Baseball, Basketball, Football, MLB, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, NFL, Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2010

Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside


Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside

As a young child were you ever told by a parent or an elder …..” never play with matches and never touch anything that doesn’t belong to you ” ? Well it’s something that I believe that in the cases of both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and David Stern they’ve failed to heed those very warnings. Goodell seems to be delighted with the fact that the 2014 Superbowl will be held at the new $1.6 billion stadium that will be home to both the New York Jets and New York Giants in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The fact that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to be clamoring over this like a young boy who’s discovered his first copy of Playboy has me even more worried. Bloomberg’s craving for the public spotlight borders if not surpasses that of the NBA Commissioner David Stern. But consider this , Bloomberg’s city will have a budget deficit approaching $1.67 billion for the fiscal year of 2011. However, he and the city’s comptroller John C. Liu hope to have the now projected shortfall reined in by 2014. However, by then it’s projected to be in excess of $4 billion . Is it any wonder Bloomberg won an unprecedented third term in office ? He’ll be creating more havoc than the pimps and drug cartel leaders could ever have wished to. You can always rely on a politician to get things done by essentially fu_king things up to begin with !

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While the NFL owners are now patting themselves on the back about this latest development. have to ask why now and why the Giants and Jets ? Merely because they’ve a spanking new edifice ? OK , so we know that the economic impact of staging a Superbpowl does mean a great deal of business for the host city and that it can garner it more publicity than it could wish , had they spent the money on marketing their city. The economic impact of staging the Superbowl can mean as much $2billion to the host city over a period of six months prior to and after the event itself. And one can well understand the reason why the cities who’ve staged the event fall over themselves and clamor to re-stage the event when given the chance. But prior to this , did you realize that NFL championship games were hosted by the team who had “the best record” from the previous year ? In the era of the Superbowl all of that went right out of the window. If anything, wouldn’t that have been more of an incentive to teams than what we’ve now witnessed ?
For Jets’ owner Woody Johnson the Jets’ organization along with his counterpart from the Giants , Steve Tisch and his organization . This has to be a more than welcoming occurrence. As it immediately gives both organizations the credibility that they seek .

Now the NFL hierarchy under Goodell’s guidance merely looks at its calendar of cities that’ve successfully staged the event and then announces the winner as they would deem fit. Surreptitiously we’re told that ballots are cast to in order to create the perception of fairness. If fairness is deemed having the owners in a room locking horns and the most influential amongst them simply holding sway , then I guess you could consider it as being fair wouldn’t you Now the ramifications of which will be that all 32 teams in the NFL will feel that they too ought to be given the chance to stage a Superbowl. If the truth be told that scenario will never see the light of day under any circumstance whatsoever ! This is a Pandora’s Box that should never have been open to begin with. But you know what frankly I hope this sh_t rains down on Goodell and the rest of these damn greedy owners to begin with ! The Superbowl whenever it has been staged has never been about the fans but more so to do with the patronage of the NFL’s many corporate sponsors and major partners. Try purchasing a ticket for the very event itself better yet try purchasing a series of tickets for a group of five or six people and see how much the cost sets you back ? Goodell and the owners aren’t and never will be the least bit concerned as to what the fans may well think or how they might feel !

Pardon me for say this but I wasn’t aware that LeBron James’ father was David Stern . For some reason the NBA commissioner is now ready to levy fines upon anyone who apparently says anything as it regards the player’s impending free agency. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban found this out to his cost and is now $100,000 lighter in his wallet. Considering a fine of that nature, is like a ripple across a pond to someone of Cuban’s wealth. I fail to see what imposing such a fine does in the first place. Cuban, in giving a statement did not go out or seek to influence James, as to making a decision about his future. But from Stern’s mere decision and candor he thought that the owner was bringing undue influence to bear upon the player. David Stern is acting like an autocratic despotic leader whose very command must be obeyed. He’s protecting James as if he were his child. I think LeBron can defend himself as and when needs be ! And in referring to David Stern , we call the likes of Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il maniacal in terms of their authority and power ? Stern makes those two despotic leaders seem like mere children at play when it comes to undue use of power !

Tonight the Eastern Conference Final ___ series resumes between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic . With the Magic still steering elimination in the face being down 3-1 in the series . It will be interesting to see the resolve being shown by this Stan Van Gundy coached team . Their play through much of this series has been un-inspirational and lackluster to say the very least. And the fact that there’s not been much of a sighting of Dwight Howard in the series until game four’s explosive output of 32 points and 16 rebounds on the way to the team’s 96-92 victory over the Celtics. You had the impression that the team would bow inauspiciously out the conference finals , making history as the first team that swept their opponents in the opening two rounds of the playoffs and were then swept themselves. In staving off that scenario they still have to force a game five if they’re to at least have a chance of erasing the deficit and playing themselves back into contention.

The one thing we do know is that the Celtics led by Rajon Rondo and their veteran coach Doc Rivers aren’t going to let a one game slide get to them either mentally or physically. And if anything they’ll be looking to close out the series in front of their home crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts.

If the Magic were the presumptive favorites to win their match-up against the Celtics. Then the Los Angeles Lakers had to have been considered the overwhelming favorites against their opponents , the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals . Now with the series tied at two games apiece. This contest has now become one of intrigue and suspense. And any thought it would be the Lakers now dictating the pace and structure of the contest. Well, let’s just say the most ardent of Lakers’ fans are by no means certain their team” will come out of this series unscathed. This is becoming a dog-fight that I’ve got to believe that the Lakers’ players and their fans want no part of ! Do you think that Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson has Michael Vick’s number on speed dial ?

So the rallying cry has begun to support the US men’s national soccer team as they begin their buildup to the World Cup . Unfortunately, the cry was lost on the players as they got off to an inauspicious start by being completely outplayed and trounced by the Czech Republic team 4-2 . What one ought to consider however , is that the Czechs failed to qualify for the upcoming event to held in South Africa. If this display is a sign of things to come then there’s a distinct possibility that the US team mightn’t make it out of the opening round of the competition.

Coached by Bob Bradley the roster of the squad set to open up their tournament play against fellow qualifiers in Group C ____ England on June 12th ,the day after the opening day ceremony. And that game is being met with a great deal of anticipation as whomever comes out of it with a victory will essence be in the driver’s seat within Group C. A great deal is expecte of the team but I think it best to be realist as it concerns the US team. Ranked 14th in the FIFA World Rankings their play of late has hardly exhibited that. And Bradley knows if they are to indeed to prevail then they’ll have to raise the level of their play on all fronts.

“Respect” is what US soccer says it is looking for . Well , before you get respect you’ve got to go out and earn it and at the same respect others on the same foreboding journey as yourselves. Thus far Bradley hasn’t instilled that into his team and the players have shown very little of that from the outset. Which doesn’t augur well for this team and its fortunes in South Africa. Suffice to say that they had better get it together before they fall at the very first obstacle placed in front of them.

Sooner or later you knew it just had to happen. And for the Tampa Bay Rays all of a sudden that streak that they were on has suddenly become yolk around their neck. Having lost their series to the Boston Red Sox . They look to take the third and final leg of the contest and put themselves back on a winning roll. Now don’t get me wrong when you’re still able to maintain a 5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East , that is certainly no mean feat. The thing is , maintaining the consistency of play will be what really matters at this juncture. Any slip ups and it could prove to be costly for the team and in particular the coaching staff of Joe Maddon .

