Alex Rodriguez, Allan 'Bud' Selig, Baseball, Milton Bradley, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

You’ve Got To Be Able To Walk Before You Can Run ……


You’ve Got To Be Able To Walk Before You Can Run

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There are certain things that we all tend to know will happen during the course of the MLB season . The Pittsburgh Pirates will either implode at some point during their schedule and that Milton Bradley is liable to go off into an inane rant and subsequently be cut from his team or be looking to lay allay his troubles elsewhere by blaming others for his own petulant and infantile behavior .

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Well it’s that time once again and the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to upset the apple cart . Low and behold but this team is actually playing a brand of baseball that seems to be exciting the fans at the home games played at PNC Park in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania . It would appear with the Pirates making their presence felt within the NL Central things could very well be looking up for the organization. Without a winning season since 1992 the thought was that this season we’d see some sort of improvement of this team as part of the newly installed Clint Hurdle’s plan. As manager of this team along with his coaching staff it was felt that this young and inexperienced roster would take time to gel and become competitive . Certainly their draft for this last year and previous seasons is now coming to fruition with several players making some valuable contributions to the team’s start. And though it’s early days yet this season could provide to be something special if the Pirates are able to challenge the likes of the Cincinnati Reds and St Louis Cardinals within the NL Central .

With an 18-17 mark the Pittsburgh Pirates sits two games behind the division leading Cardinals and a mere one game adrift of the Reds . And over the next three days with a home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers we’ll certainly begin to know a great deal more about the Pirates and their actual mindset as to the direction that they’re going in as a team and as an organization . GM Neal Huntington , principal managing partner Bob Nutting and the rest of the front office over course of their tenure have painted this organization as one that has struggled to remain solvent financially but also as a competitive organization. And now even in spite of the league hierarchy’s wholly benevolent tax sharing revenue scheme the Pirates much like many of the other small market teams continue to plead poverty. Baseball’s hierarchy , the team owners and the self absorbed MLBPA continue to live beyond their means , with the rather outrageous salaries being paid to the players . The game is well on its way to the self destruct mode and sooner or later the fans can simply watch it implode because this is much is certain, it’s now to late to back this train up as it heads toward that collision into a wall.

It’s my own belief that the Pittsburgh Pirates still have a long way to go before they can be seen not only a credible contender within their own division but also as a legitimate contender for any type of postseason honor be it the NLCS much less the World Series itself ! But over the course of the remainder of this season we will no doubt see the competitive nature of this team and how far they can actually go as to their own aspirations .

It should come as no surprise that the Seattle Mariners continues to be a woefully inept ran organization and an even more disastrous team from a competitive standpoint. Eric Wedge and his coaching staff have struggled to get this team to even battle competitively anywhere near their true potential . And it certainly hasn’t helped that a veteran such as Milton Bradley whose performances this season have been woefully inept . So much so, that Wedge and the front office led by GM Jack Zduriencik made the decision to part ways with their much troubled and beleaguered veteran . The real problem has been the very fact that Mariners haven’t been a competitive organization since the days when Randy Johnson , Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr were part of this team that met the challenges placed in front of them. It seems to so asinine to think that this organization owned by one of the world’s most recognized electronic gaming companies Nintendo Corp .America as a subsidiary of its parent company Nintendo of Japan has let things slump to its present situation ! It’d appear that Nintendo has no interest in seeing the Mariners be a competitive concern much less a viable one from a financial standpoint .

My biggest concern is what I see as being so much of a microcosm of what’s going across the landscape of baseball. If that’s not prevalent with what we’re now seeing within organizations such as Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets then clearly there’s a problem that the league hierarchy hasn’t really addressed. Albeit, that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has sought to intervene in the day to day operations and we’re informed by MLB spokesman Rob Manfred states that the league is also closely monitoring the New York Mets and their mediation case being overseen by Federal Court appointed mediator for which the organization and its principal owners Fred Wilpon , Saul Katz as well as their company Sterling Equities ; and the Mets’ organization are the co-defendants in Picard et all vs New York Mets , Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon. This case could prove to be costly should a verdict go against the defendants as on the line could be as much as anywhere between $750 million and $1 billion in damages which the plaintiffs are seeking to recoup from the profits attained by the defendants, which were part of the enormous benefits reaped from the Madoff Ponzi scheme .

In watching the Mariners simply spiral out of control it’s hard to believe that the this team can be viewed as being competitive within the AL West when they’re now mired with a 16-19 mark within the division are four games adrift of the division leading Los Angeles Angels . This team has been playing abysmally and if there’s view that the talents of Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez are being wasted on a team that simply hasn’t the proclivity to win . If nothing else the fans now entrenched at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington during home games are either seeking to endure this torture or the very fact that in terms of real entertainment there’s very little to be had in terms of using one’s discretionary income wisely . It is completely ridiculous to think Bradley’s departure remains the high point of the Seattle Mariner’s season so far rather than their accomplishments on the field of play. But in reality even there , there has been little to actually take any pride or joy in as with regard to the team’s rather anemic triumphs .

