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Now For The Good News ………………..


Now For The Good News ………………………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brother Can You Spare A Dime …….. ?


Brother Can You Spare A Dime ?

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

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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.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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Alan aka tophatal ……………

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

😛

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


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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 .

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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.

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Click on link to read this article in its entirety .

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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 .
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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.

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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 .

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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
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(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 ……..

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MLB news

😛

Alan aka tophatal …………………

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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 !

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Bob Marley …………….. “Natural Mystic “

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Baseball, Basketball, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

PTI Inquiring Minds Need To Know


Unless I’m mistaken but have the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-58) suddenly forgotten how to play baseball ? Merely a little over a month ago this team had a 7 game lead on their nearest rivals within NL West, within the division . And they almost certainly had the best record in baseball. And now all of a sudden they’ve become about as welcoming a sight as the President is,to those who oppose his health-care reform package. Well, that’s in terms of their competitiveness of on the field of play. Which at this moment in time can be best described as being lackluster.

Arizona Diamondbacks'  Trent Oeltjen (right) walks  in the  winning  run  against  the  Los  Angeles   Dodgers  on the  team's  4-3  defeat of  the  NL  West  division leading  team.  In  the  foreground  is   the  Dodgers'  catcher   Russell  Martin   , leaving  the   field  as  the  game  has  reached   its  finale.   picture  appears  courtesy  ap/photo/ Matt  York  ....................
Arizona Diamondbacks' Trent Oeltjen (right) walks in the winning run against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the team's 4-3 defeat of the NL West division leading team. In the foreground is the Dodgers' catcher Russell Martin , leaving the field as the game has reached its finale. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Matt York ....................

Seemingly now the Dodgers have the Colorado Rockies (81-60) breathing down their necks. And those within the Dodgers’ organization and their fans would have you believe that they’re not overly concerned with the situation. Unless I’m mistaken anyone within the Dodgers’ shoes ought to have a great deal to worry about at this juncture. It’s not as if their play of late has reflected a team playing with a great deal of confidence to begin with. At the same time the Rockies have merely thought “….. what the hell , let’s give it a go and see where things take us ?” And if that’s not enough of a warning for the Dodgers . When one considers that this team has performed underperformed in their last ten games , going (5-5)against that of the Rockies’ impressive 9-1 . One can well understand why it is that all of a sudden the impression of the Rockies creeping up and then perhaps supplanting the Dodgers atop of the NL West isn’t as outrageous as it’d first appear.

Manny  Ramirez  of  the  Los  Angeles  Dodgers  watches   his  solo  home  run  in the  fourth  inning  of the  game   played   against the  D'backs   in  Phoenix,  Az,  on  Wednesday.   picture   appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Matt York   ............................
Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game played against the D'backs in Phoenix, Az, on Wednesday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt York ............................

Dodgers’ fans be afraid , be very, very afraid . Because should your season go up in flames as to your aspirations of the winning the division. And then for your team not to regain its composure and then contend in the playoffs. Be prepared to become the butt of so many jokes across MLB . Perhaps even more so, than for the likes of the Mets, Cubs , Pirates , Nationals and Royals’ fans.

The Dodgers’ struggles haven’t just been at the plate but their once stellar pitching has all of a sudden become pedantic. For the moment we can but only take the wait and see attitude as to the team’s plight. As to the excuses that may well be forthcoming from their fans . Well, who knows what they might be should things not fare well at all ?

Madden  (left) the  former  co-host   of  NBC's  live  coverage  of  the  NFL  is  seen  here   alongside   Al  Michaels , seated   right.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  nbc.com/sports  ...........
Madden (left) the former co-host of NBC's live coverage of the NFL is seen here alongside Al Michaels , seated right. picture appears courtesy of nbc.com/sports ...........

So it’d appear that all of a sudden , the now under siege commissioner of the NFL , Roger Goodell , thinks it prudent to hire former NFL coach and analyst, John Madden as a special counsel ? Madden will provide, it’s been assumed – Goodell, with much needed advice as to issues that the league now faces. As well as meeting with the general managers around the league to discuss various problems they no doubt feel pertinent. The former coach will also keep the commissioner up to date with weekly calls .

Granted , on the face of it this seems like a wise move. But with the ensuing upcoming round of meetings that will no doubt be taking place between the league and the NFLPA and its senior representative , DeMaurice Smith. These meetings are bound to be very contentious as the two sides invariably discuss the renegotiating of the collective bargaining agreement. One has to remember that the NFL chose to opt out of this – much to the dismay of Smith. And the league takes the standpoint , that in light of the change in the economic environment – changes had to be made. However, one has to also remember that this agreement wasn’t set to become void until the end of the 2010-11 season.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP :

Madden to serve as special adviser to Goodell

NEW YORK (AP)—Hall of Fame coach John Madden will serve as a special adviser to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league said Thursday that as part of his unpaid position Madden will chair the coaches group in the competition committee. Madden will also participate in meetings of a general managers committee and be part of a weekly call with Goodell or another NFL official to discuss issues from the previous week’s games.