As good as this Rays’ team has been playing and they’ve been playing exceptionally well that their record (32-14) clearly bears this out and why many consider them to be the best team in the majors this season . I get the feeling that if they start to lose their rhythm and concentration then things could suddenly begin to spin out of control. Maddon and his coaching staff certainly has got the players to believe in themselves and each other. And that may well be the sole reason why we’ve not really seen the team go on a prolonged losing streak as of yet. Certainly when this happens to a number of teams we see them inexplicably wilt under the pressure. Not so as of yet for this team and I’m not so sure that we’re liable to see that scenario rear its ugly head. But for the moment we just ought to merely appreciate and relish what it is that they’re doing at present.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Opening up Pandora’s Box can fill you with either a few surprises , things to savor or things that you simply loathe. Here I’ve placed a few scenarios for you to discuss or perhaps you could suggest one or two yourself ? Either way simply chime in with a comment as to what you think as to what’s now happening in the realms of sports as you view it .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………

Aaliyah ……………”Rock The Boat”

Basketball, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, Sports

All That Glitters Isn’t Necessarily Gold ………… Why The WNBA Might Be Now More Pertinent In The City Of Cleveland ……..


All That Glitters Isn’t Necessarily Gold ………… Why The WNBA Might Be Now More Pertinent In The City Of Cleveland ……..

Well the tires on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bus not only did they go flat but for all sense and purpose the “RV” simply wasn’t up to the task ! The long haul of the regular season might be one thing but as everyone knows , come the postseason that’s where the excitement is to be had ! Having posted an impressive 61-21 regular season record the team was viewed as the “presumptive favorites” to win it all and thereby gaining their very first NBA title .

Now there’s a great deal to be said for what a team achieves in the regular season and what they then aspire to achieve in the postseason . And usually the achievements of the regular season can at times give you a clue as what to expect. But at times it can also be very misleading . See the Dallas Mavericks postseason foray as a prime example of what one can expect of a team that was vastly over-rated by pundits and idiotic prognosticators alike , who ought to have known better ! The Mavericks had no body of work which to point to and most were simply enthralled by the dog-n-pony show and paper tiger element that they brought to the 2010 NBA postseason.

A somber looking LeBron James takes questions from the convened press after the Cavaliers' loss in game six of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. AP Photo __ Charles Krupa ................

A somber looking LeBron James takes questions from the convened press after the Cavaliers' loss in game six of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to the Boston Celtics. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. AP Photo __ Charles Krupa ................

The Cavaliers for their part were expected to march through the Eastern Conference playoffs with ease. Having a two time regular season MVP award winner doesn’t make a team invincible and even if LeBron James has been anointed “The King” or as he’d become more commonly known “King James” . Until you’ve actually landed the brass ring or the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Any comparisons being made to a monarch aren’t at all justified. What’s even more derisory were the comparisons being made about the player to the likes of Michael Jordan , Magic Johnson , Larry Bird , “Dr J” and Kareem ? Each of whom were not only regular season MVP’s but had also garnered the postseason award as well in the NBA Finals. Now don’t get me wrong , LeBron James is a tremendous player and some day he may well go down as one of the all-time greats of the game. But he’s yet to achieve a body of work that can be comparable to the names mentioned !

Ray Allen of the Celtics consoles LeBron James after they defeat the Cavaliers 94-85 in game six of the conference semi finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez .................

Ray Allen of the Celtics consoles LeBron James after they defeat the Cavaliers 94-85 in game six of the conference semi finals of the NBA Playoffs. The Celtics now go on to meet the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Getty Images/ Elsa Martinez .................

What we can attest to is the fact that while on paper the Cavaliers looked good as a team , once the playoffs got underway they had their problems from the very start. And although they had their way with the Chicago Bulls in the first round , winning that series (4-1) with relative ease. You came away with the impression that if they weren’t being tested then they would at some point become very sloppy and complacent against a future opponent. And in their series against the Boston Celtics all the chickens would come home to roost as the Cavaliers and James were found wanting throughout much of this series . Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown and his coaching staff may well have had this team prepared but did he actually have them prepared to play a Celtics’ team that had been given a new lease of life ? And though the series did ebb and flow as each team sought to make its presence felt and stamp their dominance on the series. One simply knew something had to happen that would flip the script as far as the perception of how the series was meant to turn out.

To my mind the difference maker in this series wasn’t LeBron James , it was in fact the determined by the play of Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. As he went , so did this team and what might’ve been more inspiring was the very fact that the seasoned veterans on Doc Rivers’ team fed off the young point guard’s example. To see the likes of Kevin Garnett , Paul Pierce , Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace simply play as though they’d freshly arrived in the NBA was very inspiring.

Unfortunately,for LeBron while he may well have had a woefully inept performance in game five . His surrounding cast weren’t even marginally better than their more celebrated play-maker. That 32 point loss __ (120-88) simply sealed the fate of not only LeBron but for the entire Cavaliers’ organization . Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and GM Danny Ferry will now have to assess the whole organization from not only player personnel aspect but also on the coaching front as well. Mike Brown may well have done all that he can as a coach for this team. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes might bring a new perspective as to what ails the Cleveland Cavaliers ? And given the fact that LeBron James now becomes a free agent on the 1st June the urgency of the situation isn’t lost on anyone within the front office of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Retaining the player must be their number one priority but so too will be the need to bring in another dynamic talent to complement the needs of this team as well as taking the burden of LeBron. He may well relish being the go to guy on the team but little went right for LeBron when it was needed most in this series against the Celtics.

Game six saw the Celtics on their home-court at a soldout TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston ____ in essence put an end to the Cavaliers’ postseason aspirations. The Boston Celtics came away with an 94-85 victory that puts them in the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet the Orlando Magic . And that will be a series that ought to be thoroughly entertaining and one to be relished. So close but yet so far but with a cast that had no real passion or desire to get the job done . You get the feeling that with the Cavaliers that all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. Merely because of the presence LeBron James , complacency became the norm for this team. Winning is also about having a positive mental attitude. James may well have it but it was all too rare in this series when it mattered most.His teammates for their part showed very little of it. But it certainly didn’t help that this team simply couldn’t keep possession of the ball by needlessly turning it over at the most inopportune of moments.

James looks to make a pass while being defended by the Celtics' Rasheed Wallace in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals played at the TD Banknorth Garden Center, Boston , Mass,. Getty Imaged __ Elsa Martinez .............

James looks to make a pass while being defended by the Celtics' Rasheed Wallace in game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals played at the TD Banknorth Garden Center, Boston , Mass,. Getty Imaged __ Elsa Martinez .............

