Albert Pujols, Baseball, Basketball, Billy Hunter (NBPA), David Stern, ESPN, Football, Gregg Popovich, Jim Tressel, Major League Baseball, MLB, NBA, NFL, NFL Lockout, NFLPA, Ohio State (Buckeyes), Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, St Louis Cardinals, Terrelle Pryor, Uncategorized

Are You Up For That ?


Are You Up For That ?

Ah get a litany of lawyers in a room to try and draw up an agreement between two parties as part of the resolution process in a negotiation is like extracting several teeth without the use of a pain killer . Neither side will be truly happy at all even when you’ve been told that a compromise has been reached . Inasmuch as the NFL negotiations have been going on for what appears to be in an indeterminable period of time. It’s hard to believe that the owners , league hierarchy and players represented by their union NFLPA are actually any closer to a real compromise . Granted , ESPN has made it their sole purpose of keeping us abreast of each and every whiff any move that that has taken place . But for me, this whole episode has been one complete and utter bore ! So much so , that with the NFL having already alienated much of their fan-base I seriously doubt why it is that these arrogant and pompous assholes would actually create the perception that at any time they have actually cared what the fans think !

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Slide show for your perusal .

If as is to be believed that the league and all parties concerned will have an agreement in place by the 15th July at the latest then what can the NFL offer the fans this season . A slew of preseason games as usual where in large part we will see the new draftees try to show us why it is that the teams went out and drafted them in the first place . At the same time we may well get to see none other than Terrelle Pryor try and make believers out of us that he has in fact changed and is ready for the rigors of the NFL and all that it brings . Fast cars , loose women and plenty of money . Oh I forgot, Pryor was already use to that with his days served under Jim Tressel at Ohio State . So what will be new for the player ? Well first out having signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus as a client you can be sure that the ubiquitous agent will be doing his utter best to hype up his client as if he were the second coming of Joe Montana . But then again when hasn’t Rosenhaus never not been known to do that for any of his clients ? In the right environment the agent could sell oil to the Arabs right from their very own wells at a reasonable price and they would still feel happy about the transaction .

With Pryor having left Ohio State and having declared himself eligible for the NFL’s Supplemental Draft it will be interesting to see if there are any teams out there interested in acquiring the player . I am sure that there will be but as to who they might be remains to be seen .

Well the NBA Draft is almost upon us and environment is rife with a great deal of speculation as to will be the top pick in the draft . With the Cleveland Cavaliers having the privilege of that pick along with another in the top ten it will be interesting to see how Cavaliers GM Chris Grant goes about rebuilding the roster in the aftermath of LeBron James’ departure and their rather lackluster season within the Eastern Conference . From my own standpoint I do believe that Bryon Scott as the team’s coach has a monumental task to undertake as the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be a team without a sense of real purpose . The fans within the city may well have had the last laugh in seeing the player and his team the Miami Heat succumb to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals . But that asides it has to be said that the situation while on the face of it may well appear to bleak it could well be a number of years before we can actually view the franchise as a legitimate threat to win an NBA title .

Being an avid San Antonio Spurs’ fan I’ve read a number of blogs within this medium suggesting that GM R C Burford may well seek to trade Tony Parker or use the player as bait in moving up in the order of the NBA Draft. While on the face of it seems a reasonable thing to do . I would point to the fact that the player throughout much of the regular season was the team’s most productive player by far in terms of their offensive output . But what might be even more asinine would be for Burford to actually believe it feasible to acquire an aging Vince Carter to add to this team. The team doesn’t need to get older but simply more athletic with the younger players on this squad actually stepping up their game and actually contributing more . But given the sheer ineptitude shown by the Spurs this postseason I for one am not so sure that the fans won’t be in for more of the same should they make the playoffs this upcoming season . As great a coach as I know Gregg Popovich to be if these players aren’t motivated to get the job done then their ass ought to be kicked to the curb . And yes that includes veteran player Tim Duncan as well !

I don’t know if at this time of the season any team can really afford an injury to one of their most prominent players on their roster . In baseball this seems to be the anomaly that repeatedly tends to either add an incentive to the rest of the players or simply saps them of all of their confidence . This could very well be the case with the St Louis Cardinals and the loss of their All Star slugger and first baseman Albert Pujols for what we’re led to believe could be a minimum of six weeks due to a fractured right arm/wrist . Given the player’s productivity and what it means to the team over the course of the season any loss of this magnitude has to be profound for the organization

The St Louis Cardinals now appear to be in a tenuous dog fight in terms of seeking dominance within the NL Central . While trying to fend off the resurgent Milwaukee Brewers they also have to deal with a Cincinnati Reds team that would like to show the fans that their appearance in last season’s standings and their appearance in the postseason were by no means a fluke .

