Baseball, Brett Favre, Bud Selig, Casey Anthony trial, Jose Baez, Minnesota Vikings, NFL, Roger Clemens, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Uncategorized

It’s Now The Talk Of The Town ……….


It’s Now The Talk Of The Town ………

So even with the aftermath and idiocy of what has taken place within the Ohio State athletics department it would appear that the stupidity of the school’s AD Gene Smith simply knows no boundaries as to his own idiocy ! . In his most recent public statement Smith made it clear that the he would like to see the return of Jim Tressel to the realms of coaching within collegiate football. Unless I’m mistaken were it not for the actions of the beleaguered and embarrassed coach the school might not have encountered the numerous problems created because of his web of lies , deceit and total lack of accountability by himself , his coaching staff and the players under his tutelage . Now with the school having to vacate all of their victories from the 2010 season as well their Sugar Bowl appearance victory it seems rather asinine that Gene Smith would actually seek to try and negate the damage done by Jim Tressel . Less we forget also , in the aftermath of Tressel’s departure the school would lose Terrelle Pryor as he sought to forgo his final two years of collegiate football. The player has made himself available for the NFL’s Supplemental Draft and become a client of uber-agent Drew Rosenhaus .

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Slide show for your perusal .


Well last night at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles with all of the glad handing and back slapping was about to take place as ESPN staged the ESPY Awards at the famed auditorium. For all of the pomp and ceremony that was about to be thrust upon the viewers of the event nothing could be more self serving than this pompous and rather odious garbage that simply gives the broadcast outlet another chance to show how bereft of credibility and creativity within this particular organization. With a slew of professional as well as collegiate athletes on display awaiting to hear their names to be announced for a variety of nominations in several sports’ categories . Suffice to say that this is meant to be the sports world’s answer to the Oscars and as we can all bear witness to that particular event gives us every reason to ask the question …….. why ? . From my own personal standpoint the whole event is a complete waste of time and merely a way for the broadcast outlet to air a few hours athletes thanking each other and their maker while actually saying not a God damn thing ! Mind you host Seth Meyers in part made the event memorable with his lambasting of the Miami Heat and the mere fact that the team’s ” Big Three” tend to show up and play only three quarters of a game . Not to be left out of this also were the members of the New Jersey Nets and in particular Kris Humphries whose upcoming to nuptials to reality star Kim Kardashian could very well be the closest thing to the receiving of a ring that the player is ever likely to get that is not associated with the winning of the NBA title .

But really is anyone interested in who ESPN believes ought to be “The Male Athlete of The Year “ much less “The Best NBA Player” ? I can assure you of this if a poll were to be taken of 1,000 people on the streets there wouldn’t be a conclusive result bearing out any of the conclusions derived from last night’s winners much less some of the nominees in question !

With the Roger Clemens’ trial now set to take place it was interesting to read the statement made by the player’s chief legal counsel Rusty Hardin who asserts that Clemens would not be taking the stand in his defense trial for perjury and the obstruction of justice. With the prosecution having lined up litany of current and former players to testify and prove their case it remains to be seen what course this federal trial will take . Certainly the Justice Department wouldn’t have pressed ahead with this trial having indicted the player on the aforementioned charges . Amongst the prosecution’s chief witnesses are Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens’ former personal trainer Brian McNamee . The latter for whom credibility will most certainly come into question and whose own testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee left a great deal to be desired at the time. The player , himself wasn’t without his own problems given his own testimony to the very same governmental committee .

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Rusty Hardin (L), attorney for Roger Clemens, smiles as he leaves the U.S. District Court after the judge declared a mistrial, on July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The judge presiding over Clemens’ perjury trial declared a mistrial over statements introduced to the jury by the prosecutor that were not suppose to be heard. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified about steroid use during a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


It seems so totally asinine to think that the MLB hierarchy would seek or should I say absolve itself all responsibility when it comes to dealing with the players who have as such brought the game into disrepute . But when one considers the mere fact that Bud Selig has failed to show a backbone nothing at all should come as a surprise ! We have the so called purists who now simply believe that the game is still at its very best in all of its guises , from the competitiveness of the divisions to the financial well being of the teams . Perhaps when the team owners and general managers as well as the MLBPA (union) have begun to pull their heads out of each others’ assholes to wake up and smell the coffee then perhaps we may well see all of the parties come to some sort of common accord rather than their continued buffoonery !


