The Damage Has Been Done
Well I’ve put it beyond me in terms of the men’s NCAA basketball championships bracket . I’ve seen Kansas bite the dust. When I say , bite the bust they bit it like they’d been kicked in the head by a bunch of ‘gang bangers’ . And so with it , went my bracket as well. Come to think of it President Obama’s bracket bit the dust as well and do you think that there’ll now be hell to pay as he tries to rip the Republicans ‘a new one’ over health-care reform ?
Spring Training is in full swing and the hype seems to be over Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman and the Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg . Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve no doubt that both of these pitchers are extremely talented . But I simply don’t put much store in what they’re presently doing until they’ve played their first games in ‘the majors’ as in ‘the big leagues’. And no doubt both of the organizations would rather not have them called up right away as it would essentially start their arbitration clock ticking , as to their future worth.
Both ball clubs have essentially struggled over the last few years to show some semblance of competitiveness. And their struggles have been borne out by the declining attendance as their respective home games. But that asides is anyone of the opinion that both Chapman and Strasburg will be the apparent saviors of their respective clubs ? Over the last few years the National and Reds have simply underperformed and underachieved. Much of it has been brought by their poor play and even worse, the poor personnel decisions made by their respective front offices. The struggles for both organizations will manifest itself in the upcoming season . It’ll be interesting to see how Cincinnati Reds make their way within the NL Central . There they’ll stare down the likes of the St Louis Cardinals , Houston Astros , Chicago Cubs , Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates . And I for one would certainly like to think that the Reds’ organization has come a long way from the days when it was under the ownership of Marge Schott ! Was it her or her dog Schottzie that was actually behind the majority of the personnel decision making at the time ?
This upcoming season I believe that the Reds as a team will be hard pressed to contend with the likes of the Cardinals , Cubs and Brewers within the NL Central . And the pressure will most certainly be on the Reds’ coaching staff and in particular team manager Dusty Baker . A great regular season manager given the right on-field talent but one can see his failings magnify when he’s got to deal with marginal talent and then making the right strategic decisions. Much like of that of the team’s he’s managed over the years , success just seems to be beyond him as a manager.
With the ownership group of the Reds led by President & CEO Robert H Castellini and GM Walt Jocketty . It is expected the owners are looking for signs progress and improvement as to the team’s competitiveness within the division and across the National League (NL) . If there isn’t a marked improvement then there’s liable to be changes not only on the team roster but also amongst the coaching staff.
As far as I’m concerned the idea of baseball being played in the nation’s capitol , is like making the case both legislative houses of the government conducts its business in an orderly manner. We know it’s simply not true. Both the House of Representatives and the US Senate has essentially become a place for ‘the meet and great’ , then showing about as much common sense as Ben Roethlisberger in a room filled with female college co-eds . The Washington Nationals in the NL East , have simply become ‘the doormat’ of the division. Were this a wounded animal then it’d have been put out of its misery long ago ! But alas, the MLB hierarchy led by Bud Selig believes organizations such as this, are still vibrant for the game. But then again we’re all entitled to our own opinions aren’t we ?
Billionaire Ted Lerner as the largest stake holder in the organization alongside GM Mike Rizzo really do have their work cut out for them in trying to make the Nationals not only a viable concern but also a competitive one on the field of play. Manager Jim Riggleman and his coaching staff have got to turn things around in terms of the team’s prospective fortunes. And while on paper the team does appear to be one that should things fall the right way for them then they should be able to make some noise within the division as a whole. But I fear that the fortunes of the team won’t be what they (owners) and their fans had hoped for.
In this this day and age pinning one’s hopes to a single player expecting them to be the organizations’ savior. Well that doesn’t always tend to work out all that well for the player or the party concerned. It’s a collective team effort that’s needed by both the Nationals and Reds . And it appears to have been lost on the front offices of both organizations. The damage was simply done the moment they opened up their check books for the financial outlay made to both Chapman and Strasburg. As good as they appear to be during Spring Training. There’s nothing to suggest that both of these players will be able to reproduce that same form the moment that they make their debuts in a regular season game. But if the hopes of the organizations in question are to be realized then not only will Aroldis Chapman and Stephen Strasburg have to be atop of their game. So too will their teammates if they and their respective teams are to have a modicum of success, commercially as well as competitively.
Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………… 🙂
Jay-z , Bono & Rihanna …………. “Haiti Mon Amour ”