If the Cardinals are to have any chance of the team even winning the division much less obtaining the wildcard berth as the NL representative then the likes of Matt Holliday , Coby Rasmus , Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman in particular will have to raise the level of their play over the ensuing weeks while Pujols remains on the DL . If the Cardinals can weather that storm and stay at least within two games of the division leaders then the loss of Albert Pujols mightn’t be as grave as one would have first thought . It will be however down to Tony La Russa to have his players believing that they’re still in with a fighting chance and that the loss of Pujols is not in vain .

And here was I thinking that the idiocy of the NFL labor negotiations had become a real farce ! Now I’m being proven wrong by the sheer ineptitude now being shown by the NBA team owners , league hierarchy and the NPBA (union) . Were it not for the asinine behavior continually being shown by the Obama administration of the government , the House and Senate I could have sworn that this wasn’t indeed the US but some third world country on the African continent ! Somewhere or should I say somehow , the NBA and the union seems to have found themselves in a total divergence when it comes to an according concerning their collective bargaining agreement that is due to expire at midnight on the 30th June. Suffice to say, that if an agreement of some kind is not reached then in all likelihood the fans of the NBA could see a lockout of the players . Bring on the dark days of Summer I say ! Can anything else go wrong that already hasn’t when it comes to the world of professional and collegiate sports ? I’ll leave that for you all to decide !

Courtesy of AP & Yahoo Sports

Union: Owners still demand too much in NBA talks

By Brian Mahoney , AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP )—Union officials said Wednesday that NBA players and owners are about $7 billion apart over a 10-year span in their most recent proposals, a significant gap to close to avoid a work stoppage.

So far apart in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that union president Derek Fisher(notes) said when players are briefed on the state of the talks, they are in “total disbelief” and ask why they even bother having meetings.

“When we put our spreadsheets up, we put it on the board, we lay it out, everybody’s at a loss for how to even begin to close this gap,” the Lakers’ guard said.

They have only until June 30, when the current CBA expires, and they’ll take another crack at it during another session Friday.

But as they continue to disagree over issues relating to the salary cap as well as the enormous gap in economics, it becomes clear how difficult it will be to avoid a lockout.

“Their demand is gargantuan and we just can’t meet it,” executive director Billy Hunter said.

Hunter and Fisher decided to meet with reporters after being caught off guard Tuesday when NBA Commissioner David Stern revealed details of the league’s latest proposal during a press conference after a bargaining session. Both sides had largely kept specifics from the media during the negotiations.

Yet Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver laid out their proposal for what they called a “flex cap,” in which teams would be targeted to spend $62 million in salary, but could exceed that number through the use of exceptions to an unspecified level before the ceiling kicked in.

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Click on the link shown to read this article in its entirety .

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If what we’re being led to believe is that the two sides are so far apart , as in trying to alleviate this issue with both parties aren’t able to come to an agreement , wherein they can successfully reach an accord as to how best to equally split a projected revenue stream of $ 7 billion over the next decade then there’s something seriously wrong with the thinking of parties . Not unlike the idiocy we’re now seeing concerning Democrats , GOP and the President as they try to rein in the runaway spending and an ever deepening deficit and national debt . Can I get a what , what here ?

I’ve never really been enamored with David Stern as the commissioner of the NBA and I simply do not trust anything that has been set forth by NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter or anyone from the union’s executive committee led by union President Derek Fisher . Both sides at present would rather have a pissing contest , seeing who best can actually write their name in the sand . Can any of these bumbling oafs actually see the forest but for the trees ? Then one has to consider that should a labor stoppage now begin in earnest where does it leave the players now awaiting the commencement of tonight’s NBA Draft ?

Now as we head on into the dank dark days of summer no doubt hoping to enjoy a season of fun in terms of what sporting offers there are to be had . I’m not so sure that we are all expecting will actually be that satisfactory to begin with . I mean simply look across the collegiate landscape to see the machinations that have taken place there ? I’m sure that Jim Tressel if he had it to do all over again would have preferred to have had a tattoo on the end of his member, asking all those who view it, to pull ! But instead, it was left to Prior and several of his now former teammates to blow that bitch asunder for us to actually know that collegiate athletics has always been a complete joke to begin with ! Needless to say those devout fans of USC would like to tell us otherwise .

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By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you would deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……. http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, left, hugs his wife, Candice Romo at his annual football fundamentals camp at Burlington High School, Wednesday, June 22, 2011, in Burlington, Wis. They were married May 28. Romo graduated from the school. The two-day camp is for athletes entering grades 7-12. AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg …

(2) Woody Johnson, left, owner of the New York Jets, talks with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ……

(3) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, second from right, and others grab a bite to eat during the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh …..

(4) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference at the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh ….

(5) Terrelle Pryor ended his silence Tuesday — for exactly 97 seconds. Pryor (right) is seen here with his agent Drew Rosenhaus and Rosenhaus associate Robert Bailey (left). AP Photo / Michael Croft ……

(6) FILE – This April 29, 2011 , file photo shows San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, right, talking with guard Tony Parker, of France, during the first half of Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies , in a first-round NBA basketball playoff game, in Memphis, Tenn. Parker is backing off earlier comments to French media that San Antonio realistically has no more chances to win another championship. The comments came a few weeks after the 61-win Spurs were upset in the first round by eighth-seeded Memphis. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey ……

(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 22: Lance Berkman (12 ) of the St. Louis Cardinals double up Ryan Howard (6) of the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on June 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Phillies would go on to defeat the Caridnals 4-0 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images …..