Pared down salaries simply hasn’t helped either organization , neither has the recent personnel decisions made by the Mariners or Pirates that has seen any real fruition for either team. Simply put there’s very little that I can see in terms of any real progress for either club at this juncture ! In time they may well become better but given their results in recent years and the fact that neither has had any impact on the postseason over the past decade it’s clear to see that they’re merely here to make up the numbers and little else !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

From your own perspective how do you view the Pittsburgh Pirates’ start to the season and do you feel that they’re capable of competing within their division or be viewed as a legitimate title contender. And what thoughts if any do youy have on the Seattle Mariners cutting ties with Milton Bradley , given his particular troubled past over the course of his Major League career ? Simply chime in with a comment as to anything you feel pertinent to this topic .

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) Milton Bradley (15) of the Seattle Mariners is restrained by manager Eric Wedge (22 ) after being ejected from the game against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field on May 6, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images / Otto Greule Jr ……..

(2) Luis Rodriguez (1) of the Seattle Mariners hits a three run home run in the eigth inning and is congratulated by teammate Milton Bradley (15) during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 28, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 7-2 . Getty Images /Leon Halip …….

(3) Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, center, talks with pitcher Chris Resop, right, as catcher Ryan Doumit walks to the mound during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. The Dodgers won 10-3 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar ……

(4) Neil Walker (18) of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates with teammate Ryan Doumit (41) after scoring in the 8th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game on May 9, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……

(5) Lyle Overbay (37) of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits an RBI double in the 8th inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game on May 9, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……..

(6) Matt Kempt (27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch in the outfield during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 9, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……

(7) Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki of Japan, bunts for a single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, May 10, 2011, in Baltimore. The Orioles won 7-6 in 13 innings. AP Photo/ Nick Wass ……

(8) Seattle Mariners right fielder Carlos Peguero runs under a fly ball by Baltimore Orioles’ Brian Roberts(notes) to make the catch for an out in foul territory during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 10, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Nick Wass ……..

(9) FILE – In this April 11, 2011 , photo, Seattle Mariners’ Milton Bradley(notes) watches from the dugout as he waits his turn to bat against the Toronto Blue Jays during a baseball game in Seattle. Bradley was cut by the Mariners on Monday, May 9, 2011, leaving the temperamental outfielder again looking for a new job. The Mariners designated Bradley for assignment, giving them 10 days to trade, release or send him to the minors. He was making $12 million this season. AP Photo / Elaine Thompson ………..

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Now For The Good News ………………..


Now For The Good News ………………………

Well perhaps the biggest story of the weekend had to be that the death of Osama Bin Laden had finally bitten the dust after a covert operation by the US military that took out the terrorist who was being harbored in Pakistan just outside the nation’s capital of Islamabad . What I find somewhat ironic is the mere fact that the attack took place so close to a military academy where many of Pakistan’s top military officers are trained in amongst other things military strategy and the use of intelligentsia in warfare . So much for that nation being a willing ally on the war on terror , the government of Pakistan and its military have been complicit and suborned Bin Laden’s safe refuge but in reality Barack Obama and his predecessor George W Bush were too damn afraid of saying …….. what in reality anyone who had one iota of common sense had known all along as ….. they simply didn’t want to alienate the Arab world in particular those countries who they state were their allies on the war on terror. Well now that the head of the snake has been chopped off the question remains where do we go from hear ? There there are likely to be retributory acts of violence in retaliation for Bin Laden’s death and you can be sure that any one of a number of organizations that were aligned with Al Qaeda will want to assume the mantra and doctrine of the terrorist group. And what does this now for Bin Laden’s most trusted follower Ayman Al-Zawahiri who is now likely to assume control of the terrorist group. Will he also be pursued hopefully with as much tenacity as Bin Laden was ?

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Having had several friends (with the US military) serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq as well as a younger sibling serving in Kabul with the British military I’ve got to say that this news was most welcomed. And having served myself on active duty as a member of the Royal Marines I have to say that warfare is nothing to shy away from even when you’re thrust into the midst of it at a young age. For those who are still serving and those about to serve the country in whatever undertaking being thrust upon them I’d just like to say thanks and remain safe !

Well on to things just as heart warming I hope , and that’s the sporting landscape as it now appears to be. After three utterly monotonous and boring days thankfully the NFL Draft is finally over ! Seven rounds and some 250 plus picks by the NFL’s teams and already questions are being raised as to who the winners and losers are ? Hell who the fuck knows who will be ultimately a winner and who’ll be a loser ? Until these players actually hit a field , play a first down in the NFL regular season it’s mere speculation and conjecture . Good , and although I watched none of the draft coverage by ESPN I can only surmise that the analysts and hosts on hand had a great deal to talk about . This much I do know there’s only so much one can take of Chris Berman , Mel Kiper and Todd McShay without wanting to blow a damn gasket !

