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
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

AL East, Baseball, Basketball, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, MLB, NBA, New York Yankees, NHL, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Tampa Bay Rays

Phew I’m Glad That’s Over …….. !


Phew I’m Glad That’s All Over !

Well the sporting weekend was filled with a litany of stories that may well have found its way into your time spent resting and taking anyone of a number of events on offer. Both the NBA and NHL playoffs are underway and as those episodes play themselves out the fans there I’ve no doubt will be thoroughly entertained. Now I’m not nor have I ever been that much of an enthusiast when it comes to the game of hockey and I doubt I ever will be ! Suffice to say that when it comes to being physical in such a way when the opposing players are throwing down and landing punches like effeminate school girls I’d rather throw my weight behind a good mix up in a martial arts dojo !

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal.

In what is allegedly said to be baseball’s biggest rivalry the Boston Red Sox and their divisional arch rivals the New York Yankees met in a three game series which the Yankees hosted at Yankees Stadium . Having lost the the first two games 5-4 , 6-0 respectively the Yankees were looking to redeem themselves in Sunday’s game in front of a soldout crowd and a national cable broadcast on ESPN .

Much has been made concerning the New York Yankees this season and the frailties of this team in particular with their pitching rotation whom many believe to the team’s Achilles’ heel. If anything with both of the losses in question it simply wasn’t about the weakness of the pitching but also that the bats wents extremely cold for the Yankees . Last night’s game in light of the furore created by the team’s veteran catcher Jorge Posada has pretty much summed up how things could very well go for the Yankees this season .

Posada is having a brutal season batting a mediocre .165 , much to the dismay of the player and the coaching staff led by Joe Girardi and hitting coach Kevin Long . That being said it was somewhat inexplicable the way in which the player informed GM Brian Cashman that he wouldn’t be able to play in Saturday’s game. His excuse seemed to be contrived , with him suggesting that he was suffering from a back-ache and that his head wasn’t where it needed to be. Pardon me for saying this , but if you’re unwilling to suit up when it’s all on the line and your teammates are counting on you then you have no part being on that team ! Either Jorge Posada was genuinely hurt or he wasn’t but for him to take umbrage when Cashman made it public to the press before the game that he wouldn’t be playing , I find it rather naive on the part of Posada ! After-all it was his decision to withdraw from the team and not face their AL East rivals the Red Sox . Now in light of that , it now appears that there’s a great deal of friction and an apparent rift between the player and the upper levels of the executive heirarchy of the New York Yankees . This I believe is what tends to happen when things become contrived and the players who feel that they ought to be treated with deference from their peers within the locker room . Posada, if he’s to be seen as a veteran and an example to the younger players on this Yankees’ roster then he ought to act accordingly , and not like some infantile child who has had his pacifier taken away from him.

I’m not about to suggest that after this Sunday loss ( 7-5 ) which gave the Boston Red Sox a clean three game sweep in this series that the season for the New Yankees is now up in the air as that would be rather asinine ! The Yankees’ situation won’t be made any easier knowing that they now have to face a red hot Tampa Bay Rays’ —- team that has the best away record (13-5 ) in the league this season and whose confidence at a real high. Having lost that game to the Red Sox the Yankees saw their lead within the division erased with the Tampa Bay Rays now leading the AL East with a 23-17 mark with the Yankees two games behind and the Red Sox a mere 3 games behind the division leaders. Things are hotting up within that division and there’s a great deal to play for , nevertheless I do believe that it’s still too soon to write the Yankees off at this juncture but I do believe that the chasm that has now been created between Jorge Posada and the front office could well be irrevocably broken . With Cashman having stated that he’ll approach the commissioner’s office to see what , if any punishment can be levied against the player , you simply get the feeling that Posada could be on his way out with the Yankees unless there’s a contrite apololgy from the player to the organization. The chances of that happening might just be diminishing by the second given the demeanor shown by Posada and his own remarks in light of the series loss.

This two game series between the Yankees and Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida could go a long way in telling us about the direction that both teams are now presently heading in. The Rays need to win and win consistently if they’re even to be thought of as legitimate contenders within the division much less a wildcard entrant or for that matter to have a legitimate shot at the World Series Series . It’s a near on certainty that the wildcard entrant from AL will undoubtedly come from the AL East unless there’s a major surprise to come from within any of the other divisions . At this juncture with how the teams are now playing nothing can be taken off the table as of yet .