(8) Starter Cliff Lee(33) and Carlos Ruiz (51) both of the Philadelphia Phillies congratulate each other after beating the St. Louis Cardinals at Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ……

(9) St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols stands in the dugout with his left arm in a soft cast during the Cardinals’ baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies pm Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in St. Louis. Pujols will be out 4-6 weeks after being injured on a play during a game against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …

(10) NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, gestures as he sits next to Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver , following a meeting between team owners and the NBA players’ union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, in New York. Both sides made new proposals in a 3 1/2-hour meeting on what Stern said was an important day in the league’s labor talks. The collective bargaining agreement expires June 30. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews ……

(11) Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Derek Fisher holds a press briefing following a meeting between team owners and the NBA player’s union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in New York . AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(12) Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, holds a press briefing following a meeting between team owners and the NBA player’s union on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews …..

(13) These recent handouts provided by their respective schools or overseas team, show 2011 NBA basketball draft prospects. Top from left are Nolan Smith, Duke; Malcolm Thomas, San Diego State; Trey Thompkins, Georgia; Klay Thompson, Washington State; Tristan Thompson, Texas, and Jeremy Tyler, Tokyo Apache. Bottom from left are Jonas Valanciunas, Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania); Jan Vesely, Partizan Belgrade (Serbia); Nikola Vicevic, Southern Cal; Kemba Walker, Connecticut, Derrick Williams, Arizona, and Jordan Williams, Maryland. AP Photo / File …….

(14) Toronto Raptors new head coach Dwane Casey , left, and general manager Bryan Colangelo pose following a basketball conference in Toronto on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Casey was hired as coach of the Raptors on Tuesday, nine days after the Dallas assistant helped the Mavericks win an NBA title. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young ……

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AL East, Albert Pujols, Baseball, Major League Baseball, Sports, St Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa

Money Makes The World Go Around …………… In MLB It’s Been The Sole Reason To Exist


Money Makes The World Go Around …………… In MLB It’s Been The Sole Reason To Exist

So the season has yet to begin but before MLB has even come into being it appears that the St Louis Cardinals have been given an ultimatum . Negotiate a contract that meets everyone’s needs of Albert Pujols will test the free agency market this offseason. John Mozeliak team GM for the Cardinals knows that in losing Pujols to anyone of a multitude of teams within the league it be disaster for the organization on all fronts. From a financial standpoint it would prove to sheer idiocy on the part of the Cardinals and in all probability it would send the fans in attendance Busch Ballpark in complete uproar.

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Tony La Russa knows full well that without Pujols the Cardinals as a team can’t compete within the NL Central much less the rest of baseball. For the Cardinals as an organization this all comes down to whether or not they’re prepared to break the bank in terms of offering the player what many may well believe will have to be one of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history . That privilege at present belongs to the New York Yankees’ —- Alex Rodriguez with his 10 year $300 million deal . Over the course of his career it is estimated that the Yankees’ third baseman will have earned in excess of half a billion dollars ( $500,000,000) without the inclusion of endorsements from corporate endorsers.

All this comes about not only with the help of A-Rod’s abilities on the field but the sheer added advantage of having Scott Boras as his agent. Boras has been able to cloud the judgment of general managers around baseball for over a decade and the idiocy they’ve shown in merely not looking after the financial wherewithal of their respective organizations. Much of this has been suborned also by the stupidity shown by MLB Commmisioner Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy . And as we all know intelligence has never been Bud Selig’s biggest attribute ! He’s still under the impression that the game and everything it stands for is good as it has ever been . At the same time what little backbone he shows has never been really there as he still cowers under the might of the MLBPA and it still hasn’t ceased.

Now while I’m under no impression that Pujols isn’t worthy of being richly rewarded for his exploits on the field but also his philanthropic efforts of it. If anything Albert Pujols is considered to be the best player in the game and if anything the fans and many of his peers may well be in agreement with this . It’s certainly in most fans’ minds that the game is in need of a clear overhaul when it comes to its financial blue print. The tax sharing scheme which benefits the small market teams around the league by way of revenues that’s shared amongst them by the league’s own mandate. Now it remains to be seen what type of long term contract that Pujols may well seek but it goes without saying that the starting point for those negotiations will have to be a minimum of 7 years and quite possibly in excess of $175 million . Comparable to Rodriguez’s annual salary of $30 million it would suggest that Pujols is still vastly underpaid. But that being said the question one has to ask is when will the over exubrance of the teams and their owners be reined in ? Clearly there are still at a point where they believe it’s in their best interest to carry on as if they’re printing money at will. I understand that’s how the <a href="http://usa.gov/&quot; US government at present constitutes its business as it relates to the governance of the country and dealing with the stark economic issues facing the country but it’s become apparent that they’ve no idea to deal with this acute issue.