There’s no real need to empathize with the Cavaliers at all. They came to play but their mind laid elsewhere as they didn’t come into this series with the mindset of dealing with the immediate task at hand. Theirs was a season that has ended with a whimper instead of an almighty bang. This may well be the last chance that the Cavaliers get to an NBA Finals should the unthinkable happen of LeBron James choosing to leave the franchise. But then again the city of Cleveland still yearns for the NBA . So why not bring in WNBA franchise within the fans’ midst ? It could very well be as close as they’ll ever get to be engaged as a participant in an NBA Final at this juncture . An off-season of indecision and decision making as the case maybe for the organization . But one thing is now sure the crown of King James isn’t as secure as some might have thought. LeBron James simply has proven to us that he’s human and by no stretch of the imagination is he anywhere near ready to be talked about in the same breath as MJ , Magic , Bird , Dr J , Kareem or even Kobe Bryant for that matter ! They’ve set about leading their respective teams to the pinnacle of NBA success. All that LeBron has done is try and make us believe that he’s ready to do that when clearly he is not ! He’s still got a long way to go before he can even match the achievements of the venerable names mentioned . Will he ultimately match those feats or even surpass them ? Who knows only time will tell . But for the moment let’s not continue to heap too much praise and expectation upon the shoulders of a young man who’s still learning what it means to play in the NBA and at the same time learning how to be a leader to others.

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So now what are your own thoughts as to the Cleveland Cavaliers fall from grace ? Do you embrace as something that was needed ? Or do you as such empathize with the team and their fans ? As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments and responding in kind.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………..

Bob Seger ………….. “Shake Down” one of the several hit songs from the Eddie Murphy hit movie vehicle from the 80’s “Beverley Hills Cop 2” . And though some might say “BHC 1 & 2 were all that should’ve been made. As thereafter #’s 3 &4 were simply disastrous and “bombed at the box office”. But this is the way that Hollywood works as they’re forever chasing the cash cow rather than making movies of substance and that can stand the test of time.

Baseball, Basketball, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Cavaliers, MLB, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, New York Yankees, Sports

Tha Crossroads ………. See Ya’ At The Crossroads …….. So You Won’t Be Lonely ……


Tha Crossroads ………. See Ya’ At The Crossroads …….. So You Won’t Be Lonely ……

Well the “epicenter” of the sporting universe will very much this weekend be in the city of Boston . The NBA will have the continuation of the playoff series between the Boston Celtics against the Cleveland Cavaliers . And in MLB (baseball) we have the renewed and very much heated rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees of the AL East .

And for the venues in which both of these spectacles will be showcased for the attending fans and those watching on television. Expect the excitement and action to be riveting in its form and presence. Fenway Park , Boston will take center stage for what is perhaps baseball’s richest and most storied rivalry. The New York Yankees will be looking to keep astride with the division leading Tampa Bay Rays . And it’d be safe to say that the Rays are not only the “surprise team” of the division but they might just be the best team in baseball at present based on their current form. If only their “home fans” were appreciative of that fact in turning out at Tropicana Field , St Pertersburg in droves to show their unconditional support for the team . But alas, they are very much a fickle set of fans , to say the very least !

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The TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston will play host to the Cavaliers led by their newly minted regular season MVP _____ LeBron James . And this particular series and game will be “pivotal” for both teams. Tied 1-1 James and his Cavaliers’ teammates will be looking to retake the advantage by winning the first game at the Celtics’ home venue. Not to be outdone however, Doc Rivers knows that if his team are to have a chance against this Mike Brown coached team and keeping the momentum after their ” lopsided” game two victory 104-86 over the Cavaliers. Then the Boston Celtics will have give their fans a repeat performance of their display at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland , Ohio.

And as surprising at that 18 point margin of victory was , what even be more shocking was the laissez-faire approach taken by Cavaliers in general. Mike Brown’s post-game interview was none apologetic and if anything both he and his coaching staff ought to be held accountable for such a poor display. And the fact that he was unwilling to call out his star player as well as the supporting cast makes you wonder who is in fact ruling the roost there in Cleveland ? Is it “King James” or is it the coach ?

Can we all agree the disdain and contempt that the Red Sox fans have for the New York Yankees’ fans as well as the the team borders on that spirited feud between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s ? If there’s a more heated rivalry both on and off the field in all of sports. Then I for one have yet to witness here in the United States ! Now don’t get me wrong there may well be one or two other rivalries that would like to lay claim that theirs is comparable to that of the Red Sox and Yankees’ rivalry. But you’d be hard pressed to convince the majority of baseball fans that is indeed the case. What one fans purports to be a rivalry one hand pales into insignificance when measured against of what we’ve all no doubt witnessed between these two teams over the course this rivalry’s existence. I know it’s not allout war but the Palestinians and Israelis could learn a thing a two from this long existing feud. Yankees’ fans can be obnoxious because their self conceived superiority complex. Red Sox fans on the other hand, now feel that after years in the wilderness and now with renewed success. Well in essence , they feel that their time is now to hell with what the Yankees’ fans might think or who the hell they are. As for their contempt of the team , well let’s just if they had a pot urine or fecal matter it would not surprise if they chose to launch it in the direction of an opposing fan or player of a fan ! Do you get where I’m coming from concerning this matter ?

Well what can the fans and viewing public expect to see throughout the series ? A Yankees’ team that’s playing well and in many ways some might say pacing themselves for the long haul drudgery of the season . The Red Sox for their part seem to be back to their winning ways . But this is a team that’s lacking in confidence and the players brought in via trades or free agency have yet to show their worth. As astute as GM Theo Epstein is deemed to be , even he must be somewhat disappointed in the form of Adrian Beltre , Marco Scutaro , Mike Cameron and in particular the team’s DH , David Ortiz . Granted, Mike Cameron is on the 15 day DL . Oh what a surprise that is ? Were he a race horse the veterinarian might well have considered euthanizing the often injured player. If there’s said to be a real disappointment however , then it has to be the inconsistency of the front-line starters in terms of the pitching rotation . Josh Beckett’s ERA of 6.31 is either an aberration or there’s a real cause for concern. I’ll let you be the judge of that if you happen to be a Red Sox fan. On the other hand, if you’re a Yankees’ fan then you’re probably rolling about the floor laughing your a_s off .

How manager Terry Francona and the team goes about contesting this series may well go a long way in telling us about the Boston Red Sox and their real aspirations for the season . His opposing number Joe Girardi knows that with the bulls eye resting squarely on their backs as World Series champions . Everyone within baseball will be looking to take them down and usurp their dominance. With a plethora of high priced stars on the team’s roster . This is a Yankees’ organization that takes “their dominance of the sport” rather seriously. Winning equates with success , which equates with making money. And no professional sports franchise makes money the way that the New York Yankees is able to do. Be it from a business or competitive standpoint their success is unparalleled and unmatched .

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Picture gallery . Click on the individual frame to view under close scrutiny.

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Well all that is left to say at this juncture , is merely to enjoy the sporting weekend and the revelry of the spectacles as they unfold. Be it in support of the Red Sox , Yankees or Cavaliers or Celtics . Just have fun and hopefully you’ll enjoy the cavalcade of sports entertainment at your disposal. For myself , it may well not so much be about these two series in question. But if anything I’ll be watching to see how the San Antonio Spurs acquit themselves in their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns . They have to erase a 0-2 deficit and still play themselves back into contention. An impossible task ? Not necessarily but given the consistency of their play against the Suns . I’m hoping that they can defend their home-court successfully in order to put my mind at ease. Thereafter, it’s then everything to play for .

Alan Parkins ………………….tophatal ………


Bone Thugs-n-Harmony ……………….. “Tha Crossroads”

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The always sultry Kerry Washington .

Basketball, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, Sports

Dwyane Wade Has Been Left Out On An Island Where’s His Man Friday ?


Dwyane Wade Has Been Left Out On An Island Where’s His Man Friday ?