It goes without saying that while everyone is said to be feeling all warm and fuzzy with the Draft , consider the stupidity of the situation of the NFL at present ? The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Susan Nelson’s original verdict in favor of the players and in effect the NFL lockout remains in place . Judge Kermit Bye’s decision which has literally thrown a cog in the works and as of now although this apparently looked upon as a major problem . Anything that in essence prolongs this stoppage makes the whole issue of the 2011 season starting on time now seems even more remote. The NFL team owners for one thing are said to be happy that Judge Bye’s decision went in their favor as it now gives them the upper hand they will in this ongoing effort. If anything as this all plays itself out the fans are becoming even more disgruntled with the present situation as they’re being alienated by the stupidity that’s now being shown by both parties . The NFLPA through their own spokesman have stated that the decision was merely a partial victory for the league and they’ve vowed to fight on during in this ongoing episode. Any bets that there will actually be football by the opening week of September 3rd the opening weekend of the NFL season ? I wonder what odds are now being laid in Vegas at present ?

The NBA postseason continues with its usual bluster and the Miami Heat seem to be intent on making quick work of the Boston Celtics with Dwyane Wade showing why it is that the regular season 3-1 series loss and meetings between the two teams meant absolutely nothing. In game one of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals Wade and his team literally took the Celtics to task on their home court at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida , comfortably winning the game 99-90 . Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 38 points and who was also ably assisted with 25 points from teammate James Jones . And though it’s early days yet , expect this series to be a highly competitive and physical one . Would you expect it to be anything else ?

Ah, how the rich tend to look for sympathy when their plight can’t be seen in a happier light . Over the weekend Frank McCourt gave an interview as to his impending plight now that the league hierarchy has essentially taken away the reins from him as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner. Now as good as the team has been playing of late with both Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp at present having All Star caliber seasons. I can’t help but wonder what might happen should the team going into something of tailspin and start to lose consecutive games or for that matter series !

McCourt for his part when pressed by the journalist as whether or not he had in fact had contravened any league rules in the conduct of the Dodgers’ day to day business dealings was adamant he and no other executive had done anything that has contravened any league mandated rules . In the eyes of Frank McCourt it appears it is a matter of perception as to what those rules might be and whether or not any were actually broken. The Dodgers’ owner stated that Bud Selig’s appointed intermediary former US ambassador to Japan J Thomas Schieffer and he had a very cordial meeting and that Schieffer stated that it would not be his intention of interrupting the working environment of the ball club . Can’t say that if I were in Schieffer’s place I’d have said anything to the contrary , given the fact that the Dodgers are in a financial mess and anything coming from out of the beleaguered owner can’t be viewed as having a bearing on the truth as we know it to be at present. This episode appears to be heading for what one might view as a contentious situation as McCourt has vowed to fight any intention of the league hierarchy to force him to relinquish the reins in owning the team. Personally, from a fan’s standpoint whether or not Frank McCourt retains control of this team I couldn’t at all care , because I’ve always been of the opinion that MLB baseball and the team owners are a clueless bunch of individuals ! . Were they passengers on the Titanic I believe that they’d have been making comments on how wonderful the iceberg that they were about to hit is , rather than realizing the impending disaster that is within their midst . I’ve had one patron of my site state that baseball is lucky that it doesn’t have a labor issue to resolve but here’s the caveat to his thought. It is indeed true that the MLB doesn’t have a labor issue to deal with but what it does have is a financial quagmire that’s about engulf it like quicksand has ben known to entrap an animal and stifle it of its very life blood . At present the owners and league hierarchy are too dumb to admit that fact until they’re actually up to their necks in quicksand . And when that happens we could very well see them looking them looking for a life jacket with none to be found.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment and thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Ayman Al-Zawahiri (left) and Osama Bin Laden (center) are seen here delivering one of those rather radical Islamic fervent anti West statements . Bin Laden’s death now leaves something of a vacuum within Al Qaeda but it appears Al-Zawhiri will assume the role as the organization’s leader . Now word as of yet officially as whether or not the US government will go after Al-Zawahiri with the same fervor . BBC.co.uk …….

(2) At least they had something that they had to agree on and that the death of Bin Laden was a necessity . President Barack Obama and his predecessor President George W Bush are seen at the White House on the day Obama succeeded Bush at President . AFP/Reuters/ Gil Hughes ……

(3) Denver Broncos vice president John Elway, center, talks about this year’s NFL Draft after it concluded his is flanked by head coach John Fox, right, and general manager Brian Xanders during a news conference at the football team’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Saturday, April 30, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski ……

(4) James Hill standing with Kermit Bye (left), judge of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and North Dakota Chief Justice Gerald W. Vande Walle at the ABA 2010 Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla. West Law Publishing .