Do I believe that Albert Pujols should be the highest paid player in the game of baseball ? It’s a matter of opinion and a great deal of conjecture . Certainly over the course of his career he’s proven to be productive and having won three NL Player of the Year Awards . Pujols has been the consummate professional both on and off the field and he’s proven to be one of the main draws in the game ever since his entry into the major leagues. This has to be a decision that’s made by the front office , Mozelliak , the player’s agent and the player himself as to whether their most prized asset is worth the expense.

Amongst this upcoming season it’ll be interesting how to see how the likes of Jayson Werth performs for the Washington Nationals after their acquisition of the player. And amongst the teams having made their off season acquisitions are the Boston Red Sox having obtained both Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford from the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays respectively. For the latter , the Tampa Rays they will be in for a tumultuous season because of the ” fire sale” that has been taking place within the organization and the public statements now being made concerning the team’s impending future. Principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg and GM Andrew Friedman have been clear that what they are now doing is being done in order for the team to remain financially viable and self sustaining . This has been something of a death knell for the defending AL East division champions who are now seeing their fortunes now scurry down the drain.

And if one thinks that this is only MLB team within the league that where their financial fortunes now lay in waste then consider the fact that Commissioner Bud Selig and team owners would still have us believe that the financial health of the game is a viable one where all of the teams are making money. That’s certainly not the case for those teams are at the bottom of the food chain and are merely fighting for the scraps being thrown its way . How’s that working out for those teams at this juncture ? And although many will throw out the statement recent winners of the World Series have been been varied in large part that may well be true but the vast majority of that period it has been more about the have and have nots as the big market teams have simply had the success that the smally teams simply have not. Skewer it anyway that you want but simply look at the list of champions over the last fifteen years ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The game has come a long way from its stoic and social issues of the past but now it’s incumbent on Bud Selig , the game’s hierarchy , owners and players simply deal with the prevailing issues now hovering as a dark cloud over their sport. Have they actually done so ? I’ll let you all be the judge of that !

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to Albert Pujols’ request of the St Louis Cardinals to get a contract in place by season’s end or he’ll test the free agency market ? And in your honest opinion should he now become the highest paid player in the game today ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic and and the impending season within the game .

Picture and slide show details …..

(1) St. Louis Cardinals fans wish Albert Pujols a happy birthday as he signs autographs for fans at the Cardinals Winter Warm-up, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam ……

(2) St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols horses around with former teammate Steve Kline as he signs autographs for fans at the Cardinals Winter Warm-up, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011 in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam …….

(3) Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida. Getty Images /Doug Benc ………

(4) Manager Tony La Russa (10) and Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals stand in the duggout during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 29, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida. Getty Images / Marc Serota ……

(5) Uber-agent Scott Boras (left) seen here with former client Alex Rodriguez at the Yankees Spring Training facility Steinbrenner Field in Tampa , Florida. Boras negotiated in part contracts that will net the Yankees’ third baseman in excess of $500 million over the course of the player’s professional career and this doesn’t include off the field endorsement deals. Larry Goren SMI Inc ……..

NB MLB news

MLB schedule 2011

MLB Standings 2010

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Jenna Jameson

Eye candy …………… Jenna Jameson retired porn star turned business entrepreneur.

Jenna 1

It’s what they call flippin’ the bird I think !

Baring it all for fans and foes alike . What else is new ?

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Outkast feat’g …… Killer Mike …. “The Whole World”

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Baseball, Major League Baseball, Sports

Who’ve You Got In The Fall Classic ? It’s Anyone’s Series To Win Should They Want It Enough …………


Who’ve You Got In The Fall Classic ? It’s Anyone’s Series To Win Should They Want It Enough …………

OK so here it is at last the ‘Fall Classic’ and baseball’s playoffs are upon us , the ALDS and NLDS begin. My biggest thought now is this really what the fans will want and appreciate ? That being said it goes without saying that the meltdown by the San Diego Padres and their season coming down to the last few weeks where their play was so inconsistent. One has to ask one’s self how could it all have gone so wrong in such a short period of time ? And then we have the Atlanta Braves who with their esteemed manager Bobby Cox are looking to make his last appearance in the postseason a memorable one . Could we be in with a fairy tale ending after all ? Stranger things are known to have happened and it’s not as if much was actually expected of this Braves’ team much less them making the postseason with a revamped team.

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Well the usual suspects are there in the guise of the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. That being said of that triumvirate the most pressure might just be on the Rays and Yankees , given the Rays’ financial situation and that of the Yankees with the loss of their esteemed owner George Steinbrenner. From my own perspective I’m just hoping to see several entertaining series with the best teams prevailing throughout.

