AL East, Baseball, DeMaurice Smith, Football, Joe Maddon, MLB, New York Yankees, NFL, Roger Goodell, Sports, Sports Commentary, Tampa Bay Rays, Uncategorized

Another Day Same Old Story …….


Another Day Same Old Story …….

Slowly but surely we’re being told that the NFL and NFLPA are inching towards an agreement concerning the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement . What I find completely unbelievable about this whole episode is the very fact that the league and union have said little about they will do to meet the needs of the retired veteran players around of NFL. At no time during these deliberations have I heard or has it been reported as to what the NFL’s intentions are concerning to meet that of the players in question. I will continue to maintain that the NFL much like the union which says they represent all of their members simply do not care about the players in question.

=============================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

=============================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Hall of Famer Carl Eller and a number of his peers have filed a civil suit in Federal Court challenging the NFL and concerning the ongoing negotiations and the mere fact that little if any input has been allowed to be interceded in what might well be a binding agreement as it relates to the collective bargaining agreement. Much of what has now transpired now seems like a comedy of errors that couldn’t have been scripted by a Hollywood writer had it been first brought up as a premise . Roger Goodell and his minions have been given a considerable dose of reality , as too have DeMaurice Smith and the executive members of the NFLPA .

I am no longer enthralled as to whether or not there will be a regular season as the NFL has lost my complete and utter respect ! The asinine behavior by all of the parties concerned has me now simply wondering what else is there left for the league to do to leave its image in tatters ?

Well now that the season has resumed after the All Star Game , an event which in all honesty was about as mesmerizing as a political debate between two candidates who are about as insightful on the issues as they allegedly believe themselves to be. The game itself , with what was said to be at stake and you have to wonder why it was that the effort from the AL was so lackluster ? I can only imagine that their reason for participating was merely obtain their roster incentives from their respective teams . After that mediocre display by the team it simply served notice that the players are not in the least bit concerned with what the fans may well have thought .

7

Infielder Sean Rodriguez (1) of the Tampa Bay Rays tries to turn a double play as Brett Gardner (11) of the New York Yankees breaks it up during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……..

Now a number of patrons and contributors within this medium have suggested a number of ways to improve the event . And while many of the suggestions are valid I believe that what is actually needed is for there to be more of an input from the managers around the league and actually less from the fans in terms of the voting for the ballots of the All Star teams ! That being said after the low ratings for the televised broadcast on Fox I can’t help but wonder how Bud Selig and the league hierarchy now might view this rather disastrous event that is often seen as one of the major highlights of the MLB season. Rumor has it , that next season in staging the All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium , home to the Kansas City Royals rather than stage a game of the league’s current stars they will consider the staging of a soft ball game between the wives of the players who’ll be scantly clad . Perhaps that might incite and elicit even more viewers than the benign ratings obtained by Fox and the MLB Network .

Baseball has become bereft of creativity and ideas that now even with the team owners showing their stupidity and a union that has been enabled because of the sheer ineptitude of the league hierarchy. The game is losing is fans simply because the top executives within the game no longer considers what made baseball all the more appealing , instead they look to cater to one common denominator and that is to their corporate sponsors rather than to the fans .

9

Infielder Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees gets out of the way of an inside pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

In what might be considered a series that very well defines their season the Tampa Bay Rays are hosting the New York Yankees . Given the tightness of the race within AL East where six games separate the top three teams within the division . It is imperative that the Rays get a win under their belt in the opener , in order to place further pressure on the Boston Red Sox and Yankees who sit ahead of them within AL East. For all sense and purpose most definitely the wildcard entrant the AL will come from within the division , so there is a great deal at stake for both teams as to the outcome of this series .

Joe Maddon as manager of this team along with his coaching staff know that they will have to be at their very best over the ensuing months . Much has been made concerning the team as of late and whether or not Andrew Friedman the team’s general manager will be a major player as the trade deadline approaches on the 31st July .

The are now rumors now resonating through the grapevine that would suggest that there’s something in the offing and that in all probability a player on the team’s current roster will be traded . All signs point to the fact that BJ Upton whose contract expires at the end of this season could very well be the player in question to be off-loaded . Now it goes without saying that the player is a desirable target for a number of teams seeking an offensive presence to add some potency to their lineups to their respective rosters. And as with any team now looking to off-load salary it now seems as if the dye has been cast by the front office as the financial constraints placed on the organization has been stifling the competitiveness of this team. I don’t know that the front office can continue in the apparent direction that it seems to be heading in much longer , merely because of the fact no matter how many steps forward they seem to be taking , they tend to take even more steps backwards . I certainly don’t believe that principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg actually believes that the team will be aided by the league hierarchy be providing any assistance to the organization as they seek a new venue. A great deal has been chronicled on this matter and it goes without saying that the longer this issue remains unresolved the more protracted it will somehow become .

Over a long an arduous season a great deal is expected of team over the course of the year . It will certainly be no different for the Tampa Bay Rays and many of the other teams seeking to make the postseason . Certainly the races around a number of the divisions are now heating up and though I have heard it said that a 5 or 8 game margin isn’t a great deal to overcome but it is something of a rarity to see such a deficit be erased over the closing months of the season .

10

Designated hitter Johnny Damon (22) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated by pitchers James Shields (33) and David Price (14) after scoring a run against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

From my own perspective as it concerns the Tampa Bay Rays , this is a team that is full of youthful vibrance looking to excel at the highest level and that is epitomized by players such as Evan Longoria , James Shields , David Price , Sam Fulds , Matt Joyce and others on this roster . They have an excellent manager in Joe Maddon whose coaching staff seems to excel in bringing out the best in young players and in getting seasoned veterans such as Johnny Damon to play as if their careers are on the rise once again. Damon if anything has been a leader of this team in more ways than one , willing to impart his considerable knowledge amongst his teammates in order to make them better. And much of that has been on display throughout the season as the Tampa Bay Rays have played with a great deal of zeal as they look to make themselves known within the division.