(5) MIAMI, FL – MAY 1: Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat shoots against Ray Allen (20) and Glen Davis (11) of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images ….

(6) Mario Chalmers (15) of the Miami Heat hshoots over Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images ……..

(7) Paul Pierce (34) , Jermaine O’neal (7) , Ray Allen (20) , and Kevin Garnett (5) of the Boston Celtics talk during game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 1, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images ………….

(8) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier heads toward first after hitting a single during the seventh inning of their Major League Baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Sunday, May 1, 2011, at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California . With that single, Ethier completed a 27-game hitting streak. The Dodgers would go on to lose to the Padres 7-0 . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …………

(9) Chad Qualls (50) of the San Diego Padres and catcher Nick Hundley celebrate a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …….

(10) Will Venable (25) of the San Diego Padres skips away from the tag of Dioner Navarro (30) of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run for a 6-0 lead during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ……..

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Simply Fill In The Blank or Blanks ………………


Simply Fill In The Blank or Blanks ………………

MLB ____ Baseball

(1) I believe that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been good for baseball because ______ ?

(2) Neither Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens knowingly took steroids because _____ ?

(3) Can Frank McCourt be considered the worse owner in MLB at present ____ if not then who ____ ?

(4) The NL needs to have a DH in baseball because _____ ? ..

(5) Which team to your mind is worse franchise in Major League Baseball —- _____ ?

(6) Should baseball consider realignment for the divisions within the league ?

(7) It’s in baseball’s best interest to adopt a hard salary cap and shared revenue because ____________ ?

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NBA ____ Basketball

(1) David Stern has made the NBA worthwhile as a brand because ______ ?

(2) The NBA Playoffs’ format as it now exists is far too long because _______ ?

(3) Stern is over-stressing the point of the league being financially unstable at present because _____ ?

(a) The league has never opened up their financial records for fear that he would be found lying as to the bleakness of the situation .

(b) He fears that a lockout and wants to show the NBPA in a bad light because he believes the players and their union to be greedy .

(c) A & B jointly

(d) State your own answer

(4) In their series against the Boston Celtics I thought that New York Knicks would better because ____ ?

(5) I don’t believe that Derrick Rose is a valid candidate as league MVP because ___ ?

(6) How would you prefer to see the league MVP adjudicated ?

(a) By players and coaches

(b) Let the system remain as it is

(7) The Miami Heat will win the NBA Finals because _____

(a) They’re the best team in the league

(b) They have the best player in the league

(c) Combination of a & b

(d) It’s their time

(8) The referees during the playoffs thus far have performed better than last season at this point because ________________ ?

(9) It would be great to see an NBA Final series between the Los Angeles and Miami Heat because _____ ?

(a) It’s what fans will want to see

(b) They’re by far the two best teams

(c) Kobe versus LeBron would make the case for the argument as who really is the best player in the league once and for all

NFL ______ Football

(1) Who’d you say is more to blame with regard to the NFL lockout ______

(2) NFL league hierarchy led by Roger Goodell

NFL team owners and league hierarchy led by Goodell

NFLPA

(3) As commissioner of the NFL do you believe that Roger Goodell has done a commendable job so far ?

(4) Is Cam Newton justified as being take # 1 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft ?

(5) If there’s to be a season within the NFL do you feel that the season should be elongated or shortened to meet the customary schedule as planned ?

(6) Of the teams mentioned below which one to your mind will end up having the worse record in the league ?

Cincinnati Bengals

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

(7) Of the players mentioned who to your mind is liable to have the most successful rookie season ?

Patrick Peterson , Blaine Gabbert , Nick Fairley , Cam Newton , Marcell Dareus , Von Miller and A J Green

(8) Here’s the premise should the NFL mandate a rookie salary scale (3yrs ) that is based upon the system that’s now enacted by the NBA ?

(9) The New York Jets won’t win the Superbowl because _________ ?

(a) Mark Sanchez’s form will regress from last season

(b) The defense simply isn’t as good as advertized

(c) Rex Ryan will prove to be too much of a problem rather than an asset

(10) The first NFL managerial casualty of the season will be _________________ ?

Mike Shanahan

Norv Turner

Ken Whisenhunt

Tony Sparano

Chan Gailey

Leslie Frazier

Jim Schwartz

Jack Del Rio

(11) The best ran franchise in the NFL has to be __________ ?

(12) With Judge Susan Nelson now siding with the NFL players in the mediation process do you feel that the situation is now over and why ?