In the NL I do feel that the whole playoff scenario is the Phillies to lose ! I doubt that there’s a pitching rotation in the playoffs that is the equal of their starting triumvirate of Roy Halladay , Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. And while everyone may well point to the Rangers’ starting duo of Cliff Lee and C J Wilson or the Yanees’ CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes . There’s no way in hell that any of the other teams can match that firepower of a starting lineup in terms of a pitching rotation ! However as a precursor , the postseason isn’t simply just about pitching , as offense carries its own weight also in the equation .

The match-ups themselves make for an interesting scenario by way of the pairings as we have the Tampa Bay Rays taking on the Texas Rangers and where the New York Yankees will be taking on the Minnesota Twins. And is anyone certain that we’ll see the Yankees successfully come through the divisional rounds of the playoffs given the woes of their pitching as of late ? The Rays and their series against the Rangers pits a combustible offense in that of the Rangers against that of the Rays and their all round balance and a manager in Joe Maddon who tends to be systematic in his management style . The Rangers will counter that with Ron Washington and a team whose change in ownership wherein Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg are looking to ring in a new era which is totally different from that of the rather dour tenured reign of Tom Hicks and what some might deem was one of the most idiotic reigns ever of a baseball franchise. What Hicks brought to the Rangers was nothing but controversy and a great deal of debt and for those assholes out there who still think of Hicks as being an entrepreneur and consummate businessman. Consider this , Hicks and each of his sporting concerns have been on the brink of bankruptcy over the last five years. And this simply proves that because you have millions or billions as the case maybe it doesn’t automatically make you primed to be the “best owner” of a professional sports franchise.

The NLDS has a quartet of teams each with a storied history and the feelgood story here might just be the fact that Braves’ manager Bobby Cox in his last managerial season could just go out with a bang should the team actually manage to make it to the World Series. Unlikely as this might be there is a feeling given the right set of circumstances and the drive of a young team hoping to send this renowned manager out with a second World Series title. The Braves will take on the San Francisco Giants led by manager Bruce Bochy whose team essentially ended whatever hopes that the San Diego Padres might have had of making the postseason. And as intriguing as this series might appear on paper many feel that the Giants should be able to deal with the Braves with a great deal of ease. I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest that it might be that easy given Cox’s postseason experience. He’ll have his team motivated, primed and ready to play with a great deal of heart and the outcome could be a great deal more interesting than some would hope.

In the other NLDS game we’ll see the Phillies take on the NL Central division winning Cincinnati Reds. And for Reds’ manager Dusty Baker this might well have been a season of redemption after his failures with the Chicago Cubs . This series has everything that a fan of the game could wish for . The Reds have an offense that on its day can be as good as any within baseball (MLB) but there’d be those who’d state otherwise. In this series I do feel that the fans could be primed for a surprise if the Reds play up to their undoubted potential. Scott Rolen , Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto could make this a series to remember for the Cincinnati Reds’ fans. The Phillies on the other hand will be looking not only cement themselves as the ‘class of the National League’ by looking to win their their third consecutive NL pennant should the scenario take them that far. And most definitely for manager Charlie Manuel and GM Rueben Amaro Jr this will go a long way in vindicating the organization when many felt that they’d made a big mistake in letting Cliff Lee go by trading him to the Seattle Mariners.

Now as much as the fans here in the Tampa Bay area are rejoicing with the fact that the Rays won the AL East divisional title . It has to be said all of the excitement in the world won’t be able to hide the fact that should this team not prevail in the postseason then the ramifications will be there for all to see . Stuart Sternbberg and his partners now are in the midst of what might just be the most important year in this ball-club’s existence. Needing to have more than just a successful run throughout the playoffs the ays by my own estimation do need to win the World Series if there’s to be a remote chance of the team remaining intact for next season. We’ve either read or heard about the financial problems that the organization has had. Winning they say is everything and now more than any other time in its history it is incumbent upon the club to have a successful run to the World Series. Though anything short of that might not be viewed as catastrophic within the baseball world or for the fans of the team, although those within the locale might deem it as being something of a disaster. The financial vagaries of the game makes it something of a financial boon for a small market team when they make it to and win the World Series. For the Rays in 2008 it was their moment to shine but unfortunately then for the team , the final outcome wasn’t as envisaged. This time around it’s all or bust for this Rays’ franchise.

As to the reigning World Series champions this is the part of the season where they’re usually expected to shine. The New York Yankees and their series against the Minnesota Twins might not be as clear cut as some may well believe it to be . Anyone who’s seen the Yankees final season regular game series against the Kansas City Royals will know that the team’s pitching isn’t anywhere as feared as many would feel that it will need to be. With the exception of CC Sabathia , Phil Hughes , Kerry Wood and the ever consummate Mariano Rivera ___ there’s been little to suggest that all is right with the Yankees’ pitching. But then to write off the Yankees would be to do so at your peril. The Twins for their part will be without Justin Morneau but there to captain the reins will be Joe Mauer and the guiding hand of their manager Ron Gardenhire. This series could be something where there’ll be either a great deal of intrigue or we could just see one of these teams completely overwhelming the other . It could all come down to not just the play of both but also the managing philosophy of Gardenhire and Joe Girardi and how they’ve prepared their teams for the divisional series’ play.

