation.”

“I think Bingham needed third-party advice from somebody who did not have anything at stake,” said Michael Dempsey, a Century City attorney specializing in legal malpractice but not involved on the McCourt case.

McCourt and Bingham parted ways in December after a judge threw out a marital property agreement that would have granted him sole ownership of the Dodgers. However, Bingham retained Kevin Rosen, chairman of the Gibson Dunn legal malpractice defense group, before the judge’s ruling and for experience beyond malpractice law, according to a source familiar with the McCourt divorce proceedings.

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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are a financial mess as the team has amassed a debt in excess of $800 million but what makes the team so value is its history , legacy and the fact that it is in the country’s second largest advertising market . That may well saving grace for the team if it at all to survive and any pursuer of the team with a view to buying had better be ready to up the ante and at the same assure the fans that they’re in it for the long haul should Frank McCourt be pressed into the selling of the team.

It’ll be interesting to see what public statements will be forthcoming from the commissioner’s office before the dust has settled on the Dodgers and this mess. Selig through his spokesperson Bob DuPuy has said that they would closely monitor the situation. Well now the shit has hit the crapper and it’s time for action , if not from the commissioner , then from someone within the game’s hierarchy. At stake is the financial stability and viability of the organization. And what might be even more troubling may well be the image being created by this all and how it is being perceived by the fans. God knows after the horrid season by the team and the fact that Joe Torre essentially bailed on the organization , I’ve got to ask where do the Dodgers now go from here ?

It’s been strange to think it has been over three decades since the New York Mets won a World Series title . In that time the team has been essentially inept while from a financial standpoint they’ve essentially spent money on bringing high priced free agents who essentially have been busts in the same way that the Obama administration has spent countless billions of taxpayers’ monies without any real oversight and barely anything tangible in return to show for it all. I guess you could say that GM may well say finally is paying its way but that’s been solely down to the fact that the company is now more profitable outside North America than it is on its domestic soil. That if anything should tell you all you need to know about the company as a whole at this juncture. And that other blood sucking entity that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking & Finance Committee saw fit to bail out AIG the insurance and financial behemoth that essentially gobbled up close to $200 billion ( $200,000,000,000) the way that a vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt off an uncleaned rug.

The company still isn’t out of the woods as of yet even though it has paid back several billion dollars the fact of the matter is the taxpayer is still owed in excess of $120 billion which the government as such has a stake in company as an equity stakeholder. My own personal feeling was that the company should have been split up and sold off in parts as seen fit by the US Bankrupcty Courts . But as we know Congress and its ‘paymasters’ (lobbyists) march to the beat of a different drum . How else can you explain the fact that a small business can’t obtain a loan from a commercial bank much less the government’s own financially backed SBA (Small Business Administration) but yet a totally morally bankrupt financial concern can essentially get billions of dollars single handedly at the drop of a hat ? I’m still waiting for an explanation from Barack Obama , Geithner or any of the idiots who sit on the House Banking Committee and Senate Banking & Finance Committee .
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Courtesy of Reuters

Ex-NY governor Cuomo to mediate $1 billion Mets-Madoff suit

(Reuters) – Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor, was named as mediator in the $1 billion legal battle between the owners of the New York Mets baseball team and the trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland appointed Cuomo, the father of current New York governor Andrew Cuomo, late Thursday afternoon, saying the dispute presented “special issues” that required “an appropriately experienced mediator.”

Irving Picard, the trustee, is seeking to recover roughly $300 million of “fictitious” profits as well as principal from Sterling Equities Inc, which controls the Mets, and its officials including Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.

The trustee contends that the team owners long ignored red flags about Madoff’s estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Wilpon and Katz have maintained that they too were Madoff victims.

Picard and the Mets principals had been in talks about a settlement, but talks broke down after details of the lawsuit, which had been filed under seal in December, leaked. Wilpon has said he may sell part of the team because of the litigation.

Mario Cuomo, 78, was a mediator before serving as New York’s governor from 1983 to 1994. He is now a lawyer at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

As mediator, Cuomo can try to bring Picard and the Mets principals together, but cannot force them to settle.

The case is Picard v. Katz et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-ap-05287.

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As I alluded to earlier the New York Mets have been a mess but now more than ever team owner Fred Wilpon and his family face a civil suit in the US District Courts that seeks $350 million in damages and a further sum of between $400 to $600 million in punitive damages . The reason behind the suit is that the Wilpons profited from these funds that were gained dubiously through the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme that defrauded countless thousands out of some $59 billion ($59,000,000,000) . Madoff is now serving a 125 year sentence in a Federal Penitentiary for his crimes . It’d appear that Fred Wilpon and many of his family members were one of the major recipients from this scheme but through their legal counsel they now contend that they too were victims of Madoff’s fraudulent activities. Somehow over the two decades that Madoff’s scheme went on the family seemed to have been recipients of the scheme’s largess rather than a victim. Now in the face of this civil suit the front office will have a decision to make . Do they divest themselves complete of the team or do they sell a minority stake as a way of having some ready made liquidity ? Martin Luther King III and a consortium have approached the Wilpon family about buying a 20% -25% stake in the team and though the figure is said to vary between $275million to $300 million.