I don’t know about you but with all the talk of the Miami Heat strolling their way to the NBA title this season , I’m so glad they were given that proverbial wake up call ! Last night in their conference finals game opener against the Chicago Bulls played at the United Center in Chicago showed us why the Bulls should be written out of this series based on their so called inexperience . Complacency I believe has already has set in with the Heat especially amongst the role players on this team !

The Miami Heat showed why there are still many flaws on this team none more so than on defense as the Bulls laid an almighty can of whup ass on the self absorbed Heat . This game may well have started off as a sprint with the Heat’s ‘Big Three’ looking to stamp their identity on this game . But as good as LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are said to be , on the night Luol Deng , Derrick Rose , Taj Gibson , Joakim Noah and Ronnie Brewer simply better , as the Bulls took the Heat behind the woodshed and fuc_ed them proverbially in the ass ! Statistically the Bulls won this game by being aggressive and simply beating up on the Heat on the boards (45-33) on both ends of the floor .

Inexplicably the Heat were simply no match for the Bulls and the idiocy came about even further when the Heat had six players on the floor during this game but somehow the officials , Dan Crawford , Michael Smith and Ken Mauer as incompetent as we’ve known the referees to be didn’t call a technical against the Miami . Inasmuch , I had expected the Heat to win game one I certainly didn’t believe that they would be upended and embarrassed in the way that they were on the Bulls’ homecourt . But as I alluded to earlier , there’s a complacency about this team that I don’t believe that Erik Spoelstra or Pat Riley can deny . I think that there’s connivance and a belief about the Heat that having beaten the Boston Celtics with effortless ease they may well have felt that they would walk the Bulls like a hot knife through butter. Well it’s game on bitches and you’re now going to be in for a hard fought battle and one hell of a war .

The result a 21 point defeat ( 103-82) of the Miami Heat simply ought to remind us all that we ought to also take note that the Bulls did also sweep the Heat in their regular season meetings 3-0 . And though one could allude to the fact that the Heat as a team weren’t playing cohesively as a unit you simply cannot discount those results as being a one off at all ! The Heat were beaten and albeit that the regular season tends to mean nothing at all once the postseason comes around , you can’t deny that this would be the last thing that Miami Heat would have wanted at this juncture . And that’s to be in a battle where they’re expected to win soundly ____ but instead they’re now in the midst of what could turn out to be guerilla warfare and they’ve simply shown that based on last night’s display they simply haven’t the arsenal to compete against their younger foes.

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

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

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece and as such what sporting even over the weekend had your undivided attention ? Simply chime in with a comment and thanks as usual for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

———————————————————————————————————————————–

(1) VANCOUVER, CANADA – MAY 15: Mason Raymond (21) of the Vancouver Canucks skates after the puck on the forecheck against Joe Pavelski (8) of the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Canucks defeated the Sharks 3-2 . Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …..

(2) Chris Higgins (20) of the Vancouver Canucks makes contact as he screens goaltender Antti Niemi (31) of the San Jose Sharks in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Canucks defeated the Sharks 3-2 . Photo by Harry How/Getty Images ….

(3) Teammates, including catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia congratulate Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis, second from left, after he led the Red Sox to their 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees for a three-game sweep in their baseball series at Yankee Stadium Sunday, May 15, 2011, in New York. Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, right, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez join in the celebration. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ……

(4) New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez watches his seventh-inning RBI double in the Yankees baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, Sunday, May 15, 2011 in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(5) David Ortiz (34) of the Boston Red Sox celebrates a home run in the fifth inning as Russell Martin(notes) #55 of the New York Yankees looks on and J.D. Drew (7) of the Boston Red Sox gets ready to bat during their game on May 15, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …..

(6) Brett Gardner (11) of the New York Yankees is caught in a run down against the Boston Red Sox during their game on May 15, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ……

(7) A woman holds up a sign supporting New York Yankees five-time All-Star and designated hitter Jorge Posada one day after Posada pulled himself out of the lineup in the Yankees baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium Sunday, May 15, 2011 in New York. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Posada apologized to him in a face-to-face conversation. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …

(8) Jorge Posada (20) of the New York Yankees cheers his team on from the bench against the Boston Red Sox during their game on May 15, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ….

(9) From left to right Kurt Thomas (40), John Lucas III, Joakim Noah (13) and Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 103-82 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …

(10) Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts as he coaches against the Chicago Bulls in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images/ Gregory Shamus ……..

(11) Chris Bosh (1) and Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat talk on court against the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Gregory Shamus/ Getty Images ……..