What is undeniable given the effort of this organization is that they will do their utmost to exhibit everything needed to fulfill the wishes of their fans . But slowly the inevitable does appear to be happening and it is that some of them now are willing to accept that this may well be the closing chapters of a saga that is coming to an end . The optimists out there simply believe that the best thing that can happen is for the team to simply move across the bay into the downtown area of Tampa and all will be OK. The reality however , suggests that in light of economic climate even such a proposed move is by no way a real guarantee of financial success for this organization. Also , bear in mind that the league hierarchy under Bud Selig has done little to aid the team in its efforts as they seek to resolve the ongoing issue of a new facility. As I alluded to earlier , the league is simply bereft of ideas on all fronts , from its image , to how best to aid its teams that are now said to be having numerous financial difficulties and to where the fans are beginning to have an immense distrust of the hierarchy and owners.

11

Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on July 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

In what might have been a truly damning indictment as to the problems that the Tampa Bay Rays now face as to the plight of their situation , during last night’s game there was a prolonged stoppage. The game was halted due to the fact that there was a electrical problem that caused an outage where a number of the stadium lights went out at Tropicana Field . As archaic as the venue appears to be fans of the Rays simply feel that this is the team’s home and where they belong. However , the on air analysts covering the game for ESPN , John Kruk and Barry Larkin likened the venue to a gaping pothole that never ceases to cause problems . Both alluded to the fact that a number of players around the league simply dislike playing at the field and each throughout the course of their careers would simply wish they were playing elsewhere rather than being at Tropicana Field . Joe Maddon when questioned by Tim Kurkjian about the issue of the lights going out during at the game told the reporter that this was merely one of the things that they continue to put up with and that this was simply a way of life for this organization. At the game’s resumption you couldn’t help but wonder what other comedy of errors would now await the fans in attendance , never mind the national television audience watching.

===============================================================================================

================================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

With the MLB season having resumed how do you see things panning out for the teams within the AL East ? And what thoughts if any do you have as to the future of the Tampa Bay Rays long and short terms , as it relates to their competitiveness and whether or not they remain within their current locale ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

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

Contact ……… rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

(1) FILE – This April 14, 2011 file photo shows retired Minnesota Vikings Hall of Fame football player Carl Eller, who represents former players, arriving at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis. Eller and lawyers for retired NFL players joined labor talks with representatives of owners and current players, Tuesday, July 19, 2011 in New York, as signs mounted that the league’s lockout might almost be over. AP Photo/Jim Mone ….

(2) NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah, right, pauses as he speaks to media in Washington, Monday, July 18, 2011, as talks to end the NFL lockout continued. Carl Francis also with the NFL Players Association is at left. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster ….

(3) NFL player Association executive director DeMaurice Smith along with NFL Payers Association president Kevin Mawae, left, speaks to reporters outside a law firm where contract talks ended, Friday, July 15, 2011, in New York. Significant progress on a major sticking point in the NFL labor impasse soaring rookie salaries during marathon talks Thursday raised hopes that a tentative agreement in principle could perhaps come within 24 hours, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. AP Photo/Louis Lanzano ….

(4) New York Yankees, from left in front, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Nunez, and Mark Teixeira celebrate the team’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, July 18, 2011, in St. Petersburg , Fla. AP Photo/Mike Carlson …

(5) New York Yankees’ Russell Martin reacts after taking a walk to force in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Monday, July 18, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. AP Photo/Mike Carlson …

(6) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 18: of the Tampa Bay Rays of the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(7) Infielder Sean Rodriguez (1) of the Tampa Bay Rays tries to turn a double play as Brett Gardner (11) of the New York Yankees breaks it up during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……..

(8) Infielder Casey Kotchman (11) of the Tampa Bay Rays takes the throw at first as Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees gets back safely during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..

(9) Infielder Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees gets out of the way of an inside pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(10) Designated hitter Johnny Damon (22) of the Tampa Bay Rays is congratulated by pitchers James Shields (33) and David Price (14) after scoring a run against the New York Yankees during the game at Tropicana Field on July 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(11) Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays catches a fly ball against the Boston Red Sox during the game at Tropicana Field on July 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……
————————————————————————————————————————————————

MLB news

MLB Standings

MLB Disabled List

MLB results 18th July 2011

New York Yankees news

Tampa Bay Rays news

Tampa Bay Rays active roster

Tampa Bay Rays 40 man roster

Tampa Bay Rays team stats

Offense

Pitching

Fielding ……..

NFL news

Advertisements
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 .

==========================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==========================================================================

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 .

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)


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 !

========================================================================

===========================================================================

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 .

=========================================================================

(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 ……

========================================================================

ESPN News

MLB News

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

NBA News

NFL News

Vikings Minnesota Vikings News

Minnesota Vikings profile

Minnesota Vikings schedule 2011 ___ subject to change

Minnesota Vikings’ coaching staff

Minnesota Vikings team roster

Minnesota Vikings draft history

Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Baseball, Derek Jeter, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Uncategorized

The Story Itself Says A Lot About The Player …………


The Story Itself Says A Lot About The Player

As feats go, the milestone of Derek Jeter approaching the 3,000 hit plateau to become the New York Yankees alltime hits’ leader would suggest that the players’ legacy is set. If nothing else the perennial All Star seems well on the way to becoming a first time ballot Hall of Famer . There has been nothing to suggest that Jeter’s name has been tinged by any major controversy relating the steroid era or anything else for that matter. He has seen this organization through its highs and lows over the course of his fifteen year in Major League Baseball . And while the New York Yankees seem set to write their own history this season by looking to dominate the competition within the AL East . It bodes well for the Yankees’ fans that the team’s captain is still as determined as ever to win . Jeter has led by example and his teammates seem determined to follow and not let their leader down.