I decided rather than heading home last night to stay overnight at the girlfriend’s home in Orlando . The fact that I commute from my home (distance of 56 miles) in Central Polk County most mornings to head into the downtown area of the city was of no real joy over the past few weeks , given the animosity on display with protesters outside the courthouse while the Casey Anthony trial took place . In the aftermath of the acquittal of the defendant and the over the top celebrations that took place with Jose Baez and his associates’ after their client’s acquittal by the jury left a great deal to be desired . What might have been even more contemptible was the mere fact that Baez was seen high five-ing an associate at a local bar across the road from the courthouse , with all of this being caught on camera by the national press and paparazzi . The lawyer himself was fully aware of this but I would have thought Jose Baez having an adjunct office a mere two miles away from the courthouse it would have been prudent to undertake the celebrations there and away from the prying eyes of the media and public at large ! In doing so those celebrations along with the now angered throng of public protesters who had gathered at the courthouse can only have angered those present and who witnessed the lawyers’ celebrations. I am not about to decry Jose Baez for his antics but I would merely point out that he may well now have to deal with some backlash from those who may well have felt that his client got away with murder .


At the end of the day this was a trial that bore the resemblance of an idiotic charade from start to finish ! The prosecution flubbed this case and were made to look like bumbling idiots by simply relying far too much on forensic evidence that did little to help their case . Instead , rather than seeking to attack the character and of the defendant and the numerous lies told by her family members . with each and very passing moment they relied far too much on a group of professionals in various scientific fields of forensic pathology and medicine to brow beat and bore the jurors to sleep but also leave the judge presiding over the case with a sense of deja-vu. (Think of the OJ Simpson murder trial all over again and remember how that charade ended ? ) But herein lies the caveat to this case all along , the jurors had been left with no other option but to find the defendant not guilty because there was little to suggest all along that the Casey Anthony had deliberately gone out of her way to murder her child, Haley Anthony . However , what was abundantly clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense were the mere the facts as they were being presented by the prosecution should have warranted that the defendant should have gone on trial for manslaughter , rather than first degree murder . But you would now be hard pressed to find anyone within the State Attorney’s Office (9th District) willing to admit that they had made a mistake in how the case presented and tried . The only saving grace in this all may well be the fact that there will be a civil suit brought against Casey Anthony by several groups who assisted in the search of her missing child , for which we now know that she the was the victim of an untimely death at far too young an age .

I can’t but wonder what will now be achieved by the state shutdown in Minnesota by Governor Mark Dayton . The state now has a $ 5 billion budget shortfall and with the shutdown has come the furloughing of state employees and in some cases the firing of state employees . Mark Dayton has had to contend with two bipartisan legislative chambers who if anything have only their self interests at heart, rather dealing with many of the acute issues Minnesota state now faces. .

Now while this idiocy continues Zygi Wilf and his associate partners who own the Minnesota Vikings have to be wary of the fact that the organization will face a hard task in persuading the state legislature that they need to pass the bill that will finance the building of the proposed $1.55 billion state of the art facility for the team. I’ve always found it rather bewildering to think that the NFL while having a fund to assist the teams in the building or refurbishment of their stadiums , in large part the majority of team owners will seek to obtain assistance from the various governmental agencies in the cities where they reside . Mind you this particular endeavor takes place in each of the four major professional sports. Consider this also , NASCAR’s executives were aided to the tune of some $250 million by President Barack Obama’s now infamous “stimulus package” .


Through an affiliate corporation ISC (International Speedway Corporation Inc) the governing body of the sport was aided with those funds to refurbish several of the race tracks that they own across the country . Considering the dearth of dumb ass spending that is undertaken by the federal government on pork barrel issues” that simply favors the pet projects of the members of the House and Senate should anyone be at all surprised by this ? I can only surmise that it is somehow better to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on several race tracks than it is to actually put either more police officers on the streets or even make sure that more money is steered towards education ? God knows nothing would indicate or suggest otherwise that the country is well on the way to not producing a highly intelligent and capable work force for the future than to have Bubba and Cletus chewing on tobacco and telling you why it is that Lil’ E and Smoke are two biggest things to happen in the sport since Dale Earnhardt Sr died . I don’t know that is meant to be enlightening for the public in general nor do I favor the idiocy then shown and still being shown by the current administration and two legislative chambers of Congress !