One can easily see the mess that has been created here and the very fact baseball’s hierarchy is completely out of touch with the reality and financial stability of its game. I’ve always felt that Selig and the team owners simply will drink from the well like a starved animal until it is dry. And there lies the problem within the league. There’s simply not enough water in the well for everyone to drink from. And while most certainly the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies can simply buy their way out of trouble that’s not the case of the vast majority of the teams within baseball.

These are some of the inherent problems that the game faces and one which the owners , league hierarchy and MLBPA (union) don’t wish to address in public with a openly frank statement . MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner hasn’t addressed the issue when broached on the subject and we shouldn’t expect anything else from either party at this juncture.

The funny thing is that the more I read the pieces concerning the game no one really wants to deal with the underlying issues that baseball faces. Certainly not from the standpoint as to why there’s such a wide margin between the haves and have nots within the game. The Wilpons and Steinbrenners of the world have it extremely easy when they can have their respective ballparks built for them at the taxpayers’ expense courtesy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg . At a combined $2.355 billion ($2,355,000,000) both Citi Field , Yankee Stadium stand as cavernous edifices and a tribute to grand opulence and greed !

Many of the patrons would rather give you a deluge of information as to how they view a team and their chances of doing well in the season. Prognosticating while great , it’s essentially the same thing repeatedly being said by a number of people in different terms. Nothing new and nothing ever changes !

Once the MLB season starts there’ll be a great many stories to unfold we’ll see how things unfold for both the Mets and the Dodgers . I do believe however that those two stories could engulf the season and make us all realize how acute the situation is within the game. The very fact that Bud Selig stands around like an ostrich with his head buried in the sand gives you clear indication as to the sort individual he really is. Meanwhile the idiot writers who cover the sport simply drool like Cheshire cats licking their whiskers having drank a bowl of milk . And while the likes of Peter Gammons , Buster Olney , Tim Kurkjian a slew of other journalists and analysts who cover the sport simply cow tow to the league hierarchy like a slave in obeyance of their slave master . I simply wonder what the fans will think of this all ? More often than not they’re only concerned with the fate of their teams rather than the overall big picture .

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By clicking on individual frame you can view each picture in its original formatted
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How do you now see things quite possibly panning out as to the fate of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets ? And do you believe that the game of baseball would now be better off if Bud Selig were to immediate resign from his post as commissioner and someone with a real feel for all aspects of the game were to be installed in his place ? If so who would you prefer to succeed Selig in the post of commissioner ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter any other baseball related issue ?

Picture and slide show details
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(1) San Francisco Giants CEO Bill Neukom , center, shakes hands with manager Bruce Bochy , right, as general manager Brian Sabean , left, looks on during a baseball news conference at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Neukom announced that the Giants have exercised contract options for both Sabean and Bochy for the 2012 season. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(2) Arlington ,Tx,. (2) Edgar Renteria (16) of the San Francisco Giants hits a 3-run home run in the seventh inning against Cliff Lee (33) of the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP ……..

(3) Elvis Andrus (1) of the Texas Rangers tries to break up a double play in front of Freddy Sanchez (22) of the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Doug Pensinger ………

(4) In happier times seen from left to right actor James Brolin, singer Barbra Streisand, Jamie McCourt and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt watch Game Four against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Harry How ……..

(5) Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt is seen here congratulating incoming coach Don Mattingly having assumed the position from Joe Torre seen left of the owner. Also seen in picture is the team’s general manager (far right) Ned Colletti . LA Times /Wally Skalij ………

(6) New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon, right, and COO Jeff Wilpon speak to the media during a news conference on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York. The New York Mets fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya on Monday, an expected shake-up of the big-spending ballclub after its second straight losing season. The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager. The organization eventually hired Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi to head the front office . In the wake of Manuel and Minaya’s firing Terry Collins was hired by the duo to manage the team . AP Photo / Jeff Wenig ……..

(7) Baseball managers Joe Torre , left, Lou Piniella , second from left, and Cito Gaston , right, join baseball commissioner Bud Selig at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. AP / Roberto Gonzalez ……..

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MLB news

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Alan aka tophatal …………………

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Amie

Eye candy ……………….. Amazin Amie …..yes sir she’s the cats’ meow !

Boy do I love what she’s doin’ with that hose !

Back that ass up baby back that ass up !

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Bob Marley …………….. “Natural Mystic “

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