==============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

==============================================================================

Slide show gallery for your perusal .

Last season would suggest that the player has something of down year in terms of his productivity for the team . There have been a number of issues concerning the team this season those questions arise around the Yankees’ pitchig which is and has been very suspect this season . A J Burnett , CC Sabathia are appear to the only reliable pitchers on the roster and one would suspect that over the course of the season they will become all the more dependent upon their middle relief pitchers and closer <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=121250&quot; Mariano Rivera .
That being said it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see GM Brian Cashman make a mad rush to acquire a highly sought after player merely as a rent deal until the end of the season and beyond should the Yankees be in with a sniff of making the postseason.

And no doubt while the eyes of the baseball world are on Jeter as he looks to pass another historical plateau in the game it has to be said were it anyone else not named Jeter I seriously doubt that the interest in the achievement would be there ! In this era where the game of baseball has simply been accompanied by the misdeeds of a number of players through their prolific misuse of steroids and other illicit substances the game has become tainted and some might say even lacking in appeal. Granted , fans are still cheering on their teams but look at the situation around the entire league at present . The undue burden of a slack economy has led to lower attendance for a number of teams around the league , never mind the financial mismanagement by owners of their respective teams . The game needs a real pick me up and it appears that the closer Derek Jeter gets to this feat the more eager we all are to see him accomplish that hallowed achievement . Say what you will were this Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez on the cusp of attaining 3,000 hits , I seriously doubt that the vast majority of us would be at all be interested in the accomplishment . Such has been the disdain for both players and their actions over the course of their respective careers that it’s great to know that the game still has its real heroes !

While Jeter has been lucky enough to play his entire career with the Bronx Bombers and serving them well over the course of his career. One has to ask even with his abilities would he still have succeeded and reached the height he has achieved were he playing for a lesser team ? Fate has a way of dealing an individual certain things and then what you make of what elements dealt to you in one way or another can denote whether or not you will succeed within that environment. Ability alone but also being around like minded individuals who share a common purpose can also be of great assistance in ascertaining that will to succeed . I do believe that in the case of Jeter he would have succeeded be it with the New York Yankees or St Louis Cardinals in approaching this feat . On the other hand however , in the case of winning multiple World Series titles I think that would simply be open to discussion and a great deal of conjecture !

At present Derek Jeter having amassed 2,990 hits, he is now but ten hits away from reaching 3,000 and becoming the 28th player in league history to attain that historical feat. This record I do believe has become a bench mark within the game along with Cy Young’s 511 wins which will never be reached in the modern era of the game . The single season and all time home run records though still recognized are tainted and that has been the misnomer now within the game as baseball’s hierarchy simply hasn’t the gusto to do what many believe to be morally right and have those records stricken from the books. But then again what would you expect from a league hierarchy led by a bumbling oaf to begin with ? MLB Commissioner Bud Selig simply has become a lap dog for the team owners and someone how cowers in the corner like a scared child the moment the MLBPA stomps its feet !

In all likelihood Derek Jeter will reach this landmark in any of the upcoming series on the New York Yankees schedule during the month of June . The team has a four game series against the Cleveland Indians starting the 10th June before embarking on a three game series against the Texas Rangers . There’s a distinct possibility that the ten hits needed could be attained over the course of these two consecutive series. If not , then Jeter has a chance of accomplishing the feat against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field during an intra league game. But the thought that the player could very well reach the 3,000 hit plateau at Yankees Stadium would indeed be something special in front of a raucous crowd and most notably his immediate family and friends . Especially were the feat to be achieved d in either of the aforementioned series against the Indians or Rangers for that matter .

====================================================================================

====================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

Given the era that we are now in with regard to baseball how do you view the achievement of Derek Jeter reaching the plateau of 3,000 hits within the game ? And what thoughts if any do you have with regards to the single season and all time home run records achieved by Barry Bonds ? Simply chime in with your thoughts as you see fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

Picture and slide show details below .

————————————————————————————————————————————-

(1) New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia hands the ball to manager Joe Girardi while leaving the game during the seventh inning of a baseball game at against the Boston Red Sox Friday, June 10, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ….

(2) David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox crosses to score on a Jed Lowrie (12) triple in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees on June 9, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images …..

(3) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees celebrates scoring with teammate Curtis Granderson (14) after Granderson’s home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox on June 9, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty …….

(4) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter hits an RBI double in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ….

(5) Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees gets the force out against J.D. Drew (7) of the Boston Red Sox during their game on June 8, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Wildcard Standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Results & scoreboard 9th June 2011

MLB Team stats

Individual Player stats thru’ 10th June 2011

Baseball, Bud Selig, MLB, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Stuart Sternberg & Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays Are For Real But Who Knows That They’re There ?


The Rays Are For Real But Who Knows That They’re There ?

Did I miss something but since when did having a farm system that’s the envy of team owners and general managers was a guarantee of success ? I don’t care how good the talent may well be , what indicates how good the players or player might be comes about in the astuteness of the manager , his coaching staff are and whether or not they’re able to communicate with the players under their command.