Well as we all know the NBA Playoffs have started and the prospect of seeing a first round blowout and sweep seems to becoming all the more apparent. Unfortunately , for Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat , he has been left all alone on a deserted island . He’s overwhelmed , as this Heat team has underperformed against the Boston Celtics in this Eastern Conference quarter finals’ match-up. Never mind the fact that in last night’s loss 106-77 to the Celtics was as lopsided a defeat as one could ever wish to see. What might be even more telling and exasperating for the Heat fans and their team’s front office was that the Celtics were able to achieve the win with Kevin Garnett not playing. The Celtics’ inspirational leader had been suspended for game two of the series having been involved in altercation with Heat player, Quentin Richardson in the latter stages of game one.

For Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and the team’s President & GM Pat Riley this cannot bode well for the team’s hopes of retaining its best player. With the player said to be reluctant to sign a long term deal with him becoming an impending unrestricted free agent. One has to believe that a first round loss might hasten Wade’s decision to forgo resigning with the team !. He knows that he can go elsewhere and “obtain a maxed out contract” with a team that actually has aspirations to become a “perennial contender” . In the case of the Miami Heat it’s extremely difficult to envisage that , given the existing complement of players that Wade is said to be surrounded by.

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Michael Beasley has yet to meet expectations and the veterans such as Jermaine O’Neal , Quentin Richardson and Udonis Haslem might as well be playing for pennies given their contributions in this series as it has progressed.

With the Heat now 0-2 down in the best this seven game series. They now know that they will have to rally round and put on a very intense display on their homecourt of the American Airlines Arena in Miami – if they are to stand any hope of cutting the deficit and playing themselves back into contention in the series. With the apparent acrimony between the two teams becoming more heightened and evident . You can be sure that there would be nothing better that Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers would like nothing better than to clinically and surgically close out this series , leaving the Heat players to make their home with their tails hanging between their legs. A four game sweep might be even more exhilarating for the Celtics , their players and fans in sending a clear message to the rest of the Eastern Conference that they’re not yet “dead” and “buried” as some might believe. Granted the likes of the numbers one , two and three seeds within the conference have all been playing well. But it’s clear that they Boston Celtics intends to use this series to send a shot across the bow of the Cleveland Cavaliers , Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks .

The travails of the Heat have been well chronicled this season . And I for one though not taken by surprise that they made the playoffs ! I am completely surprised by the team’s lackluster performance in the series so far !. Given the fact that in the run up to end of the regular season they were one of the hottest teams in the conference in terms of their record (9-1 in their last 10 games) coming into these playoffs. The wheels on this Heat bus have not only fallen flat but they’ve actually fallen off the damn vehicle ! And whilst Wade is there trying to repair what damage there is , the rest of his teammates have deserted him. Were Wade , Robinson Crusoe he would be without his man , Friday. And Friday in this case are his less than apt coterie of teammates who allegedly make up this roster .

My own feelings are at this juncture , is that it wouldn’t at all surprise me should the Miami Heat fall at the first hurdle in these playoffs. Then most likely , we’ll see Wade come to a decision to leave the Miami Heat altogether ! It would definitely be a blow to Pat Riley and the team’s coach Erik Spoelstra. But in all honesty the roster that Riley has surrounded Wade with, is “marginal at best” , if that at all ! Other than Dwyane Wade who on this roster would you actually say is deserving a place on the roster of another team in the NBA ? Think about it in depth before you come to a decision .

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NB Click here to view the details of the 2010 NBA Playoffs thus far .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………..

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No Man Is An Island lyrics by Joan Baez

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me,
Each man’s grief is my own.

We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.

I saw the people gather,
I heard the music start,
The song that they were singing,
Is ringing in my heart.

No man is an island,
Way out in the blue,
We all look to the one above,
For our strength to renew.

When I help my brother,
Then I know that I,
Plant the seed of friendship,
That will never die.

All rights reserved @ copyrighted material

These words may well now typify the plight that Dwyane Wade is now facing. The unfortunate thing for Wade is that his teammates are hardly being supportive in this quest.
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Mya Jane ………….

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Baseball, Golf, MLB, PGA Tour, San Diego Padres, Sports, Tiger Woods

Reasons To Be Cheerful ……… Tiger’s Back on The Tour …..Blah , Blah , Blah !!!


Reasons To Be Cheerful ……… Tiger’s Back on The Tour …..Blah , Blah , Blah !!!

Well it’s happened, what the whole world had been waiting for finally arrived. The return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour. In the world of golf his return was viewed with almost as much anticipation as the “second coming” of Jesus Christ. Some might even make comparison that Woods was crucified in the press and on the air to begin with. God knows the likes of Christine Brennan and Gloria Allred wanted to share their views on Tiger. Needless to say that both Dr Phil and Dr Drew Pinsky were looking to off their services to the famed but ailing golfer . When I say “ailing” I mean in terms of his sexual addiction.

And granted the personality who actually commands the public’s attention when she’s ready to comment on this all . Well let’s just say when Oprah speaks “the whole” world tends to drop what they’re doing to listen. I mean let’s face if she says “Tiger is a douche-bag ” ! I can guarantee that at least 70% of the females out there will be in agreement with her ! Alas, Oprah has yet to make a public statement on the matter. However , the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club Billy Payne has admonished Woods for his behavior. I mean who better as a spokesperson for an establishment that up until forty five years ago would not have allowed a “minority” upon its “hallowed” golf course ? Never mind the fact that the PGA ,itself, did not allow African Americans to participate in their tournaments on the PGA Tour. I don’t know if this is Payne’s way of making amends but I for one doubt that he’ll be atop of Woods’ Christmas gift list on that particular festive occasion !

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Well “The Masters” tournament , itself, has started and the fans have thronged to see Woods , Phil Mickelson and the rest of the world’s best golfers contest the first “Major” of the season. And it’s widely being anticipated that the event will be the most watched golf tournament in history. I guess “sexual intrigue” and the fallout from it trumps competitive play ? The leader at present , midway through the third round is the Englishman, Lee Westwood at 11 under par. He’s closely followed by Ian Poulter , 3 shots (-8 under par) back and with Mickelson a further shot behind at 7 under par . Woods is contention and is presently tied for sixth place at 5 under par. He’s joined in that standing by fellow Americans , Anthony Kim and Hunter Mahan .

There’s every reason to believe that Woods is capable of pulling of a win in the tournament . But with him having been away from competitive golf for five months and until recently only getting back to swinging a club. I seriously doubt that he’ll end up winning his 5th Green Jacket ! As good as Woods has been known to be , this may well be one task that is physically beyond him!. It’s one thing to be “laying the wood” to a bevvy of females but it’s another to think that you can simply shake off the rust and win the first “Major” of the year on the PGA Tour. As “gifted” and “special” a player as Tiger Woods is, he became fallible the moment he sought to lie , become a philanderer and sexual degenerate and an alleged sex addict. I know some might say that there are players on the “Tour” who wished they had half Tiger’s golfing talent at present, if only to enable them to remain competitive within the sport in general.