Clearly if the Minnesota Vikings are not able to persuade the state legislature that it is imperative for them to approve this finance bill then it is quite clear that the organization may well have to relocate . Zygi Wilf and his partners having hired a lobbyist to present their case and now must await on a decision as to the course that the vote will take . But given the current economic environment and the mere fact that the projections of the costs of this facility had sky rocketed from its original estimate of $1 billion to the now $1.5 billion it is hard to see how the state can actually justify this as being a prudent way to spend money when it faces such a massive deficit. Mark Dayton , the Democratic governor of the state has implored the members of both legislative chambers that cuts have to be made and also that some taxes will have to be increased but as usual with all issues as it relates to taxes and spending one can never find the right answer to the problem !


It does seem strange however that while Conservatives are so vehemently opposed to tax increases , they are also against cutting the tax loopholes that have assisted major corporations in deferring their taxes by up to five years and at the same time one loophole that is often overlooked ………… it is where it now allows US corporations to reincorporate oversees and totally avoid paying any form US income tax at all . At the same time those very same corporations conduct business as usual within the continental United States unperturbed by any legislation by the Congress . And though I feel that the Democrats are just as blatantly stupid as their rivals when it comes to dealing with the economy it does give credence to the very fact that neither side has a clear idea as to what actually needs to be done !


The Minnesota Vikings to my mind are better served in actually getting their act together on the playing field rather than looking for the building of a multi purpose facility wherein they will no doubt over charge the fans for the privilege of attending their home games . And given last year’s implosion (6-10 record ) by the team and all of drama that surrounded Brett Favre is there anyone now at all willing to take any type of odds on how this team will now fare this upcoming season ? I would dare say that the newly installed head coach Leslie Frazier and his coaching staff are in a for another tumultuous ride . In the aftermath of last season’s implosion and meltdown with all of the drama and idiocy of seeing four veteran members of this roster go to Favre’s home and plead with the veteran to make one more return to the NFL might well have been one of the more asinine events to have taken place within the league in years . For the life of me I have yet to hear anyone explain succinctly why it is that they felt that the Vikings were even being mentioned as worthy favorites for the Superbowl to begin with ! Especially those analysts within ESPN and Fox who have simply looked upon Favre so favorably as if he were some sort of deity . I tend to wonder whether or not Mark Schlereth and Chris Mortensen can for one moment take their lips away from Favre’s ass without suffocating because it looks as if sucking the crap produced from the player’s anus might well be life sustaining for the duo !

Given the failure of the team last season and the very fact that there seems to be no consensus as to who the starting quarterback will be it is imperative that Leslie Frazier has an idea as that player it will be when the team undertakes its start to the season . The choices are Rhett Bomar , Tarvaris Jackson , Christian Ponder , Patrick Ramsey and Joe Webb . Of that quintet of starting quarterbacks Ramsey is the most experienced but the nine year veteran , shown that given the chance to start he hasn’t the command or leadership qualities to enhance the play of the team. Joe Webb if anything when given the chance showed that he was capable but the mobile quarterback isn’t something that seems to be endearing to Leslie Frazier and his staff. And though I don’t believe that Christian Ponder would appear to the answer to the Vikings’ problems at the position I do somehow get the feeling that if all else fails he will be thrown in at the deep end !

From an offensive standpoint this team has all of the prerequisite weapons to be competitive . And with the likes of Sidney Rice , Adrian Peterson , Visanthe Shiancoe , Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin . Defensively the team has had its problems but if anything that can situation can be put right by defensive coordinator Fred Pagac .


In the ensuing weeks as the NFL stoppage continues it will be very interesting to see what transpires concerning the Minnesota Vikings and the decision that will be made by the state legislature . So much is made about the economic downturn but it appears that even when the hardest hit are the impoverished somehow it seems to be the most wealthy amongst us who always end up profiting from the shambles and disaster that is left in the wake of such an event . Care to think how Zygi Wilf will end up a winner even if the vote sought isn’t in his club’s favor ? Needless to say that every assistance will be given to the team by the league should the Vikings seek to relocate or perhaps use a temporary facility while some form of compromise can be reached . Funny that sort of situation never seems to arise for the most desperate amongst us !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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


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

Contact tophatal ……. rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) From left to right Ohio State university President Dr E Gordon Gee , former head football coach Jim Tressel and the school’s athletic director Gene Smith addressing the press in light of the scandal that embroiled the university in several scandals. This led to NCAA sanctions will cost the school multiple scholarships as well as having to vacate of the football team’s victories for the 2010 season. AP Photo ……….