(12) Kyle Korver (26) of the Chicago Bulls reaches for a loose ball against LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Getty Images/ Johnathan Daniel ……..

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

MLB News

New York Yankees’ news

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Results & scores 15th May 2011

MLB Standings


Probable starting pitchers 16th May 2011

NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NHL Playoffs 2011

————————————————————————————————

Fabolous …… feat’g …….. Nate Dogg ……” I Can’t Deny It”

Alex Rodriguez, Allan 'Bud' Selig, Andy Pettite ., Barry Bonds, Baseball, Jose Canseco, MLB, Roger Clemens, Rusty Hardin, Sports, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, Sports Econmics, Steroids in baseball, US Attorney General Eric Holder

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


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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal

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

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………..

MLB News ………..

🙂

Picture and slide show details below .

———————————————————————————————

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

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

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

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

——————————————————————————————–

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

Rosa Acosta

Eye candy ……………… Rosa Acosta

Amber  Rose

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

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

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

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

AL East, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, MLB, New York Yankees, Sports, Tampa Bay Rays

When Johnny Met Manny ……………….


When Johnny Met Manny ……………….

Well holy Moses the impossible has happened and the Tampa Bay Rays are now able to make lemonade out of rat’s pi_s . How else can you explain the idiocy of many of the statements coming from GM Andrew Friedman senior managing partner Stuart Sternberg Granted we know that the organization and team have been beset with financial problems ever since they came into existence and it has been that way ever since . Friedman and Sternberg have continued to berate the fans but have little willingness to spend money but at the same time they’re looking to have a new stadium built at the taxpayers’ expense . And at no time have they actually shown a commitment that they’re prepared to step up to the plate and contribute in part to the building of the supposed new venue. Some solace for the fans eh _____ from two rather conniving individuals who have continued to talk out of both sides of their mouths.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal.

Sternberg having made his fortune in the commodities’ market and on Wall St much like any other millionaire owner in the league has a bauble (Rays) that he can parade as his own personal jewel in his crown. And given the success that the organization has had in recent years having twice won the AL East divisional crown . Now having failed to make their presence felt in the MLB playoffs where they would succumb to the Texas Rangers the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason essentially had themselves a fire sale gutting the team in order to stave off financial ruin. To make matters worse their most storied and beloved player Carl Crawford was signed by the Boston Red Sox and several other players have followed in tow.

Now Friedman and Sternberg are trying to allay the fans’ fears that the team is heading in the right direction even with the moves that have been made. Simply put you can’t dress a sow up as a pig and call it a pig . Neither can you say that the Rays will be able to contend within the AL East especially when the likes of the Red Sox , New York Yankees , Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays will have improved. It’s easy to understand the reason why the division has always been considered to be most competitive in all of baseball . It’s not liable to change at all this upcoming season and it remains to be seen whether or not the coaching staff of the Rays can still have this team playing competitively this upcoming season even with the changes made.

For the fans in attendance at Tropicana Field St Petersburg , Florida this could be a season where that venue will come to be even more so as an elephant’s graveyard where the attendance will if anything border on being bare to say the very least . Instead of that hardcore 15,000 that the organization has come to rely on we could very well see that figure drop below 10,000 . It gives even greater credence to the fact that baseball just doesn’t work in the city of Tampa and it never will. Spin it anyway you want but there comes a time when the fans and in particular Sternberg and Friedman will have to accept the fact that they’re fighting a losing battle. And it certainly hasn’t helped with the continued buffoonery being shown by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , his office and his idiotic impact of the stadium issue for the Tampa Bay Rays . Rather being of assistance to the organization’s plans Selig has been nothing but a hindrance with his nonsensical edicts and public statements on the issue. Telling the team that the only way that they can ever host an All Star Game is to have a purpose built new stadium is asinine, as it was to suggest that he was completely unaware of the whole steroid issue that has been simply rife within the game under his tenure as commissioner !

Now if to create something of a furor and perhaps lure fans into the belief that the good time are here again with them having signed both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez to one year contracts . As to whether not both of these players who are shall we say are past their prime can prove to be productive remains to be seen. But it’s clear that if anything in terms of character they’ll be bringing a great deal with them if not much in terms overall productivity to the Rays.