(a) Yes

(b) No

(c) Neither side has won anything at this juncture because the ruling can be appealed and overturned in the US Federal Appellate Court

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

I trust you’ll have enjoyed the questions posed within this piece ? And I look forward to reading your answers .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig seen here at a press conference in front of the convened press . AP Photo

(2) Roger Clemens arrives at Federal Court December 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. Clemens, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, appeared at court for an interim status conference on charges he lied to Congress during a hearing on the use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Getty Images/ Brendan Smialowski ……

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaks during a Dodger Stadium security news conference at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on April 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. It was announced that new security measures will be implemented at Dodger Stadium after San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was attacked in the parking lot after the season opener at Dodger Stadium. Kevork Djansezjian / Getty Images North America ……

(4) NBA commissioner David Stern, left, presents Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James with the 2008-2009 NBA Most Valuable Player trophy before the Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference basketball semifinals game against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan ……

(5) Derrick Morgan from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as they hold up a Tennessee Titans jersey after the Titans selected Morgan number 16 overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. Jeff Zelevansky/ Getty Images…

(6) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the game on October 18, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images /Jared Wickerham ……

(7) Quarterback Garrett Gilbert (3) of the Texas Longhorns tries to tackle lineman Marcell Dareus (57) of the Alabama Crimson Tide who would score after intercepting the ball during the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. Getty Images / Kevork Djansezjian …..

(8) (L-R) Quarterback Chad Henne (7), coach Tony Sparano and running back Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins look on from the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Sun Life Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Marc Serota / Getty Images ….

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Who’s On First And Which As_hole Is Running Things As Of Now ?


Who’s On First And Which As_hole Is Running Things As Of Now ?

Well the MLB season is but a week away from Opening Day and already the game and league looks as if it’s off to a rocky start. In the US Federal Court system former San Francisco Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds has now readily admitted that he did in fact use anabolic steroids and HGH in a statement released by his attorneys late Monday evening at 6 pm EST. The player on trial for obstruction of justice and also five counts of perjury faces up to eight years in prison, quite possibly more and perhaps a monetary fine , may well see this as his last act of truth on his part . The fact of the matter , is for close to seven years Bonds has proclaimed his innocence stating that he never knowingly took steroids or any illicit substance without knowing what those drugs actually were . The player claims that his former personal trainer Greg Anderson told him that the drugs , pills , liquids he was ingesting were in fact flax seed oil and a number of other natural supplements. Pardon me for saying this but if at this juncture Bonds expect the public to take him at his word, the veracity of the claims now being made then in fact from the very start he knew that in order to try and evade telling the truth he simply chose to tell a lie in order to profit from his professional exploits monetarily.

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Now I’ve heard many fans state that they don’t care if the players were in fact cheating by using steroids but I’d simply put forth this question would you be prepared to purchase a car if you knew that it wasn’t mechanically sound be it new or pre-owned ? Then why in hell’s name would you want to purchase a ticket to see a player who’s cheated the fans the public and even himself ? For far too long the problem with baseball is that the owners , general managers , the MLBPA and the players themselves have simply chosen to turn a blind eye to their many problems be it through the cheating of the players or the financial mismanagement within the game overseen by the league hierarchy led Commissioner Bud Selig. And if anyone is any doubt as to the financial viability stability of the game. Now we can all attest to the fact that Selig claims the game is now steroid free but in reality even the commissioner can’t be sure as to the veracity of those claims. I mean this is very same individual who now in large part knows that in large part at least 60% of the teams within baseball are struggling to show some some form profitability.

As to the pending Bonds’ trial I don’t feel that it’s now really necessary to delve into the case any longer. However , the worrying thing about this all has been with number of adjournments and US Appellate Court has led to an exorbitant cost in the case Justice Dept who prosecuted this case from the very beginning . I’d like to think that the US Attorney General Eric Holder and the district attorneys nationwide who are his subordinates use the same sort of veracity in trying cases when it comes white collar crime , major felonies such as homicides , sexual crimes and the upcoming terrorist trials be they through the USCMJ with a military tribunal prosecuting the case on the part of the government and in some cases military attorneys and criminal attorneys representing the defendants. With in excess of $15 million having been spent on the investigation and ongoing trial of Bonds I’d like to think that the public will be getting some sort of accountability from the federal government. But that’d be to expect there to be some veracity forthcoming from government what they wish to let the public know and how much they know at any given moment.

Given that Bonds’ trial is still in its early stages with the jury just having been chose and yet to be seated I do believe that there’s still a possibility and the player and his attorneys could very well seek some sort of plea agreement even with the trial in its early proceedings. Were the player to plead guilty at this juncture it would save the taxpayer a great deal of money rather than once again tens of thousands being spent over again all to no avail, in actually attaining a guilty verdict. But then again we’ve a government who’s burned through money the way that a drunken sailor on furlough would seek some pleasure while on leave.