I’m looking at the standings within MLB (baseball) merely to see how the Florida Marlins (2-2) are faring. When I look to see also the standings in the NL West . Sitting atop of what one might describe as a lackluster division are the San Francisco Giants (4-0). Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that there isn’t talent there within the division. It’s merely that the talent is spread so thin amongst the five teams that makeup the division. The remaining quartet are the Arizona Diamondbacks , Colorado Rockies and last and “yes the very least” the San Diego Padres (1-3). And as their record would suggest the lowly Padres are an “organization” that’s in a great need of help. I don’t know that divine intervention would help ! But the saying “……. God don’t like ugly” ! Well it have to been originally affixed to the Padres for some reason ? One can pose the question are the Padres that bad a team ? Or are they really just a badly ran organization ?

PETCO Park home to the Padres’ organization is one of the better venues in baseball. Take nothing away from the fans but the stadium would be the envy of others around MLB. General Manager Jed Hoyer , Chairman John Moores and Vice Chairman & CEO Jeff Moorad , principal partner – are trying to get the Padres on a competitive and financial footing whereby they can be seriously be considered as contenders within the National League . Unfortunately, as a reality it has yet to take shape. And the Padres’ long suffering fans have got to be wondering what “must happen” for the team to start to have some semblance of success ?

Padres’ manager Bud Black and his coaching staff littered with years of experience face an uphill and daunting task, with what is in many respects a very ” young team”that is indeed short on experience. When one looks down the Padres’ roster you tend to first look at a recognizable name and someone who you could deem to be the vocal and inspirational leader amongst the players listed. You would be hard pressed to suggest as to who that might be . Would it be slugger Adrian Gonzalez , Scott Hairston , David Eckstein or even Jon Garland ? The more you assess the team’s roster the more unsure of what it is you will find. If this team is to contend then there has to be someone there who is willing to assume that role.

One of the biggest struggles that the San Diego Padres have had to contend with has been the very fact that they are viewed as a small market team. And as resourceful as the front office has been . When you’re forever viewed as an organization that operates on the cheap. Then it’s very hard to shrug off that perception “no matter how hard you try”. And all things point to the fact the Padres, of the 30 teams within major league baseball they are ranked twenty ninth out of thirty when it comes to the salaries paid to the players . Atop of the heap are the New York Yankees who will have a salary payout of $201, 449,289 for 2010. This is the one fact that when approached to discuss the imbalance that there is within the game concerning the salary structure of the teams Commissioner Bud Selig seems to be at a loss for words. He and the MLB hierarchy will always stress to you “that the game has never been in a healthier state financially than it is today”. If it is true then why is that they’re not prepared to have their finances opened up to for public scrutiny ? If anything one would like to think that the commissioner’s office as well as “the owners” would have nothing to hide ? Unfortunately , in the game of baseball there are somethings the game’s hierarchy would rather keep secret whereas there are other things that they’d rather present to us at face value . Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being conned by major league baseball (MLB) ?

NB For an update of The Masters leaderboard click the link provided.

Masters leaderboard link

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Picture gallery

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Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………..

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Today’s beat though not from the “streets” is a classic and a “goody” ! Sylk E-Fyne . …… “It’s About Romeo & Juliet ”

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Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Sports, Tampa Bay Rays

I Wish Them The Best I Wish Them The Best …..I Really Do ! Wait A Minute Reality & Gut Check Time …………..


I Wish Them The Best I Wish Them The Best …..I Really Do ! Wait A Minute Reality & Gut Check Time …………..

Spring Training is here and teams have arrived at their respective destinations for the start of the Cactus and Grapefruit League’s preseason games. The Tampa Bay Rays for their part , this weekend they have their fan friendly ‘Rays’ Fanfest’. There the Rays’ effervescent fans will get to meet and greet the players as well the Rays’ coaching staff and owners. All well and good one might think for the franchise but they , alongside several other teams around the league face a very daunting task this upcoming season. Major League Baseball (MLB) for all the nonchalant mindset and comments from the owners and in particular from Commissioner Bud Selig , has simply failed to address a number of issues that still places the game and a number of teams on the edge of a precipice . Were it not for the fact that the NBA , NHL and NFL have their own problems in part, that are somewhat similar in nature to that of baseball’s . We wouldn’t as such , be overly concerned.if only because MLB isn’t in the midst of a labor dispute. And even Major League Soccer (MSL) are not to be left out of this all , as they now face a very tense period of deliberations as they try to resolve their impending collective bargaining agreement renegotiation with the Major League Soccer Players’ Union (MLSPA). MLSP’s Executive Director Bob Foose and the league’s commissioner, Don Garber , have been cordial with one another during their deliberations. But the players themselves, feel that they’re now being short-changed by the league and its process.

Both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his NBA counterpart David Stern have their own problems, as they try to eke out an agreement between themselves and their respective unions – NFLPA & the NBPA . NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter have now backed their respective leagues against a wall and they now await their next moves. It’s now one big game of cat and mouse ,with a little bit of ‘chicken’ being thrown in for good measure.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Mauer swings in the batting cage  at baseball spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. photo appears courtesy of  Assoc Press/ Nati Harnik  .......
Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Mauer swings in the batting cage at baseball spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Assoc Press/ Nati Harnik .......

As to the season and how the teams embark upon it will rest with their play during Spring Training. A number of teams will be looking to show off their new acquisitions to their fans and likewise the fans themselves will want to gauge how they feel that their teams will do. For myself, as a Florida Marlins’ fan I just want to see the team remain competitive throughout the course of the preseason and then acquit themselves well enough to challenge the likes of the Mets , Phillies and Braves within the NL East division. If they can hold their own against that triumvirate of teams and contend for the division. Then there’s no reason to believe why they won’t be able to contend in the postseason in the in both the NLDS and NLCS . Anything gained beyond that to me, would be deemed more than welcomed if it meant another World Series appearance ! I’ve been lucky enough to witness organization win two of them , since their inception. Which is more than can be said for the Cubs’ organization over the past 100 hundred years.

Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, left, watches batting practice with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez during spring training baseball Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, in Jupiter, Fla. With the smallest payroll in the majors last year, the Marlins won 87 games and finished six games behind eventual league champion Philadelphia in the NL East. Visiting spring training to watch the first full-squad workout, Loria said the 2009 Marlins underachieved.  photo  appears  courtesy of  Assoc  Press/Jeff Roberson   ........
Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, left, watches batting practice with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez during spring training baseball Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010, in Jupiter, Fla. With the smallest payroll in the majors last year, the Marlins won 87 games and finished six games behind eventual league champion Philadelphia in the NL East. Visiting spring training to watch the first full-squad workout, Loria said the 2009 Marlins underachieved. photo appears courtesy of Assoc Press/Jeff Roberson ........

Now we can all opine on the struggles of the teams that we know that won’t be in with a shot of competing for anything other than mediocrity within MLB and as a matter of fact within the respective divisions . I mean what would the odds-makers in Vegas be wagering on there being a Kansas City Royals , Washington Nationals World Series ? Much less the Pittsburgh Pirates winning more than 85 games during the regular season ? Any takers on either ? I thought not ! It’d be catastrophic for major league baseball and could well send Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy into a catatonic state , were the scenario to arise, where the Nationals and Royals to ‘meet up’ in the league’s showcase event in the ‘Fall’.