====================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

We’ve a litany of teams within baseball at present trying to justify and resurrect their legacies and show that they’re now competent to compete with the best of the best within the game. When abject mediocrity becomes the norm and the so called purists merely accept it as being the norm to my mind speaks of utter stupidity more than anything else ! Over the past few seasons I’ve seen the highs and lows within the Tampa Bay Rays’ and the fact that GM <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/tb/team/exec_bios/friedman_andrew.html””&gt; Andrew Friedman has done his very best to make this team and organization competitive . The Rays this season thus far have been simply exceptional away from home posting the best away record within the league . And with a bevy of young and exciting prospects over the past few years this is an organization that is not only looking to the future but also the immediacy of the here and now . Team manager Joe Maddon and his coaching staff certainly has this team playing at a high level with there being a distinct possibility that they could in fact be challenging for a wildcard berth at least should things fall their way. But in the game of baseball you simply don’t rely on luck but you make your own by playing and beating the teams on your schedule . And over the coming months the Rays will be severely tested by those teams not only within AL East but also across the whole baseball landscape.

Team owner Stuart Sternberg has had his litany of problems not only with the hierarchy of baseball but also with the Pinellas County Commission as well as the city of St Petersburg and the evolving issue of Tropicana Stadium and its immediate future and that of the team being domiciled there. Now while fans are petitioning for the team to remain within the local area I’ve heard little about how the governmental agencies will actually pay for the financing of a new venue for the team . Especially when one considers that both Hillsborough County and Pinellas County face budget deficits and the same can be said of the state government . Governor Rick Scott has yet to fully come out and commit to the financing of a new venue for the Tampa Bay Rays , albeit , that we do know that the state legislature had agreed that the financing for a new venue for the Florida Marlins would take place and that the new venue would be built on the site of the Orange Bowl in downtown Miami.

The Rays have been playing so well that it’s now resonating not just amongst their own fans but it appears that the rest of MLB is actually sitting up and taking note of this team. In spite of their missteps in the postseason last year and in 2008 the organization and team in large part has continued to make strides even if there have been a few missteps along the way.

The team now embarks on a three game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan . And against a Tigers’ team that hasn’t seemed to have found a consistency to its game that I think that we could quite possibly see the Rays take two of three in the series . And on the mound the Rays will have their young phenom Jeremy Hellickson pitching against Phil Coke in what is liable to be a thoroughly entertaining game between two teams with postseason ambitions of their very own. It will be very interesting to see whether or not Evan Longoria can get out of his present slump and add some vital pop to the Rays’ offense . Within the league overall the Rays are a disappointing 23rd batting a .241 average but within the AL they are eleventh amongst the fourteen teams there. The AL leaders in terms team batting average are the Cleveland Indians batting at .25 points higher with a .266 average .

If anything what we do know about the Rays as a team is that Maddon and his staff impresses upon his players to be versatile in every aspect of their game . And from a defensive standpoint the Rays are sound and competent as ever . They rank second only behind the Atlanta Braves in fielding percentage and that if anyting gives you something of a true indication as to how competent in the field the Tampa Bay Rays are. That may well be the one asset that their front line pitchers can rely upon when the game is on the line and there isn’t that many runs on the board in support of their cause.

As a fan of the game and seeing the disdain shown to the organization by Bud Selig in particular , as there’s nothing more I’d like to see than the Rays actually making it to the World Series , winning the whole damn ‘shebang’ and then telling Selig to …… ” go f_ck himself and the horse he rode in on ” ! As the game’s highest ranking official the audacity and mendacity he’s shown in telling the ownership group of the Rays led by Stuart Sternberg that they are simply not fit enough to host an All Star Game because their stadium issue has yet to be resolved . But rather than acting as a conduit that could seemingly assist the Rays in their endeavors in dealing with both the city of St Petersburg , Pinellas County and Hillsborough County the commissioner has simply acted like the class bully belittling the efforts of the Rays , castigating and chiding the the municipal and country governments involved in the issue. And we wonder why the game is actually bereft of any common sense when it comes to there being any intelligence being shown by the game’s hierarchy ? So much so , that St Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster has stated that he found dealing with Selig more of a pain than actually dealing with a political foe or ally for that matter . I’ve never had that much implicit faith in anything that Selig has done with regard to the game , the blow-back from many of his decisions , has made him the laughing stock of the sports world .

As to what the season now holds for the Tampa Bay Rays we can only observe from afar make our own prognostications , simply watch as the whole spectacle of the season simply plays itself out . It could be well be a great deal of fun watching things unfold for the team and the game as a whole . And what’s not to like about that at this juncture ?

===================================================================================

==================================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece and MLB as a whole ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below

———————————————————————————————————————

(1) Tampa Bay Rays’ Sean Rodriguez, right, steals second as Florida Marlins’ Omar Infante, left, waits on the throw during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan …..

(2) Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher James Shields, left, is greeted by catcher Kelly Shoppach after pitching a 4-0 shutout against the Florida Marlins during the ninth inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Sunday, May 22, 2011. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(3) Tampa Bay Rays’ Casey Kotchman slides safely into third base after hitting an RBI triple, as Florida Marlins third baseman Gregg Dobbs (29) awaits the throw during the third inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(4) Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez left, makes the tag as Tampa Bay Rays’ Elliot Johnson right, attempts to steal second base during the second inning of an interleague baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(5) Tampa Bay Rays’ James Shields pitches against the Florida Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game at Sun Life Stadium, Sunday, May 22, 2011, in Miami. AP Photo/Jeffrey M. Boan ……

(6) Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria draws a walk to load the bases in the eighth inning during an interleague baseball game in Miami, Saturday, May 21, 2011. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …..