(2) Members of the Dallas Mavericks (L-R) Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, J.J. Barea, Brian Cardinal, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, pose with their ESPY Award back stage after being named “Best Team” at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California, July 13, 2011. Reuters / AFP ……

(3) Seth Myers cast members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live and who hosted the 2011 ESPN ESPY’s award from the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles . AP Photo / Chris Howard ….

(4) WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 14: Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens (R) leaves the U.S. District Court after the judge declared a mistrial, on July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The judge presiding over Clemens’ perjury trial declared a mistrial over statements introduced to the jury by the prosecutor that were not suppose to be heard. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified about steroid use during a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs . Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images …

(5) Rusty Hardin (L), attorney for Roger Clemens, smiles as he leaves the U.S. District Court after the judge declared a mistrial, on July 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. The judge presiding over Clemens’ perjury trial declared a mistrial over statements introduced to the jury by the prosecutor that were not suppose to be heard. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was on trial for making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he testified about steroid use during a February 2008 inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Affairs. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images …..

(6) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MAY 16: NFL players lawyer Barbara P. Berens (L), linebacker Ben Leber(notes) of the Minnesota Vikings, NFL players lawyer James Quinn and former NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith leave court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners that followed a breakdown of labor talks between the two in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …

(7) Vikings owner Zygi Wilf met with Gov. Mark Dayton ( foreground) on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The two met concerning a deal for which the team owner envisions a new facility to be built at the taxpayers’ expense within the state of Minnesota . This scenario has changed vastly from what had been envisaged by the governor . Courtesy of MPR Photo/Tim Nelson ……

(8) Kurt Coleman (42) of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Visanthe Shiancoe (81) of the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Vikings would defeat the Eagles 24-14 .—- Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaac …..

(9) Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick, left, is tackled by Minnesota Vikings’ Antoine Winfield in the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Michael Perez ……

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NB: At the time of the completion of this piece it was announced that a mistrial had been declared in the Roger Clemens’ trial . To read more about this simply click on the link provided . Judge declares mistrial in Clemens’ case

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Andy Pettite ., Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports

You’re Either In Or You’re Out …………


 

Well it came to a parting of the ways.  Today after some consideration and a great deal of deliberating New York pitcher and a stalwart of their four consecutive World Series’ wins Andy Pettite wasn’t picked up by the team.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise  to anyone but it’d appear that the Yankees  and the organization are looking to start afresh.  

 

 

 

 

Perhaps this, an indication of what co-team chairman  Hal Steinbrenner states that this is a fresh but new start for the organization as a whole.  Allow me some latitude here but  I’d like to look at this whole situation with a fresh set of  eyes.  But over the years  the organization has never met  a  high priced free  agent that they didn’t like. Let’s look  at some of those individuals  in particular.  Namely  Randy Johnson ,  Carl Pavano,  Jason Giambi, Aaron Boone and  Hideki Irabu.  Now that’s an array of  stars  who are  about  as  welcoming  and  cerebral  as one could ever wish to come across. About the only thing  relevant about these  players  were  the fact  that  a  Brinks’ truck  no doubt  would have  to  be backed up in order  for  them to  get  paid. And  paid  they were  , vast sums  for  reasons  too numerous  to mention. Except to say  that the  vaults of  the  Federal Bank of New York would  be rendered meaningless.

 

Hank and Al Steinbrenner  Co-Chairmen of the New York Yankees.......

 

 Hal and Hank Steinbrenner co-chairmen of  the New York Yankees. Both are seen here observing members of their farm system. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark Schwartzmann………………….