One of the more intriguing scenarios and division this season , might be the competitiveness that might well arise within the AL West . The cream always rises to the top they usually say. That may no longer be the case in that regard , as there have been several changes made to the roster of the Los Angeles Angels . We may well see them regress and come back to the pack within the division. They are still the team to beat and on paper though they are a lessened squad, don’t be fooled into thinking that Mike Sciocsia won’t have his team ready to play. Both he and his coaching staff will most definitely make sure of that. With the Seattle Mariners Mariners , Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers, all having added pieces to their respective rosters. The division could be very interesting place for to see some very good baseball being played throughout much of the regular season. The Mariners have added enfant-terrible’ Milton Bradley to their lineup , where he’ll be alongside major league veterans Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki . But the biggest blow to the Angels may well have been them allowing the departure of their pitching ace John Lackey to the Boston Red Sox , via free agency. Never mind the fact that Vladimir Guerrero is now a Texas Ranger and one could surmise that Angels’ GM Tony Reagins wants a fresh face new look to owner Arte Moreno’s team.

Both the AL Central and NL Central should allow us the chance to see whether or not there’ll be repeat champions within both divisions. As both the Minnesota Twins and the St Louis Cardinals will be looking to successfully defend their divisional crowns. They’ll no doubt be tested by the respective aspiring contenders within their division. But in each case the division is theirs to lose. And with both Joe Mauer of the Twins and Albert Pujols of the Cardinals as the reigning league MVP’s, there would also the possibility of the duo repeating those feats. Suffice to say , that if they were both to repeat as the respective league MVP’s, I wouldn’t be at all be unhappy , as they are both terrific players and a credit to the game of baseball.

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, who is now the assistant to the Cubs general manager, watches practice during spring training baseball camp Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, who is now the assistant to the Cubs general manager, watches practice during spring training baseball camp Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. photo appears courtesy of Assoc Press/ Ross D. Franklin ............

The usual frenzy that we’ve come to expect and see from both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees will continue to go on unabated within the AL East . One , is the team ‘we all just love to hate’ , while the other we just continue to bear, just as long as they are ‘beating up’ on the Yankees . Am I wrong or am I right ? You’ll hear no qualms from me on that matter !

And while the Yankees have gone about ridding itself of players they supposedly feel are no longer of value to the team . With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera now both in the last year of their respective contracts. It’ll be interesting to see the stance taken by Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman and that of the team’s front office . In particular the actions of Henry ‘Hank’ Steinbrenner and his brother, Harold ‘Al’ Steinbrenner , who under the patriarch George Steinbrenner , now run the organization along with its board members. But as custodians of the family’s ownership of the team , they’re now entrusted with looking after its immediate future and long term success. The thought process may well be to re-sign both Jeter and Rivera to sizable contracts but nothing that would be deemed to be overly long term. Both have been the ‘face’ of the Yankees’ success over the last decade plus. Wherein they have been around for the team’s most recent World Series’ successes . The thought of neither of these two players being part of the organization beyond this year could well be seen as a passing of the torch ? But who would then be deemed the recipient of the mantel held by Jeter ? And who could be seen as the ‘natural heir apparent’ to Rivera ? The two players are perhaps two of the most beloved players in the long line Yankees’ greats that have played for the organization.

Courtesy of St Petersburg Times

Hillsborough’s budget problems could sink cross-bay move by Rays

By Bill Varian , Times Staff Writer

TAMPA — Proposals to build a new pro baseball stadium in Hills­borough County may be speculative at this point.

But Hillsborough officials say what’s certain is that there is little public money available to help turn that prospect into concrete, should the Tampa Bay Rays direct their gaze this way. There also doesn’t appear to be any political will to even broach the topic.

“It’s unlikely given the financial situation of cities and counties that any government will step up with a financing plan to build a new stadium,” said Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio. “And again, I think we have to be mindful that we work together as a region, not in competition with one another.”

The debate over the Rays’ future in St. Petersburg took a turn last week when it was confirmed that at least two groups are investigating possible baseball stadium projects in Hillsborough. One group is looking at downtown Tampa, the other at the state fairgrounds.

Those two locations were among five possible new homes for the Rays put forward by the ABC coalition, a business group formed by the city of St. Petersburg to assess the team’s future. With St. Petersburg officials refusing to hear the report, Hills­borough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan has invited the group to give a presentation to his board.

But practically speaking, Hillsborough County government has little room from current available tax sources to help build a stadium. What money there is in an era of government layoffs would not make a significant dent in debt payments for a stadium that could cost $500 million or more.

And no one is stepping forward to float another new tax.

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In order to read Bill Varian’s article in its entirety just click unto
the link provided.
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As I alluded to earlier, the AL East will about the two prominent teams is the Red Sox and Yankees. As they fare, the fate of Tampa Bay Rays may well be decided upon whether they can pose enough of a challenge to these two dominant teams. In all likelihood the wild-card berth representative for the American League will come from within the division. And for the Rays to pull of the feat of either winning the division or being the wild-card representative , they are going to have to play 0.600 ball or better. Meaning that they’ll have to win a minimum of 97 games. As to whether or not they are capable of achieving that feat will be dependent upon the coaching ability of Joe Maddon and his coaching staff . This team is certainly capable of doing that if the likes of Evan Longoria , Carl Crawford , B. J. Upton , Ben Zobrist , Carlos Pena , Willy Aybar and in particular the pitching rotation led by Matt Garza and James Shield ‘play up’ to their full potential.

Rays’ ownership under principal partner Stuart Sternberg and General Manager Andrew Friedman have done their very best to make sure that the best possible in onfield talent is there , in trying to attain the success they seek. And that is with the limited financial resources that is available to Sternberg. This will be the ‘make or break season’ for the organization altogether. Failure to meet even moderate success on the field and it means that Tropicana Field , the home venue of the Rays , will then become a barren wasteland in terms of competitive baseball. Lackluster support from the local community has hurt the commercial viability of the club and it may well mean that Stuart Sternberg and his partners may well seek to relocate the franchise elsewhere. The thought of building a state of the art venue that seats anywhere between 35,000 to 45,000 fans for the moment is just that , all talk !. And given the economic climate within the state, it will prove to be hard to justify that type of expenditure at the expense of the local infrastructure and quite possibly the local taxpayers. This much is certain, the cost of building such a facility won’t be borne by the club or for that matter by the MLB hierarchy . We’ve seen the merits of Bud Selig’s edict on this very topic. And that is to suborn and extort the community into building a facility that it can ill afford to pay for. And given the idiocy of the local print media and their belief that the money is there for such a venue to be built . You could surmise that as long as they have something to write about within the local sport’s market then nothing else at all matters.

As the season unfolds it will be great to see how a number of teams fare and whether or not there will be a distinct change in fortune for some. Given the present unenviable tenure of the Chicago Cubs and their prolonged drought. Perhaps the baseball gods might willingly smile upon the club and at least grant them their wish of an appearance in the World Series. Don’t you now believe that their long suffering fans at are least are deserving of that fate ? ‘Curse of the goat’ and Steve Bartman notwithstanding, even the Cubs are deserving of their day in the sun. But wha’d ya know, they will somehow find a way to disappoint their fans. I mean it’s been 102 year and counting, since they won a World Series. So why all of a sudden should things change for the better, for the organization ?


Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………….

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For the fans out there who’ve seemingly lost ‘faith’ in their team. Here’s George Michael to reassure you that you’ve got to have ………..”Faith”.

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In order to view the gallery pictures in full just click on each to see in them in their entirety. All pictures
appear courtesy of Associated Press @ copyrighted material …..