——————————————————————————————————————-

MLB News

MLB Standings

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Scores & results 22nd May 2011

Tampa Bays Rays’ team stats

Tampa Bay Bay active roster

Tampa Bay Rays history

Rays coaching staff

Tampa Bay Rays front office

Tampa Bay Rays Top 10 prospects 2011

Tampa Bay Rays Daft history

Rays minor league affiliates & information

Rays’ alltime leaders

Rays’ single game records

Rays’ single season records

Tropicana Field

MLB Draft 2011

2011 MLB Draft order

Allan 'Bud' Selig, Basketball, Billy Hunter (NBPA), Commissioner Roger Goodell, David Stern, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Phil Jackson, Sports, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary

Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………


Speak When You’re Spoken To ……………

I find it somewhat amusing that NBA Commissioner David Stern continues to treat the NBA as if it’s his own personal fiefdom ! He seems to forget it’s the players who make the game what it is albeit that he assisted in making the brand such a global phenomenon. Stern and the hierarchy along with the team owners have seen the brand grow exponentially into a multi billion enterprise and to where the players are handsomely compensated alongside the coaches within the league .

===============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

============================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Now as the postseason beckons and the 16 teams left to participate in the NBA’s postseason competitive play we now find the game’s most respected coach Phil Jackson amidst some controversy as he openly speaks his mind . The Los Angeles Lakers’ coach in a recent postgame interview which was the finale to the team’s season was asked by the convened press about his team’s chances in the postseason as well as his impending future as it regards the organization. It has long been believed that this may well be Jackson’s last season with the team that he’s coached to five NBA titles . Jackson in his response was forthcoming, saying that he felt good about the team’s prospects and that a final decision hadn’t yet been made as to his immediate future . But he coyly suggested that he may well return to the quiet life while spending more time with his family. That in of-itself would have been enough to satisfy the media there at the time but the coach went on to suggest that it is his belief that the league is now heading towards an imposed lockout because of the impasse that there now is between the NBA and NBPA (Players Union). Now this was merely Jackson’s view and as such it may not have been shared by any of his peers , so in effect it was a personal response and should not be seen as an attack on the integrity of the league as a whole.

In the aftermath of Phil Jackson’s public statement to the press on his feelings about a possible NBA sanctioned lockout David Stern saw fit to impose a $75,000 fine on the coach for his statement . Unless I’m mistaken , Jackson hadn’t contravened any of the league’s rules in making his feelings known nor was it a matter whereby he had spoken on the record as to any discussions that might be taking place between Stern and his union counterpart NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter . So herein lies my question , what was it that was said by Jackson that angered David Stern to the extent where he felt that he had to impose a fine on the Lakers’ coach ? Had he spoken derogatory about an official , player , owner or even an executive of another team ? No , that simply wasn’t the case in any of the premises mentioned . But somehow the narcissistic Stern has taken umbrage to the fact that the league’s most recognized figure in terms of a coach spoke his mind. Not in the case, where he’s being derogatory about anyone but merely from a point of offering his view as to what he believes is liable to happen between the two sides should there not be an agreement reached as it relates to the existing collective bargaining agreement.

I’ve long felt that the power that Stern has as the commissioner of the NBA makes him so autocratic and likened to dictator ! He may well be to my mind certainly the most powerful executive in any of the four major sports . He certainly has to be more powerful than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman , most definitely more powerful than Bud Selig and in baseball and I simply know that he’s way more intelligent than his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell !

If David Stern is to have any real credibility in the league amongst the owners , team executives , players and even the referees themselves then he’ll have to know when to rein in that leash of his rather than coming across as a tyrant . His run ins with Dallas Mavericks’ team owner Mark Cuban have been well chronicled . Such has been the case to where Cuban has paid in excess of a $1 million in fines imposed upon him by the commissioner for many of his pubic utterances be they about the inconsistencies of the officiating during the regular season and postseason as well as Stern’s own inconsistencies when it comes to meting out punishment to the players as it relates to their professional conduct both on and off the basketball court . But such are the vagaries of the game and its perceived image. And that if anything has always been the premise behind Stern’s intransigence I believe and his wish to be viewed as omnipotent when it comes to the power he wields ! David Stern has always been about the image of the league but what he seems to forget is that image isn’t always everything , there also has to be substance and integrity to the game as well. And that has been in part his downfall and own making , wherein he’s created a monster that he no longer has power over. I mean how else can you simply explain the situation where the players or should I say state the ‘ marquee names’ we’ve all come to know can in essence act in such a way wherein their persona becomes larger than the game itself and to the extent that the fans can no longer identify with their teams but merely with the star on that team ?

Courtesy of Bloomberg.com

NBA Projecting $300 Million in Losses This Season, Commissioner Stern Says

By Mason Levinson

The National Basketball Association is projecting $300 million in losses this season as it approaches the end of the collective bargaining agreement with its players union, league Commissioner David Stern said.

The NBA owners’ labor committee, headed by San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, has been given permission by the full ownership to make a new proposal to the National Basketball Players Association in the next week or so, Stern said today at a news conference that followed a two-day meeting in New York of the league’s Board of Governors.

The figure Stern cited for the 2010-11 season was lower than loss estimates he made earlier today on ESPN Radio for previous years. He said in that earlier interview that the NBA lost $370 million two seasons ago and $340 million last season.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver added that about 22 of the league’s 30 franchises are expected to lose money this season.

“Business has improved, nothing to be proud of, but we’ve reduced losses,” Silver said at the news conference. “We don’t believe, within this current system, we have the ability to move dramatically much more.”

While the NBA has had discussions with the union since the February All-Star Game, there have been no formal bargaining sessions in that time, and neither Stern nor Silver would discuss the specifics of what a new proposal might contain.

The league previously cited the need for a more favorable revenue-sharing agreement, a hard salary cap, the end of guaranteed contracts and shortening of contracts as the top negotiating points for the owners.