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

If anything do you feel that the postseason will bring about a great deal of excitement and which teams do you foresee making it to the World Series ?

Alan aka tophatal ……………………. 🙂

NB: For the latest news within MLB simply click on the link provided below .

ALDS match-ups
New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers

NLDS match-ups Atlanta Braves vs San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds

Texan Tom Hicks whose ownership of the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers and Liverpool F.C. club has amassed in excess of $2.0 billion worth of debt with little more than $1 billion of assets. Hicks has been able to obtain refinancing for the soccer team in order to stave off financial ruin and the unwanted advances of several potential bidders who were showing interest in the Premiership soccer club. .

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Larissa

Hot Latina Larissa Riquelme a staple of Maxim Magazine .

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

Did It Work For You ?


Did It Work For You ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ……….. 🙂

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

In My Wheelhouse From Where I Sit ….


In My Wheelhouse From Where I Sit ….

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

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

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

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Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & Associated Press

Edwards, Keselowski put on probation by NASCAR

By Will Graves , AP Sports Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Nolan Ryan testifies: Rangers could lose Josh Hamilton, prospects

By Barry Schlacter / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………….. 🙂

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

Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Major League Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Tennis

Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces



Friday Is Redux Day Rehashing Some Old Pieces

Well major league baseball (MLB) was off to its usual start and the Opening Day “game” was a battle of the AL East “behemoths” the New York Yankees against the Boston Red Sox . The game itself was played at the “famed” Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts. Now as we know this the “most hated” of sporting rivalries is similar to that of the rivalry between the “Hatfields” and the “McCoys” . And as far as I know to date there has yet to be a “loss of life” between these two warring sets of baseball fans. If I’m wrong in my assumption then please do correct me on this one element.

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The three game set between the Red Sox and Yankees was televised to a national audience and to a packed crowd , that is about as passionate about the game as anywhere across the entire nation. Fenway Park in all fabled history, is a place where if you to watch game you can’t but help soak up the atmosphere and that revelry that is there to be had. Alright, if you’re a Yankees’ fan in the midst of this you’re not going to be entirely happy . But then again, considering that “two teams will meet each other eighteen times” throughout the course of the regular season. You get the impression that when the Red Sox fans and the team visit Yankee Stadium in its gargantuan glory , there’s liable to be a surly welcome for the visiting fans. Unlike any other series in baseball there is a “lasting hatred” between these two sets of fans. And at times that angst that’s shown between the two teams can rival that of the volatility of in the stands ! I suppose as such it comes down to the competitiveness between the two and the very fact whoever wins the division is “guaranteed” a berth in the postseason . If you happen to finish “second” it is by no means a “guarantee” that you will be the wildcard entrant ..

The Red Sox would end up losing the series having its lone victory of the series in the opening day game with a hard fought 9-7 victory to their heated rivals. The strange this is, with the loss of the series , the Red Sox now sit at the bottom the AL East with a 1-2 record . Well it’s early days yet , so there’s no need to panic if you’re an avowed Red Sox fan. If you’re a Yankees’ fan then you can now start to gloat. Well , that’s what you guys tend to do for the vast majority of the time and throughout the baseball season. Is it any wonder that the fans around the league tend to find the Yankees’ fans , perhaps the most obnoxious in the league ?

There’s no denying that this season for the Atlanta Braves they would like to go out with that “last hurrah” for their legendary manager , Bobby Cox. And you do get the impression that the team doesn’t at all want to disappoint their manager or their fans

. And for those Braves’ fans in attendance at Turner Field in Atlanta. The thought that this is the very last season where they’ll see the “storied manager” seated in dugout alongside his assistant coaches and players will come as something of an aberration the fans. You get the impression that the Braves’ front office executives such as GM Frank Wren , Team President John Schuerholz and Chairman & CEO Terry McGuirk would like nothing more than for Cox to bow out of the game with perhaps “a real shot” of winning another World Series crown. And no doubt that sentiment is shared by their “most famous player” ever to have the Braves’ uniform Senior Vice President Hank Aaron . The Braves’ fans will no doubt share those exact sentiment of the team’s front office and its executives. However, all that stands in the Braves’ way in the NL East division are Florida Marlins , New York Mets , Washington Nationals and the reigning division champion and NL pennant title holder the Philadelphia Phillies. A really “daunting task” indeed that the Atlanta Braves will face through their schedule this season.

It will no doubt take a great deal of guile on the part of Cox and his assistants to have the Braves in contention throughout the season. But if there’s a manager within the game that’s capable of doing that and motivating a team, then “it is” Bobby Cox !

Talk is cheap and they’ll keep on talking until the “cows come home” . There are many who are now questioning the sanity of the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office and that of their coach Andy Reid . My thoughts on the matter after the trade of the team’s Pro Bowl “quarterback” Donovan McNabb to divisional rivals the Washington Redskins . Be careful what you wish for …..”as payback can be and is a real bitch” !