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Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

The State of Play ……… What Irks You About Sports At Present ?


I don’t know about you but nothing irks me in sports more , than when I see someone who’s supposedly intelligent act like a complete ass ! You just think on the face it, that when things are at their best, that it can’t get any worse. But it can and normally does. And that’s when you think and then ask yourself what’s the state of play ?

Well as no doubt all of you now may now know NBA Commissioner, David Stern has finally ‘had the stones’ to do what he ought to have done immediately of having been notified that a player within the NBA organization had been found to have taken a hand gun into his place of employ. In this case, it was the Washington Wizards’ player, Gilbert Arenas. The fact that the club itself, is still in the midst of conducting its own internal investigation as to the conduct of Arenas and that of his teammate , Javaris Crittenton at the Verizon Center – the home venue of the basketball team. And their altercation that led to each player drawing a hand gun on each other , leads me to believe that either dire warnings of errant gun play just doesn’t seem to mean anything to these two individuals. Never mind the fact that the city of Washington ,D.C has amongst the highest homicide rates in the nation as well as the most virulent crime with regard to the use of guns.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Gilbert Arenas indefinitely suspended by the NBA

By Brian Mahoney , AP Basketball Writer

New York (AP)—Some of his teammates laughed when Gilbert Arenas(notes) pointed his index fingers at them, as if they were guns.

David Stern didn’t.

Stern hasn’t found any of Arenas’ behavior funny lately, so on Wednesday he handed down a punishment he wasn’t expected to deliver until much later.

Arenas was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NBA commissioner, who determined the Washington Wizards guard was “not currently fit to take the court.”

A day after Arenas made the gesture with his fingers toward his teammates who encircled him before a game in Philadelphia, Stern warned the former All-Star that his conduct will “ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse.”

Arenas is under investigation by federal and local authorities after admittedly bringing guns to the Wizards’ locker room. Stern said he intended to wait for that to be completed before taking action, and directed the Wizards to do the same.

He changed his mind a day after the Philadelphia game, when Arenas said he feared Stern more than the authorities because the commissioner was “mean.”

“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game,” Stern said in a statement. “Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

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In this Jan. 5, 2010 photo, Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas watches a free-throw attempt in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers  in Philadelphia.  Arenas was suspended without pay Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010,  by commissioner David Stern, who determined the Washington Wizards guard's behavior made him "not currently fit to take the court." A day after Arenas was photographed before a game in Philadelphia pointing his index fingers at his teammates as if they were guns, Stern also warned that the former All-Star's conduct will "ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse."  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Slocum   .........

In this Jan 5th ,2010 photo, Washington Wizards’ player Gilbert Arenas watches a free throw attempt in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. Arenas was suspended without pay Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010, by commissioner David Stern, who determined the Washington Wizards guard’s behavior made him ” not currently fit to take the court. ” A day after Arenas was photographed before a game in Philadelphia pointing his index fingers at his teammates as if they were guns, Stern also warned that the former All-Star’s conduct will ” ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse. ” picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Slocum ………

Stern has since suspended Arenas indefinitely, without pay but no action as of yet has been taken against Crittenton, as to his own conduct in the affair. The fact that this has taken so long to be dealt with by the league office is bewildering to me. And no matter what excuses are being used by Arenas for his behavior , it clearly shows that the player simply just doesn’t get it. The fact that he’d also had a prior encounter with law enforcement , having been pulled over in a traffic stop, wherein the officer in question conducted a search of the player’s vehicle and found two unlicensed hand guns in Arenas’ possession. And we’re now to think that his actions can’t be seen aren’t as counter productive as to the image of the NBA ? . Well anyone with the mindset to think that it’s OK for someone like Arenas to be towing hand guns around with him at his pleasure , clearly needs to rethink their ‘whole’ thought process through !

At an informal and impromptu get together Bruce Allen , Mike Shanahan and Daniel Snyder are seen at a local eaterie.

Well, well, well, the revolving door policy of coaches coming and going within the Washington Redskins’ organization abounds at a rapid pace. What is it now ? They’re now on their seventh coach since owner, Daniel Snyder bought the franchise in 1999. And considering that the Pittsburgh Steelers is now only on its fourth coach in the past four decades. It either tells us that the Steelers have definitely been doing something right , whereas, the Redskins must simply love the novelty of having all of these faces come and go. With the expected dismissal of Jim Zorn and the ousting of former GM , Vinny Cerrato. Daniel Snyder saw fit to hire Bruce Allen as the new general manager for the team and at the same time former Denver Broncos’ coach , Mike Shanahan was hired to be the coach. Now we know that Snyder’s pockets are deeply laden and money isn’t a major concern for this multi-billionaire entrepreneur. But what I’d like to know is when will Snyder to take it upon himself to apportion some the blame for the malaise of the franchise upon himself ? I’ve heard it said that he just sits back and delegates to others as to the teams wants and needs. But from where I sit this guy is just as meddlesome in the team’s affairs as Jerry Jones and Al Davis are with their respective NFL organizations. Never mind the fact that all three teams haven’t won anything of note, in the past decade or more. Essentially both franchises have been moribund in their very existence when it comes to competitiveness within the NFL .

Ashburn , Va,. Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins as  Bruce Allen, Executive Vice President and general manager watches on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images / Mitchell  Layton ........
Ashburn , Va,. Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins as Bruce Allen, Executive Vice President and general manager watches on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images / Mitchell Layton ........

There’s no doubting that Shanahan is a very good coach when he’s surrounded by the right talent on the field of play. But herein , lies the caveat with the Redskins , they’ve no real talent of sorts when it comes to this team. Theirs has been one of missteps with either terrible NFL draftees or essentially overpaying for ‘free agents’ that have never amounted to much. But the real coup-de-gras may well be watching whether or not Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan can co-exist as equals of sorts ? Shanahan now not only becomes the Redskins’ head coach but also an Executive President , directly responsible for player personnel. Where that leaves Allen and his place in the pecking order of things and his overall input remains to be seen. But somehow , just by looking at this whole scenario you know that sometime down the line things are going to go awry for the organization and in the relationship between Allen and Shanahan. Never mind the fact that when it comes to assessing college football talent , Bruce Allen has about as much experience and intuitiveness in the matter, as Stevie Wonder and Andrea Bocelli combined. His track record jointly with Jon Gruden speaks for itself.

As to what Snyder hopes to get out of this all , one can only hope that the 5 year $ 35 million dollar contract can be justified for the services of Mike Shanhan. Otherwise , we can see the path as to how this could all end up. Over Snyder’s tenure he’s paid out in excess of $100 million for the coaching services of the coaches that he’s hired and fired, as well as their assistants that came in tow. It’s not so much that this irks me as an NFL fan. But what does it suggest to you about the organizational and managerial structure within Washington Redskins ? Their long suffering fans have put up with all of this crap over the past decade. But yet Daniel Stern as the owner has yet to apologize to them for any of the malaprops or prat-falls along the way. Many of which have come about at his own making.

Andre Dawson poses during a news conference after his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, January 7, 2010. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 25, 2010.
Andre Dawson poses during a news conference after his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, January 7, 2010. Dawson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on July 25, 2010. Dawson was the only one of the nominees on the ballot to have reached allotted 75 % vote needed to be considered to be an inductee for Baseball's Hall of Fame. picture appears courtesy of Reuters/ Brendan McDermid ......