—————————————————————————————

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


————————————————————————————–

When stars such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony can literally hold a team to ransom in order to get what they want it does to an extent send the wrong message about the game and what it represents. I know for the players money matters as well as well as success and long term financial security . But it’s now gotten to the stage where the marquee players around the league can earn way more off the court than they can on the court merely through endorsement deals and corporate sponsorship. OK so we have Stern , Michael Jordan and Nike Inc to be thankful for that , for without the that trio I’d dare say the game and in particular the NBA wouldn’t be what it is today ! That being said many teams are now struggling from a financial standpoint merely to remain financially viable and to an extent competitive . Something that Stern hasn’t really publicly addressed and that is even in the aftermath of the now impending move of the Sacramento Kings to now the greater Los Angeles Area . Ah well , it is what it is ! Somehow Los Angeles can suddenly find itself now with potentially a third NBA franchise almost at the drop of a hat but yet they can’t somehow entice an NFL franchise to make that city its home . Perplexing isn’ t it , wouldn’t you agree ?

As to any ongoing negotiations between the NBA and NBPA there has little that has been made public by Stern , by any of his subordinates such as Stu Jackson EVP , Basketball Operations , Adam Silver , NBA Deputy Commissoner & COO or for that matter from Richard Buchanan , NBA EVP & Chief Legal Counsel . On the opposite end of that spectrum we’ve heard rumblings of the NBPA quite possibly decertifying as a union and becoming a trade association just as in the same way the NFLPA has done in their stance , to the point where both sides are now in Federal Court trying to use the justice system to sort out their ongoing problems . The presiding judge , Judge Susan Nelson may well force the two sides to mediation but bear in mind that when they sought recourse through the FMCS that situation went about as well as the peace negotiations that have taken place between the Israelis and Palestinians !

Billy Hunter and NBPA President Derek Fisher along with the union’s Executive Committee and Players’ Representatives may well not be looking to be confrontational but the situation should it go on as is being perceived could very well be as contentious a fight as we’ve seen between two sides in a long time in the professional sport’s landscape. That being said the comedic value as to what can now be gleaned between the NFL and NFLPA couldn’t have been scripted any better had it been commissioned and produced in Hollywood . Where else can you find the two main characters such as Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith come up smelling even worse than a piece of elephant dung deposited on the ground by a pachyderm ?

At this juncture should there be a lockout imposed by the hierarchy of the NBA I for one won’t be in slightest have any empathy for either side ! The way I look at it much like the NFL if you simply can’t find a way of dividing the spoils of war , which in this case happens to be billions of dollars , then the impending fate should it be a long term labor disruption is one of your own making . No one else can be blamed but the parties involved !

============================================================================

===========================================================================

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the statement made by Phil Jackson and his belief that there could very well be an NBA lockout ? Do you feel also that David Stern overstepped his mark in imposing the fine upon the coach ? And should the union decertify itself and then challenge the league’s antitrust status within the Federal Court System should they be able to avoid mediation how do you see things playing out within the courtroom ? Simply proffer up any thoughts that you might have on this topic and anything else as it relates the NBA . Once again thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal …………………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

NBA News

😉

Picture and slide show details below .
————————————————————————————————

(1) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after Bryant was named MVP for the fourth time in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Kevork Djansezian …….

(2) Head coach Phil Jackson (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers receives his championship ring from NBA Commissioner David Stern before the season opening game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on October 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America …….

(3) NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter seen here with the convened press . Hunter and his union are trying to avert a labor stoppage this off-season . But all signs appear to be that the deliberations between the two sides could become contentious . AP Photo / Richard Musgrave …….

(4) In this picture from May 2009 the big four of American sports commissioners discussed the economics of their respective sports in New York City on Wednesday. They are, left to right, the NBA’s David Stern, baseball’s Bud Selig, the NFL’s Roger Goodell and the NHL’s Gary Bettman. AP Photo / Richard Drew ……..

(5) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 14: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith (L) and linebacker Ben Leber of the Minnesota Vikings leave a court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 14, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners when labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images …………

———————————————————————————————–

Mase …… feat’g …… Total ………”Tell Me What You Want From Me”

=================================================================

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.

===================================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


=================================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

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.

====================================================================================

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

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 .
—————————————————————————————————–

(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 ……….

————————————————————————————————

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.


MLB news

Los Angeles Dodgers front office

Los Angeles Dodgers’ schedule 2011

Los Angeles active roster & depth chart

Los Angeles Dodgers team stats

Los Angeles Dodgers news

New York Mets front office

New York Mets’ schedule 2011

New York Mets active roster & depth chart

New York Mets’ team stats

New York Mets news

====================================================================

Eye candy …………. Angie Conwell

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

=====================================================================

Bill Withers ………….” Lean On Me”
=====================================================================

Baseball, Bud Selig & Bob DuPuy, Frank & Jamie McCourt, Jeff Wilpon, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, Sports

Three Strikes And You’re Out


Three Strikes And You’re Out

Well the baseball season is almost upon and already there’s a number of stories that have come to the fore. Februrary 14thh pitchers and catchers report for duty at their Spring Training venues and the 26th for all remaining players . And while I’ll be looking forward to seeing a number of teams in the preseason games scheduled for them. It will be interesting to see whether or not the San Francisco Giants can make a successful defense of their World Series title. I certainly know this, they were thoroughly deserving of their win in the defeat of the Texas Rangers .

===============================================================================

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

===============================================================================

Slide show for your perusal .