Apart from Bonds’ trial the public still has to deal with upcoming Roger Clemens’ trial that in shape or form just has to be as comical as that of Bonds’ own prosecutorial dealings. Again we have a player who at each step of the way has chosen to apportion blame for his own misdeeds by blaming others. If it wasn’t his former Yankees’ teammate Andy Pettitte whom he claims has misquoted him when the player told members of Congress in a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing that Clemens told he’d used anabolic steroids . Clemens’ even had the temerity to throw a family member under the bus when during a congressional hearing after his former trainer Brian McNamee claimed that he’d taken a several vials and syringes to the player’s home to inject him with HGH . Clemens says he doesn’t recall such an incident but he had indicated that his wife had taken several doses of botox prior to a fitness photo shoot that both were participants in. McNamee’s own integrity has come into question because much of his subpoaena testimony at times wasn’t that credible . But what in large part may well have sunk his own credibility and integrity because of his narcissistic and somewhat less than candid demeanor . And even though Clemens’ Texas based lawyer Rusty Hardin has pled his client’s innocence and states that Clemens is a victim of venomous slander and libel at this juncture given what we’ve seen of the player’s actions and his sworn testimony gives little credibility to the stance he’s taking.

Clemens like his peer Bonds is a multiple award winner having won the Cy Young Award seven times over the course of his now suspect career. And although many purists still see the player’s on field accomplishments as being historic and setting a precedence . Against the backdrop of the ” steroid era” and the allegations which have since engulfed Roger Clemens I seriously doubt that anyone would seriously believe that the player or his achievements will ever be taken seriously. To my mind if Clemens is to viewed as being one of the faces of the steroid era along with players such as Bonds , Mark McGwire , Rafael Palmeiro , Sammy Sosa and Jose Canseco then Greg Maddux has to be seen as the face of all that was right with baseball during that era as a pitcher and player throughout much of that era and during the post steroid annals.

The game’s image has never been as low as it has been than during labor stoppage of 1994 </b when the season was essentially shut down because neither the union or league hierarchy could agree on a collective bargaining agreement. That lockout proved to be costly for the league and even in light of the summer of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa when the duo led the onslaught for Roger Maris then single season home run record of 61 . The figure has since been surpassed by Bonds with the total of 73 and the player also owns the all-time home runs tally of 762 . Another record that may well have the dubious distinction of being frowned upon and having asterisk placed at its side.

There are and will be so many accomplishments in during the steroid and post steroid era that will come into question in spite of the current drug policy instigated by the league. And I’ve no doubt even in spite of a player’s integrity and character whatever the feat accomplished many will question its veracity . This much I do know that in spite of Bud Selig and that of the league hierarchy’s insistence the game is still fraught with danger and that the next major fallout as it relates to the use of steroids is just around the corner. Alex Rodriguez for years pled his innocence as to the illicit use of steroids only to admit years later that he did indeed use steroids thereby embarrassing himself the New York Yankees’ organization and once again the environment of baseball. When questioned as to the allegations that he may well have been using as recently as 2007 , the player through his legal representatives denied those claims even with the advent of his name being associated Orlando based medical professional Dr Anthony Galen who’s now under indictment by the Justice Department for the illegal trafficking and sale of narcotics to athletes within the world of the NFL , NBA as well MLB . Those investigations by the Justice Department are still ongoing and it remains to be seen what the outcome of the resultant investigations will as the department works in conjunction with the FBI on the case .

While I’m no illusion that the players have to be held accountable for their actions what I’m indeed at a loss to explain is why the sheer ignorance shown by Commissioner Bud Selig , league hierarchy , the owners , general managers , players , coaching staffs and the MLBPA (union) itself in trying to clean up the image of their game when the rumors were rife that there was indeed rampant and illegal use of steroids within the game. Either they chose to ignore the obvious or they were as naive as many of us now believe them to be . The idiocy shown by all parties who took part in the congressional hearings leads me to believe that it was actually combination of both ! And it hasn’t helped that there are fans out there as well have been complicit in this madness because by their thinking we simply ought to let the players do as they please . Well take this into account , while those fans may well have made their outlay to attend the games what in essence have they got back in return that they would even think to be tangible in terms their monies’ worth ? If you merely condone the player’s actions be it the lie or the fact that they’ve simply done nothing wrong in cheating by the use of steroids then in you in fact condone what the game had become and that in essence was the sport was rampant with cheating and wherein everyone associated with it other than the fans profited greatly from a financial standpoint . In return do the fan gain anything ? And what of the young kids out there who see the behavior of the players , many of whom they view as their idol ____ and then think that it’s OK to behave in such a manner not when it just comes to the sport of baseball but then they then think that way way when it comes to their every day lives. Is that really the example that anyone really wants to see being set ?