Whether or Reid bent or was not in favor of the trade is matter of mere speculation at this juncture. This much however we do know , team President Joe Banner had “the final say”. Eagles’ fans you can now bitch all you want because at the end of the day there’s absolutely no one but to blame than yourselves and the entire organization. McNabb was made to feel about “as welcomed” in the city as Osam Bin-Laden would have been , were he in a room filled with Hasidic Jews. And the fact that some of you are now said to be upset over the trade shows your complete arrogance and lack of understanding as to what has taken place ! You are the very same fans who “booed the player” when he was drafted by the team out of Syracuse University .

On first impression one would’ve thought that the Eagles had drafted a mentally and physically challenged individual , given the reception the player had received on the day he was drafted. Taken second overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. McNabb would go on to serve the club with distinction. Forget what you heard about the Superbowl loss to the New England Patriots in SBXXXIX – end result 24-21 . Let Terrell Owens “hold a grudge” ,have his bitching episodes and hissy fits like a female who’s on her menstrual cycle”. I don’t recall Freddie Mitchell catching a pass on the day but I do seem to remember “Fedex Safe Hands Freddie” actually dropping a few passes that weren’t even errant throws by the quarterback. And “TO” was complaining about McNabb’s performance in the loss ? And oh, by the way what has Owens since achieved after his abrupt departure from the organization ? “Fu_ck all” , I would say in terms on any tangible success !. No , “absolutely not” the Terrell Owens “reality show” doesn’t count as tangible success ! Well that’s unless you’re talking about his antics off the field in denigrating his former teammates , coaching staff, NFL owners and anyone else who doesn’t “think along” the same lines as he does ? I suppose that’s a “form of tangible success” if it makes you look like “an ever bigger as_hole” than first thought ?

Well this is merely part one of I don’t know many pieces that will take and be done consistently each Friday by myself. But hopefully this lone piece get about some constructive and interesting discussions ? And on passing note 9 time Wimbledon women’s singles champion

Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The former champion and winner of over 167 singles titles and a further 174 doubles titles from around the world is said to be cheerful and happy that the oncologist who diagnosed the cancer believes it to benign. However, to be on the safe side she will undergo chemotherapy in Paris , France while she’s there on business, as well her work with the UN and UNICEF . Anyone who has had a female relative or friend be stricken by this debilitating disease knows how hard it can be on the sufferer not just from a physical standpoint but also on a mental aspect as well.

Navritilova has said that she intends to ” beat the cancer” and then upon her recovery she will go out and assist women in a similar fight. She intends to work in conjunction with Susan G Komen Foundation , the largest women’s breast cancer organization of its kind in the United States. To date the foundation has raised in excess of $1.5 billion since the foundation’s inception in 1982. Monies raised goes not just into research but in “the hope of a cure” not just for breast cancer but it also goes towards funding other projects and issues that are causes that primarily affect young women. Grants are also provided in social areas that are of benefit to women around the world but particularly in developing and third world countries around the globe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Navratilova and I hope that she’s able to make a speedy recovery from her illness. In her prime the ” Czech born American was the most dominant female in women’s tennis. She may well have been the most dominant female athlete the world has ever seen in not just women’s tennis on the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour but quite possibly in women’s sports bar none ! Unfortunately when it comes to dominance in women’s sports it’s not really taken all that seriously in the world of sports journalism. In reality women’s sport is still being treated with either a great deal of skepticism or in some cases just sheer downright ridicule ! It now makes one wonder if the steps taken by former women’s tennis pro Billie Jean King in getting Title IX to be fully recognized and its battle to get it legislated upon in both the House and Senate was really worth it at all ?

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………………. 🙂

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Picture gallery for your perusal

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Aaliyah feat’g Timbaland “Try Again” Soundtrack to the movie
…….”Romeo Must Die ” (2000) . Starring Jet Li, Delroy Lindo, Anthony Anderson ,
Aaliyah Haughton , Russell Wong and D B Woodside.

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Baseball, Dominican Republic, International Olympic Committee, Major League Baseball, NBA, Sports, The Netherlands, United States, World Baseball Classic

Ah The World Baseball Classic ………..


 

 

Ah  The  World  Baseball  Classic  ……….

 

 

 

Well  this   quadrennial  event   much    like  the  Miss  America  and  Miss  Universe  pageants.    When  it  comes   creating   a  hullabaloo  this  may  well  be  the  one   sporting  event   that   by  its   very  own   creation  may   well  be  about  as  relevant   as  the  pageants  mentioned  themselves.  

 

 

Derek Jeter  and   teammates  pose  for  the  press  in  order  to  publicize  the  commencenment  of  the  World  Baseball  Classic.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo /  Matt Irving ............
Derek Jeter (center) and teammates pose for the press in order to publicize the commencement of the World Baseball Classic. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Irving ..............