Now while the regular season has yet to begin there is a great deal of turmoil that’s going on within the game and it’s patently obvious that Commissioner Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy are completely out of their depth. The acrimonious divorce of billionaire real estate mogul Frank McCourt has essentially placed the Los Angeles Dodgers at risk as the courts have sided with McCourt’s ex wife Jamie in a ruling that splits the baseball team as a communal asset.

Frank McCourt as the principal owner of the ball-club insists that he has no intention of selling the team and he also insists that his wife cannot contribute in the day to day operation of the organization . Clearly Frank McCourt has no belief in the rule of law and what has made the situation all the more unbelievable has been the lengths and depths McCourt went to in trying to cheat his wife out of a share in the team. In essence he induced his wife into signing a document that had no bearing on the team’s operations but somehow that same document then shows that in part agreed that she wasn’t a stakeholder in the Dodgers. And here was I thinking that this sort of corruption was only conducted within the halls both US Congress and Senate ? Boy was I ever so wrong ! McCourt’s machinations and maneuvers make those of the members of the legislative chambers seem like a romp in the park.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Dodger divorce: New lawyers for Frank McCourt, and for his old law firm

February 7, 2011 | 12:44 pm

With the possibility that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt could blame Bingham McCutchen should he lose control of the team, the Boston-based law firm has retained a high-powered firm with expertise in defense against legal malpractice suits.

Bingham has hired Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, based in Los Angeles and described in the American Lawyer magazine last year as “a top choice for law firms in need of their own rescue, particularly in malpractice litigation.”

McCourt, meanwhile, has hired a premier New York attorney to replace Bingham as the Dodgers’ outside counsel.

A Bingham spokesperson said the firm had “asked Gibson Dunn to advise us concerning various matters of California law related to the ongoing situation.”

“I think Bingham needed third-party advice from somebody who did not have anything at stake,” said Michael Dempsey, a Century City attorney specializing in legal malpractice but not involved on the McCourt case.

McCourt and Bingham parted ways in December after a judge threw out a marital property agreement that would have granted him sole ownership of the Dodgers. However, Bingham retained Kevin Rosen, chairman of the Gibson Dunn legal malpractice defense group, before the judge’s ruling and for experience beyond malpractice law, according to a source familiar with the McCourt divorce proceedings.

===========================================================

Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

==========================================================

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a financial mess as the team has amassed a debt in excess of $800 million but what makes the team so value is its history , legacy and the fact that it is in the country’s second largest advertising market . That may well saving grace for the team if it at all to survive and any pursuer of the team with a view to buying had better be ready to up the ante and at the same assure the fans that they’re in it for the long haul should Frank McCourt be pressed into the selling of the team.

It’ll be interesting to see what public statements will be forthcoming from the commissioner’s office before the dust has settled on the Dodgers and this mess. Selig through his spokesperson Bob DuPuy has said that they would closely monitor the situation. Well now the shit has hit the crapper and it’s time for action , if not from the commissioner , then from someone within the game’s hierarchy. At stake is the financial stability and viability of the organization. And what might be even more troubling may well be the image being created by this all and how it is being perceived by the fans. God knows after the horrid season by the team and the fact that Joe Torre essentially bailed on the organization , I’ve got to ask where do the Dodgers now go from here ?

It’s been strange to think it has been over three decades since the New York Mets won a World Series title . In that time the team has been essentially inept while from a financial standpoint they’ve essentially spent money on bringing high priced free agents who essentially have been busts in the same way that the Obama administration has spent countless billions of taxpayers’ monies without any real oversight and barely anything tangible in return to show for it all. I guess you could say that GM may well say finally is paying its way but that’s been solely down to the fact that the company is now more profitable outside North America than it is on its domestic soil. That if anything should tell you all you need to know about the company as a whole at this juncture. And that other blood sucking entity that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking & Finance Committee saw fit to bail out AIG the insurance and financial behemoth that essentially gobbled up close to $200 billion ( $200,000,000,000) the way that a vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt off an uncleaned rug.

The company still isn’t out of the woods as of yet even though it has paid back several billion dollars the fact of the matter is the taxpayer is still owed in excess of $120 billion which the government as such has a stake in company as an equity stakeholder. My own personal feeling was that the company should have been split up and sold off in parts as seen fit by the US Bankrupcty Courts . But as we know Congress and its ‘paymasters’ (lobbyists) march to the beat of a different drum . How else can you explain the fact that a small business can’t obtain a loan from a commercial bank much less the government’s own financially backed SBA (Small Business Administration) but yet a totally morally bankrupt financial concern can essentially get billions of dollars single handedly at the drop of a hat ? I’m still waiting for an explanation from Barack Obama , Geithner or any of the idiots who sit on the House Banking Committee and Senate Banking & Finance Committee .
.

Courtesy of Reuters

Ex-NY governor Cuomo to mediate $1 billion Mets-Madoff suit

(Reuters) – Mario Cuomo, the former New York governor, was named as mediator in the $1 billion legal battle between the owners of the New York Mets baseball team and the trustee for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland appointed Cuomo, the father of current New York governor Andrew Cuomo, late Thursday afternoon, saying the dispute presented “special issues” that required “an appropriately experienced mediator.”

Irving Picard, the trustee, is seeking to recover roughly $300 million of “fictitious” profits as well as principal from Sterling Equities Inc, which controls the Mets, and its officials including Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.

The trustee contends that the team owners long ignored red flags about Madoff’s estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Wilpon and Katz have maintained that they too were Madoff victims.

Picard and the Mets principals had been in talks about a settlement, but talks broke down after details of the lawsuit, which had been filed under seal in December, leaked. Wilpon has said he may sell part of the team because of the litigation.