 

 

 

And whilst we know that the Yankees possess a vast array of  resources  which is unmatched by any other professional sport’s organization  in or outside  Major League Baseball. The YES Network is the cash cow that keeps on giving, giving and keeps on giving.  With the team moving into a spanking  new  edifice  that costs  in excess  of  $1.9bn at last  count.  Granted  Mayor  Michael  Bloomberg may well  have  played a part  in  making  that  figure so excessive. And  for a structure  that was  originally meant  to be  a privately financed  structure. It goes a long way in stating  that  Bloomberg  was  out  of  line  within his  inane rant as  to  the  Federal government in bailing  out the financial behemoths of  Wall Street. Then again it ought to  against the  grain considering  that the Yankees’ new home was publically financed and all of  this  was at  the behest  of the incumbent mayor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now as  much as one ought to appreciate  the contributions of Pettite  over  the years.  And considering that he along  with Derek Jeter , Mariano Rivera and  Jorge Posada  are  the only remnants  left  from those multi championship winning days. The franchise  has fallen somewhat on hard times in terms  of  their presence in the  postseason. Last year for the first time in fourteen years  was the  very first time  that they’d  missed the playoffs. And to say that it was viewed as a catastrophe would be an understatement.

 

 

 

 

Andy Pettite the now former Yankees who's turned  down  a $10m one year contract offer  from his former team .......................
Andy Pettite the now former Yankee who's said to have turned down a $10m one year contract offer from the organization ................

 

 

Andy Pettite the now former New York Yankee who’s turned down a $10m one year contract offer  from the  team .   picture appears  courtesy of getty images/  Paul  Roberts …………………..

 

 

 

 

 

Pettite was offered a one year contract said  to be in the region of  $10m . Nothing to be sneezed at mind you. But it’d appear  that  Andy  thought it beneath him to accept what he  might’ve viewed as a derisory offer. In these  tough economic times $10m may well not be viewed  as a great deal of money to some. But  to those New York Yankees’ fans who are  spending  thousands of dollars  a year to pay  for tickets  as  well  as concessions and souvenirs.  That’s the sort of money  that  would take care  of  several families’  dreams  for life  and  beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while we ponder this latest of changes within the Yankees’ organization we ought to consider this.  In reality is the team any better off now with their newly gleaming  additions in the guise of  CC Sabbathia, A J Burnett  and Mark Teixeira ?  Chances  are  we’re likely to see an improvement of sorts.  But that’s not  the thing  that’s most  important to the franchise.  It’s about winning  and the winning of multiple World Series in particular. That’s what counts to the franchise and the business template that is in place.  Losing isn’t meant  to be an option  for the Steinbrenner family.  And when you see  Hank  Steinbrenner  wailing  on about the perceived  unfairness of the game  when  his team fails to make the playoffs because  they were others who did so  with a less than winning record. It oughtn’t not to pain us as to his whining.   After all  that’s what you tend to get  from a whining narcissistic individual with a verbose persona.

 

 

 

 

Pettite for all of his intentions is now on his way out of New York and whilst there’ll be some heartfelt wishes.  There’ll be some who think that the player has done himself and  the franchise a  great disservice  by refusing  the team’s offer. But it’s the player’s decision and he can either live with or he cannot. As to the Yankees and their ambitions for the upcoming season. It’s quite  clear that  they’re back in business and looking to win it all and no expense  will be spared.  Andy Pettite won’t be a part of the team’s strategy as this season beckons. But that’s not to say that the issue won’t be revisited  especially should the  team feel that the pitching isn’t  up  to standard. If there’s a choice to be made  between a player of his experience and  someone who knows the  ins and outs of  the  franchise. You can rest assured that more likely than not he may well  be  the  player  that  they’ll choose to turn to.  That’s if he’s not signed elsewhere  before  the  season starts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So say what you will about the franchise  they may well be  turning their back on the past. But hey they’ve been known to turn back the hands of time if only for a moment and it brings to mind Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite. No chance that they’d have both back within their realm but quite possibly one for sure. Any thoughts on who  that  might be  ?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upcoming baseball season ought to be one of  intrigue and suspense. If  nothing else we’ll see whether or not  the New  York Yankees can get back atop  of the pedestal where they and their  fans feel they rightfully belong.  We’ll  also see  if the Tampa Bay Rays can  remain amongst the contenders.  And as one would suppose a newly fledged member  of  what one would  deem  to be a contender, though yet  to  be  considered  a perennial contender. It will be interesting  to see what the year  ahead holds for the  team and its fans.    The New York Yankees  will always  be  considered contenders  merely because they  are the  Yankees.  And the fact  that everyone  wants  to see  them  back at  the  top.  Well  those of us  who  want  to see them back  there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tophatal …………………….