From my own standpoint I believe all parties concerned have been negligent and complicit in the charade under which the game was played throughout much of the late eighties , well into the late nineties and even into the early part of this decade. The game is still a mess from many standpoints , the steroid era notwithstanding as you have a hierarchy , set of owners and a union whose understanding of being financially prudent rests somewhere between having their heads up their ass while a disaster and engulfs them and they’re looking for some way allay any oncoming tragedy. You needn’t look no further then baseball’s own form of socialism now in place as it relates to their asinine revenue sharing scheme that allegedly benefits the small market teams that repeatedly year in and year out can barely make ends meet . Bud Selig in his alleged infinite wisdom sought fit to have a process in place whereby teams with a payroll in excess of $140 million a year would be taxed at a rate of anywhere between 15-20% on an incremental scale of their gross payroll in order to alleviate the financial shortfalls of those small market teams . However that tax sharing revenue scheme isn’t working in the way that the commissioner envisaged with many of those organizations rather than using that money to bolster their respective teams’ playing staffs ______ the owners and executives instead have actually pocketed those sums as if it were some financial windfall by way of an executive perk and bonus. Doubt my word ? Then merely look at the actions of Bob Nutting and Jeffrey Loria the respective owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Florida Marlins ? They in turn still plead poverty as the financial well being of their organization but have benefited greatly from Selig’s rather odious scheme . And Bud Selig , himself isn’t to be left out of this equation at all because as commissioner between 2006-2009 he was compensated to the tune of $68 million ($68 ,000,000) in cumulative salary , all while a number of teams around the league are said to be struggling . Someone is certainly getting the short end of the stick if not the shaft ! It’s most certainly not anyone within the game of baseball ! Care to guess who ? It’s you the fans who willingly choose to spend your hard earned cash in support of teams who simply don’t care about your well being one iota !

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As to the impending fate of both Bonds and Clemens what thoughts if any do you have and how do you feel that the justice system is the best place for what might fitting punishment based upon the players’ presumption of guilt or innocence either way ? It’s plain to see were it left in the hands of the games hierarchy things couldn’t be any better or worse dependent upon one’s point of view because baseball’s way of handling things can be best described as being inept and comical to say the very least ! Chime in with a comment on this topic and your hopes this season with regard to the game of baseball and how you view the chances of your team and others within the league ? Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………..

MLB News ………..

🙂

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Bonds arrives for the his trial at the US District Court for Northern California where the trial will be presided over by Federal Judge Susan Illston . AP Photo Paul Sakuma …………..

(2) A pensive Bonds attends the second day of judicial proceedings in his obstruction of justice and perjury
trial case . Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ……

(3) Brian McNamee, left, in 2008, is expected to testify against Roger Clemens, right, at Clemens’s upcoming trial. McNamee has said that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. AP/Reuters -Pool photo/ Chuck Kennedy …..

(4) In this picture file from 2008 : Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens (L) and his attorney Rusty Hardin (R) walk to a meeting with U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on Capitol Hill , February 7, 2008 in Washington. According to reports, Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee’s lawyers have claimed they have physical evidence corroborating McNamee’s claim of the pitcher’s use of steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens is due to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next week. Getty Images North America/Johnathan Ernst ……..

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Rosa Acosta

Eye candy ……………… Rosa Acosta

Amber  Rose

Amber Rose …………… The best sex she’s ver had she says is with herself ? I’d have love to have seen that !

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Ray Charles …………………. “You’re Cheatin’ Heart” . Rather apt don’t you think as it concerns not only Bonds and Clemens but the players all caught up in this asinine charade and farce ?

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Baseball, College Football ........, DeMaurice Smith, Detroit Tigers, Football, Jim Tressel, Michael Ilitch, MLB, NCAA ............, NCAA President Mark Emmert, NFL, NFLPA, Ohio State (Buckeyes), Roger Goodell, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Take Me At My Word …… !


Take Me At My Word ………….

Well the idiocy of the NFL labor talks continue unabated and much like the stupidity of the Congress and Senate in trying to reach a compromise , here the two sides are so far apart that you could drive a Mack Truck through the chasm of their division. The NFLPA led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has asked that the NFL open up its books for public scrutiny of which I for one don’t believe that the NFL hierarchy ( team owners ) would be willing to do because then the public would find out the lies that have been told by them as it concerns their overall finances . Certainly NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t issued a public statement on the matter . But you’re continuing hear from various sources in and outside the NFL that the two sides are getting closer to a compromise . If only that were so because it seems that neither side at this juncture is truly willing to given an inch in order to elicit any type of real compromise !

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Slide show gallery for your perusal .

FMCS Director George Cohen the federally appointed mediator to oversee the mediation process can’t be pleased with either side at this juncture and with the intransigence being shown by both sides. And should he have to render a decision here you can be sure that it will be one that will be beneficial to one side while being a total detriment to the other even if on appearance it seems to be fair.

With the original collective bargaining agreement having passed as of 3rd March and then summarily extended by 24 hours momentarily before the two sides opted in taking this past weekend off and then extending that deadline by a further seven days . Well with that deadline now expiring at midnight tonight it remains to see whether or not the idiocy will still continue . This much I’m definitely sure of , if these two sides can’t agree how best to split a $ 9 billion ( $9,000,000,000 ) industry in terms of its revenues whereby both sides can feel happy , then the fallout from this debacle will rest squarely upon the shoulders of the NFL , NFLPA and the owners evenly. Any sympathy that either side may well have been looking for from the fans and general public alike will have completely disappeared .