Mario Cuomo, 78, was a mediator before serving as New York’s governor from 1983 to 1994. He is now a lawyer at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

As mediator, Cuomo can try to bring Picard and the Mets principals together, but cannot force them to settle.

The case is Picard v. Katz et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-ap-05287.

==========================================================

As I alluded to earlier the New York Mets have been a mess but now more than ever team owner Fred Wilpon and his family face a civil suit in the US District Courts that seeks $350 million in damages and a further sum of between $400 to $600 million in punitive damages . The reason behind the suit is that the Wilpons profited from these funds that were gained dubiously through the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme that defrauded countless thousands out of some $59 billion ($59,000,000,000) . Madoff is now serving a 125 year sentence in a Federal Penitentiary for his crimes . It’d appear that Fred Wilpon and many of his family members were one of the major recipients from this scheme but through their legal counsel they now contend that they too were victims of Madoff’s fraudulent activities. Somehow over the two decades that Madoff’s scheme went on the family seemed to have been recipients of the scheme’s largess rather than a victim. Now in the face of this civil suit the front office will have a decision to make . Do they divest themselves complete of the team or do they sell a minority stake as a way of having some ready made liquidity ? Martin Luther King III and a consortium have approached the Wilpon family about buying a 20% -25% stake in the team and though the figure is said to vary between $275million to $300 million.

One can easily see the mess that has been created here and the very fact baseball’s hierarchy is completely out of touch with the reality and financial stability of its game. I’ve always felt that Selig and the team owners simply will drink from the well like a starved animal until it is dry. And there lies the problem within the league. There’s simply not enough water in the well for everyone to drink from. And while most certainly the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies can simply buy their way out of trouble that’s not the case of the vast majority of the teams within baseball.

These are some of the inherent problems that the game faces and one which the owners , league hierarchy and MLBPA (union) don’t wish to address in public with a openly frank statement . MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner hasn’t addressed the issue when broached on the subject and we shouldn’t expect anything else from either party at this juncture.

The funny thing is that the more I read the pieces concerning the game no one really wants to deal with the underlying issues that baseball faces. Certainly not from the standpoint as to why there’s such a wide margin between the haves and have nots within the game. The Wilpons and Steinbrenners of the world have it extremely easy when they can have their respective ballparks built for them at the taxpayers’ expense courtesy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg . At a combined $2.355 billion ($2,355,000,000) both Citi Field , Yankee Stadium stand as cavernous edifices and a tribute to grand opulence and greed !

Many of the patrons would rather give you a deluge of information as to how they view a team and their chances of doing well in the season. Prognosticating while great , it’s essentially the same thing repeatedly being said by a number of people in different terms. Nothing new and nothing ever changes !

Once the MLB season starts there’ll be a great many stories to unfold we’ll see how things unfold for both the Mets and the Dodgers . I do believe however that those two stories could engulf the season and make us all realize how acute the situation is within the game. The very fact that Bud Selig stands around like an ostrich with his head buried in the sand gives you clear indication as to the sort individual he really is. Meanwhile the idiot writers who cover the sport simply drool like Cheshire cats licking their whiskers having drank a bowl of milk . And while the likes of Peter Gammons , Buster Olney , Tim Kurkjian a slew of other journalists and analysts who cover the sport simply cow tow to the league hierarchy like a slave in obeyance of their slave master . I simply wonder what the fans will think of this all ? More often than not they’re only concerned with the fate of their teams rather than the overall big picture .

=====================================================================================

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

=====================================================================================

How do you now see things quite possibly panning out as to the fate of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets ? And do you believe that the game of baseball would now be better off if Bud Selig were to immediate resign from his post as commissioner and someone with a real feel for all aspects of the game were to be installed in his place ? If so who would you prefer to succeed Selig in the post of commissioner ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the matter any other baseball related issue ?

Picture and slide show details
———————————————————————————–

(1) San Francisco Giants CEO Bill Neukom , center, shakes hands with manager Bruce Bochy , right, as general manager Brian Sabean , left, looks on during a baseball news conference at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. Neukom announced that the Giants have exercised contract options for both Sabean and Bochy for the 2012 season. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(2) Arlington ,Tx,. (2) Edgar Renteria (16) of the San Francisco Giants hits a 3-run home run in the seventh inning against Cliff Lee (33) of the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP ……..

(3) Elvis Andrus (1) of the Texas Rangers tries to break up a double play in front of Freddy Sanchez (22) of the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Doug Pensinger ………

(4) In happier times seen from left to right actor James Brolin, singer Barbra Streisand, Jamie McCourt and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt watch Game Four against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/ Harry How ……..

(5) Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt is seen here congratulating incoming coach Don Mattingly having assumed the position from Joe Torre seen left of the owner. Also seen in picture is the team’s general manager (far right) Ned Colletti . LA Times /Wally Skalij ………

(6) New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon, right, and COO Jeff Wilpon speak to the media during a news conference on Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at Citi Field in New York. The New York Mets fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya on Monday, an expected shake-up of the big-spending ballclub after its second straight losing season. The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager. The organization eventually hired Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi to head the front office . In the wake of Manuel and Minaya’s firing Terry Collins was hired by the duo to manage the team . AP Photo / Jeff Wenig ……..

(7) Baseball managers Joe Torre , left, Lou Piniella , second from left, and Cito Gaston , right, join baseball commissioner Bud Selig at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. AP / Roberto Gonzalez ……..

——————————————————————————

MLB news

😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………

—————————————————————————————-

Amie

Eye candy ……………….. Amazin Amie …..yes sir she’s the cats’ meow !

Boy do I love what she’s doin’ with that hose !

Back that ass up baby back that ass up !

————————————————————————————–

Bob Marley …………….. “Natural Mystic “

=============================================================