One of my acquaintances within this forum, chappy 81 of doin’-work.com wrote a very good article as to the enshrinement of Tim Raines into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Whilst this was all laudable as to Raines being on the ballot. One knew that from the very start that the player would face an uphill battle with regard to his induction. And that’s certainly not because of his lack of credentials. As a matter of fact those credentials are credible enough. What it isn’t credible is the asinine notion that the BBWAA or Baseball Writer’s Association of America has any real credence to be the adjudicators for this prestigious recognition. After all, next to winning a World Series ring it is the highest honor that one can bestow upon a player over the course of their career. League and World Series MVP awards, while recognizable don’t quite have that same ring to it , as that of stating you’re in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The BBWWA has made the whole process now become more objectiveness rather than that of subjectivity . And that’s especially true in the case of a great many nominees over the years.

Admittedly, now the writers are faced with a great of indecision as to who ought to be included and who ought not to be. While we can all conclude that for the greater part of the nineties baseball was at the height of the ‘steroids era’ and with it great many of the game’s watershed records were broken under dubious circumstances. At the same time who can fail to acknowledge that many of the writers who covered the sport knew full well what was going on inside a great of the ball club locker rooms, as to the omnipresent use of steroids and other banned substances. But in effect either they chose to ignore it all or they just thought it needn’t be reported. If anything, by that act alone along with the duplicity of the MLB hierarchy of Bud Selig and the Players’ Union (MLBPA) all of the parties concerned and that includes the BBWAA were all party to the subterfuge played out in front of the fans with regard to the nation’s pass-time. But yet the BBWAA now acts very pious and sanctimonious concerning the hallowed Hall of Fame and who ought to be now inducted ? That’s akin to saying, that as a Jew you’d welcome a member of Hezbollah into your house …’just as long as they don’t eat your food’. The MLB hierarchy, MLBPA and the BBWAA are simply a joke and not worth the time of day ! What merits the Hall of Fame once had is now being sullied by the laughable antics of the writers to begin with. And I’m supposes to believe that it’s still an honor for a player to be enshrined within that supposedly hallowed hall ? Give me break , it’s simply just not worth it any longer ! ‘nough said !

When is the premise of a boxing bout that’s said to be ‘the fight that everyone is waiting to see and absolutely no wants to miss’ , becomes nothing more than a sight gag and a complete bore ? It’s when fight promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. gets involved and starts to bitch and whine like someone has stolen money from him ! What was meant to be a world welterweight title bout between the ‘two most prolific fighters’ now in the sport, Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao. In essence, that event has become nothing more than afterthought, as two sides battle it out with barbs , that with each passing day over the last two weeks has become a trade insults and now a matter of a legal hyperbole. Pacquiao has started a civil suit against the Mayweather family citing ‘defamation of character’ and ‘slander’. As to why Pacquiao should deem fit to take this stance when he’d better off facing his opponent in the ring is beyond me ! Especially when you would consider that he would be guaranteed at a minimum to see the better part of between $25-$35 million just for stepping into the ring for what many believe would have been the biggest PPV event in boxing history. The proposed March 13th event has been called off and there seems to be no signs of a compromise in sight between the two parties.

Now as much as I love the sport of boxing , as my late father nurtured me on the history of the sport. I now can no longer stand the fact that all of the power is now primarily in the hands of all but a few boxing promoters and at the same time the four major international governing bodies simply cow-tow to their every and very whim. It ought to be the other way around. But promoters such Bob Arum , Don King of Don King Promotions Inc and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc, simply just now write out an unfilled check and leave those bodies to fill in the blank amount. At the end of the day the promoters know that they’ll end up making ‘a killing’ to begin with.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Pacquiao promoter says Mayweather bout is off

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Manny Pacquiao’s promoters said his prospective bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was dead late Wednesday night after a mediation session failed to resolve the fighters’ differences over drug testing, scrapping what was likely to be the richest fight in boxing history.

The bout was slated for March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, but Top Rank said it couldn’t reach an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, which represented Mayweather in the negotiations, after nine hours of mediation Tuesday and more discussions Wednesday.

Although neither side was allowed to publicly discuss the specifics of their dispute, Mayweather apparently balked at a hard-fought compromise in the testing issues first raised by the former welterweight champion.

“I knew this was going to happen,” said a weary Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter. “You had to play it out.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe didn’t immediately return phone messages.

The promoters went into the lengthy mediation Tuesday to resolve their differences over drug testing for the fight. Both sides claimed every other detail for the fight had been decided, but Mayweather had demanded random blood testing in addition to unlimited urine testing, with Pacquiao balking at the stringent requests.

The fighters’ representatives apparently thought they had a compromise after the mediation. The promoters were widely expected to formally announce the bout Wednesday – but subsequent discussions with Mayweather during the day led Top Rank to declare the fight canceled.

Arum was left fuming by Mayweather, who fought for Top Rank for several years.

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Mayweather  Pacquiao  another  wasted  opportunity  to give the  fans  something that they  want. Instead   we'll   now   continue to  see  the  further  demise of a   sport  that   has  lost all   relevance  for a  great  number  of  fans  and   observers  of the  sport  in  general.       picture  appears  courtesy of   bbc.co.uk/sports/boxing/   Richard Marshall  ......................
Mayweather Pacquiao another wasted opportunity to give the fans something that they want. Instead we'll now continue to see the further demise of a sport that has lost all relevance for a great number of fans and observers of the sport in general. picture appears courtesy of bbc.co.uk/sports/boxing/ Richard Marshall ......................

Much of the tumult behind the divisiveness of the Mayweather- Pacquiao situation lies with the intransigence shown by Arum in not wanting his fighter have to undergo mandated blood and urine sample testing prior and after the fight. Something in this day and age, I would’ve thought that Arum both and Pacquiao would have preferred ? But seemingly not , when one considers the last major indiscretion that took place in a ring concerned one of Arum’s fighters. Then it was his welterweight charge, Antonio Margarito in his title bout against Miguel Cotto . Margarito we later found out had an illegal body placed over his wrappings before his fight gloves were put on. Two things spring to mind right away ! Who did the on sight inspection of Margarito ? And how was it that they couldn’t detect that the fighter had a hardened substance (plaster of paris) over his wrappings prior to him being gloved up ? The fighter was later suspended a monetary fine was paid. In spite of all of this Arum stipulated that his fighter’s punishment was deemed far too harsh. Is he f_cking kidding me ? Margarito with that added advantage on the night could have ended up killing his opponent. But that simply didn’t occur Arum that it could have happened. Now as I’ve told my buddy sportschump , Bob Arum can’t be trusted as far he could be thrown from a standing position. The man for all sense and purpose is a lying, bigoted and self centered ass ! Why anyone now is at all surprised that this bout fell through shouldn’t be surprised by the turn of events that have taken place. Simply put you’re dealing with a cheating bastard in Bob Arum !

These are but a couple of things that’ve irked me as of late with regard to the world of sports. Has there been anything that plainly put , has you pis_ed off or just thinking to yourself…..’enough is enough I’m done with them or that’ ? By all means chime on with a comment and perhaps we can debate the issue or issues as the case maybe ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal 🙂

A Tribe Called Quest feat’g Faith Evans give you ‘Stressed Out’