It certainly never ceases to amaze me with the naivete shown by the fans and the college coaches within collegiate athletics . Within the ranks especially of college basketball and football where these coaches are well compensated not only by the salaries paid to them by their respective institutions but also by way of commercial endorsements that are to be had by when their programs become successful. Is anyone now really surprised by the allegations that have been leveled against Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel ? Long thought of as being above reproach who runs an exemplary program we now find out that Tressel much like many of his peers within collegiate basketball and football is nothing more than a conniving cheat and a complete imbecile ! What might make matters worse concerning the allegations against the coach is the very fact that he knew and kept them hidden from the athletics department and faculty of the school. His initial stance was that he hadn’t thought anything improper had gone on concerning the fact a number of players on the team had been receipt of gift monetary and otherwise from independent parties . However , what might be even more disturbing about these allegations is the very fact the coach had been receipt of an e-mail from an attorney , Christopher Cicero who’d also been a player for the Buckeyes when Tressel was then an assistant coach with the program. In that communique it informs Tressel that a number of players on the team had actually been selling memorabilia for financial gain. That is in of-itself is a major transgression of NCAA rules and for the coach to even keep that fact hidden from the AD and school is tantamount to condoning the acts of the players rather than instigating an internal investigation.

Courtesy of USA Today

Ohio State punishment of Jim Tressel called ‘a little light’

By Erick Smith of USA Today

The head of a law firm that helps schools deal with the NCAA said the Ohio State punishment of Jim Tressel appears lenient.

Michael Buckner spoke with The Columbus Dispatch and offered his analysis of the two-game suspension and $250,000 fine given to Tressel by the school for failing to reveal information about possible violation by two of his players.


“Just looking at it, it may seem a little light, especially in light of the fact Tressel didn’t report it to the university within a reasonable period of time,” Buckner said.

The Dispatch noted the NCAA has sanctioned 27 schools since 2006 for violating bylaw 10.1, which requires coaches and others to be truthful and forthcoming about possible NCAA violations. Of the 12 coaches involved, only one kept his job. The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.

“In those periods when he had an opportunity and a duty to disclose, he failed to do so,” Buckner said. “I think the NCAA could also come back and add failure to monitor or failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Those are program violations.

“With those three (including the bylaw 10.1 violation), you could look at the two-game suspension and the fine to be the minimum.”

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Clearly here these transgressions by the players of which it now seems the coach had been fully are of at the time were serious enough to warrant an investigation. But with the coach apparently thinking that it was beneath him to actually take this finding to the athletics department beneath him and furthermore being somewhat complicit in trying to hide it all makes one now wonder what else has Jim Tressel suborned to in the past with regard to the football team’s program which may well have broken NCAA rules ? If this were a simple mistake on his part then perhaps one might understand but the act the coach itself was calculated and premeditated and that in spite of his formal public statement on the matter .

With the university having suspended the coach for the first two games of the program’s upcoming 2011 season and a fine of $250,000 being imposed on Jim Tressel they feel that the punishment befits the crime . But I’m not so sure that the NCAA themselves will feel it at all adequate given the fact that coaches have actually been fired or suspended for even longer terms , having violated such rules . But therein lies the actions of the NCAA , as they seemingly pick and choose whom they wish to punish with impunity in order to make an example of a program. Is it any wonder that the governing body of collegiate athletics can’t be taken seriously in terms of its standing and the actions they at times deem fit concerning not only the coaches but the athletes themselves when they’ve broken the rules ? There’s never any consistency as the punishment meted out and not once ever has a coach been financially penalized for any wrong doing on their part by the collegiate body that governs college athletics. If the rules are meant to cover those involved in collegiate athletics then surely the coaches and their staffs fall under those rules apart from the athletes themselves !

NCAA President Mark Emmert who only assumed the position full time in November of last year having served as the interim president whilst his predecessor the late Dr Myles Brand underwent chemotherapy has got his hands full dealing with many of the issues now facing that body. Not only has he got to prove to the public that the NCAA actually stands for something but also that they can be trusted to act impartially and when necessary do what is morally right instead of appearing certain programs over others. Moreover if there was a environment of transparency as it relates to the NCAA’s business dealings rather than a great deal of it being so secretive and done behind closed doors then perhaps the public and college sport’s fan in general may well feel that they can be trusted . Instead they might just be as disliked as the present administration , the Congress and Senate jointly . At this moment the jury is still out with a verdict so it’s anybody’s guess as to what their thought might be on the NCAA .

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

Read All About It ……..


Read All About It ……..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture and slide show details

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………

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Q Tip ………………… “Breathe And Stop ”

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

Brother Can You Spare A Dime …….. ?


Brother Can You Spare A Dime ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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Alan aka tophatal ……………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

😛

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


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Eye candy …………. Angie Conwell

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

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Bill Withers ………….” Lean On Me”
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