 

 

The  only   thing  is   whereby   the  participants   of   the  pageants   seek something  of  relevance  at  the  end  of  the  day  .  The World Baseball Classic  only  seeks  to  apportion  some  sort  of   credibility  to  a  game  that  as  of  late   has     shot  itself   in  the  foot   more  times  than  one  would  care   to mention.  

 

 

Jimmy  Rollins  looks  on as  his   teammates on  the  US  team  commence  batting  practice  at  the  Rogers Center  in Toronto , Ontario,  Canada.    The  US  will  meet  Canada   in their  first   round  robin  game.   picture  appears  courtesy of  getty images/ Elsa  Martinez .............
Jimmy Rollins of the US team looks on his teammates commence batting practice at the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The US team would meet Canada in first round play. picture appears courtesy of getty images /Hugh Portnoy ............

 

 

And  it  certainly  hasn’t   bode  well  for  the   game   domestically  that  its  hierarchy  has   been   about   as  proactive   in  dealing   with  many  of its  problems  about   as  much  as   the  Federal   government   has  been  in   dealing  with  the   current   economic   crisis.      The   game’s   most  prominent  star   domestically  is   under   a   cloud  of  suspicion   and   his   actions  as  of  late   have  been  deplorable.   And   now   comes   word   that  he’s   curtailed   his   availability  for  his   national side,  the  Dominican Republic.   What  makes   Alex  Rodriguez’s  actions   even  more   suspicious at    this   juncture is  his  every  move   thus   far   has   been  orchestrated   in order to  amass  degree  of sympathy   from  the  public.  Hip  injury  or  not  and  with   allegations   still  surrounding   and  his   steroid use.   Could  it  be that   this  might’ve  been   borne   out    of  his   of  the  illecit   substances  ?  

 

 

Members  of  the  US and  Canadian  teams  line  up  for  the  national  anthem  before  their   game  at  the  Rogers Center , Toronto.   picture appears  appears  courtesy of  getty  images/ Elsa Martinez  .........
Members of the US and Canadian teams listen to the national anthem prior to their first round game at the Rogers Center in Toronto , Ontario, Canada. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Elsa Martinez ..................

 

 

As  to  the  event   itself  if  it   is   to  be   the   showcase  that   Major  League  Baseball  anticipates   and  that  of  the  game’s  international   governing   body.  Then   the   game’s   major   stars   who  are   representing  the   various   international   concerns  will  have  to  step  up  to  the  plate  and  make  sure   that  this  event  is   a  memorable  one   to  say  the  very  least.

 

 

Managers  Ernie  Whitt  of  Canada  and  Davey Johnson of the  US  team   greet  each other  before the   game  between  their   two  teams .  picture appears courtesy of  getty images / Elsa  Martinez ..............
Managers Ernie Whitt of Canada and Davey Johnson of the US greet each other prior to the game between their two teams at the Rogers Center in Toronto , Orantartio, Canada. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Elsa Martinez ............

 

 

The  event   itself  has  already  started  and  we’ve   already   witnessed  a  surprise   with  the  Netherlands  defeating  the  Dominican Republic 3-2.  They were  viewed  as  the  presumptive   favorites  to  win the  competition  outright.  But  then  again  the  US  team  was   also   viewed  as   a presumptive   favorite  at  the  Classic’s  inception.  And   we  can  all  remember  how  badly  the competition  went   for  the  team  can’t  we ?

 

 

 

Catcher  Jensen Henley  of  the  Netherlands  reacts  after  pitcher  Leon  Boyd  strikes  out Hanley Ramirez of  the  Dominican Republic   during  their  game.
Catcher Jensen Kenley of the Netherlands reacts after pitcher Leon Boyd strikes out Hanley Ramirez of the Dominican Republic. The Netherlands would go on to defeat their opponents 3-2 in a surprise victory over the presumptive favorites for the tournament. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ricardo Maldonnado ............

 

 

 

 

The  United  States’  team  makes   its   formal  entry   today   with   a  game  against   Canada.   And  it’s being    viewed   with   a  great  deal  of   expectancy.   Its roster   is  filled   with a  litany  of    All  Stars  and  they’re  expected   to  overcome  the   play  of  the  northern   counterparts  with   some   ease.    But   as  we’ve   already   seen   anything   can    happen  and   will.  We’ve  already   had  a  number  of  players   saying  that    they’re  playing   with  and  for  the  pride  of  their   country” .  It’s   not  something   that   ought  to  be  undermined   but  in   reality   for  many  of  these  players  it’ll  be   the  only   opportunity  that  they’ll   ever   get  to   play   at  this  level   and  infront  of   a  viewership  on  this   grand   a  scale.

 

 

Hanley  Ramirez  walks  back  to  the  dugout  after  his   team's  defeat at  the  hands  of the  Netherlands 3-2  in their  opening  round  game.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/ Al  Bello ..............
Hanley Ramirez walks back to the dugout after his team's defeat at the hands of the Netherlands 3-2 in a game played at the Hiron Bithorn Stadium in San Juan , Puerto Rico. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Al Bello .....................

 

 

 

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