Madden retired from broadcasting in April. He says the new role allows him to stay active in football. Goodell says that when Madden suggested helping out, “it was an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

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Wise , aged and presumably viewed as something of a sage when it comes to the NFL and the game itself. I personally, can’t envision Madden being something of an enforcer . Much less, a Mafia consigliere in the mould of a ‘Tom Hayden’ , or that of Al Capone’s enforcer Frank Nitti. Madden may well bring with him a great deal of respect to the table. But in all honesty , if anything he’s more now known as a celebrity and NFL analyst.
Albeit , that as an endorser of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 10 . The game which bears his name and which has made him immeasurably wealthy. We can only surmise that Madden clearly believes that he still feels he has a role to play within the NFL. As to the pretense that he can work with the likes of Goodell and provide him with sound advice , heed the thoughts of the owners and GM’s alike. It could very well happen, but I, for one, seriously doubt it ! Madden may well have an instinctive mind and his analysis and commentary of the game can at times , be insightful. One doubts that when it comes to the business aspect of the NFL’s workings, he can provide Goodell with anything worthwhile.

The game has changed immensely since Madden stepped away from it as a coach. And while the players and their attitudes have invariably become more business like. And there’s also now more of a ‘me’ mentality as to their persona , for many of them . Whatever Madden and Goodell hope to achieve had better be tempered about as what’s perceived to be best for the game and that of its most loyal fans. Issues asides, can we actually now expect Madden to proclaim there to be a ‘Brett Favre Day’ within the NFL , anytime soon ? I mean after-all he’s been the biggest Favre supporter of them all , throughout the years. His wanderlust for the player has never been abated. And now with Favre’s return to the NFL , one might wonder whether or not he returned to that inner sanctum in order to be closer to his hero ?

What is it now with social networking and everyone wanting to Twitter ? I mean, you know things have got to be bad when the likes of Paris Hilton , Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs feels it necessary to let you know how their day is said to be going. Where’s the rhyme and reason behind it all ? Is there no longer the need to hold a conversation with a person face to face ? But perhaps , it’s just me !

Allen  Iverson  is  greeted   by  fans  of  the  Memphis  Grizzlies   .  The  veteran  player  has   signed  a  one  year  deal  with  the  team    and   will  be  with  them  at   the  start  of   training  camp  in  October.    Iverson   states  that  he   hopes  to   contribute  to  the  team  and   assist  the  rookies  improve their overall   game ,  leading  by  example .   A  commendable  thought   by  the  player  but  let's  first   see  how  things  will   fare   for  both  parties .  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Lance   Murphey   ............................
Allen Iverson is greeted by fans of the Memphis Grizzlies . The veteran player has signed a one year deal with the team and will be with them at the start of training camp in October. Iverson states that he hopes to contribute to the team and assist the rookies to improve their overall game , leading by example . A commendable thought by the player but let's first see how things will fare for both parties. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Lance Murphey ............................

Well Allen Iverson has let it be known that he’s finally found a place where he’ll be domiciled professionally. The player ‘tweeted’ that he’d be joining the Memphis Grizzlies. Laugh if you must , but at least it’s not the Los Angeles Clippers. All fooling asides, it’s sad to see a player of Iverson’s undoubted talents fall so far in such a short space of time. But the player has signed a one year deal with the team in the hope of leading them to some semblance of success. And for a team that’s never been in contention for anything within the NBA , other than being steeped in the depths of mediocrity. It’s hoped that in some way he can fulfill those aspirations for the franchise and its fans.

I’ve longed maintained that some athletes tend to remain in the game far too long. Even when their skills are on the decline and they can no longer contribute to a team. And that becomes even more glaring when an athlete performs as an individual within the sporting arena. We’ve seen it with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya , Joe Namath and most certainly Brett Favre ! But you’d be hard pressed to tell even Favre’s most erstwhile fans that. Many of whom believe, that he’ll be able to work miracles there in Minnesota , with the Vikings.

Allen  Iverson  of the  Memphis  Grizzlies  seen  here  suited  up   in  a   Grizzlies' uniform   for  a  team  publicity  picture.   picture   appears  courtesy  of   nbae/getty images/  Joe  Murphy   ......................
Allen Iverson of the Memphis Grizzlies seen here suited up in a Grizzlies' uniform for a team publicity picture. picture appears courtesy of nbae/getty images/ Joe Murphy ......................

As to Allen Iverson , he may well be able to change some of the thought process there within the franchise. But it’s clear that this is just being done as a maneuver to lure Grizzlies’ fans within the Fedex Forum their home arena, in Memphis. Of late it has been sparsely attended for NBA league games. And with Iverson within their midst , it’s hoped by the franchise’s owner Michael Heisley , GM Chris Wallace and team coach , Lionel Hollins that the player can bring some luster back to the franchise. And as to the form that the luster might take, is anyone skeptical as to its apparent form ?

So please pardon the interruption as this inquiring mind needed to know what your thoughts might be on this particular subject matter ? Any answers at this juncture ?