The two players had unprecedented success as players on the Boston Red Sox having won two World Series and then essentially were either ran out of town or left of their own volition from the organization. Since their departure let’s just say that the fortunes for the Red Sox where GM Theo Epstein and team President Larry Lucchino rule the roost at the behest of principal managing partner John Henry . Can both players contribute to the Rays and make them a competitor within the AL East and throughout baseball will be of interest to the vast majority of fans the print media and broadcast networks who cover the game.

From my own perspective this may well be nothing more than a face saving publicity gimmick but at the same time with both players set to earn in excess of $7.5 million for their effort we could very well see them showing us that they’re not completely past their prime. I do believe however that this team will struggle to be competitive merely because from the standpoint that a great deal will be asked of Evan Longoria and David Price as they try to keep in tact that the momentum that had been created under Joe Maddon’s coaching philosophy. I’ve heard it said that the youth movement on this team will bode well for the Tampa Bay Rays but really given what’s happened in terms of the roster upheavals does anyone truly believe that to be the case ? The Rays may well have been tested over the last few seasons as they saw their glare shine brightly in the public’s presence and perception . But this is a whole new ball of wax and if the truth be told this is liable to be a season where we will see the fortunes of the organization and the team simply falter once again not only from a competitive standpoint but also from a financial one as well.

This upcoming season the team will be on a thread bare budget in terms of salary and once again they will be back in the bottom half of the league in terms of that very aspect. Suffice to say this is one more symbolic point that’s a sad indictment of what’s completely wrong with the game of baseball from an economic and business standpoint as it continues to be about the haves and have nots !

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on both Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez joining the Tampa Bay Rays ? And do you see the team being competitive this season not only within the AL East but across the entire baseball landscape ? Simply chime in with a comment on this topic and what you you envisage this season within baseball.

NB Picture and slide show details .

(1) This file photo taken Sept. 6, 2010, shows Chicago White Sox’s Manny Ramirez during a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press that Ramirez and Detroit Tigers’ Johnny Damon have agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, because the agreements had not been announced. Getty Images / Drew Bishop ……….

(2) In this file photo taken Aug. 24, 2010, Detroit Tigers’ Johnny Damon watches from the dugout in the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Detroit. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez have agreed to one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, because the agreements had not been announced. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ………..

(3) In this Oct. 9, 2010, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Rafael Soriano delivers the ball to the Texas Rangers during Game 3 of the American League Division Series baseball game in Arlington, Texas. A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press that the New York Yankees have reached a three-year agreement with Soriano, last years AL saves leader. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ……….

(4)Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon talks with pitcher Andy Sonnanstine (21) as catcher Gregg Zaub, left, third baseman Evan Longoria and first baseman Willy Aybar, right, look on during the third inning of the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Yankees on Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees won 11-1. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……….

(5) Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays of the New York Yankees during the game on April 15, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ………

(6) Seen here in a role as a relief pitcher David Price (14) of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in game seven of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The Rays defeated the Red Sox 3-1 to win the series 4-3 . Getty Images North America / Doug Pensinger ………….

(7) Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, left, talks to left fielder Carl Crawford during baseball practice Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays host the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ………..

[8] Matthew Silverman, tram President (left), GM Andrew Friedman (center) and principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg (right) are overhauling the Devil Rays. photo appears courtesy of New York Times/ Phillip Diedrich ………………

Alan aka tophatal …………………………..

MLB News ………………….

Tampa Bay Rays’ 40 man roster . Active roster & depth chart

Rays’ roster 2010

Tampa Bay Rays news …….

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

Jackie O

Eye candy …….. Jackie O courtesy of Smooth Magazine

More of Jackie O …… so what’s not to like ?

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

Rick Ross ……. feat’g Styles P ……….. “BMF”

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

Baseball, Football, MLB, NBA, NFL, Sports

Stat of The Week ……………….


Stat of The Week

Well the hype of the moment still goes on the Miami Heat are winning , Brett Favre has thrown his 500th TD of his career and low and behold the Cincinnati Bengals are indeed a terrible team . In the case of the Heat the bravura that this team would be laying waste to the NBA seems to be complete joke . When you have someone such as Jeff Van Gundy making such asinine claims gives me the impression that as an analyst he ought to be showing sound judgment and not be making the most idiotic statements with nothing at all there to back it up. The Heat’s recently loss to the New Orleans Hornets who are unbeaten and would appear to be a rejuvenated organization under Monty Williams .

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Slide show for your perusal.

Chris Paul is leading the Hornets with a great deal of aplomb and he’s being ably abetted by David West. Unbeaten and riding high within the Western Conference along with the Hornets are the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers remain the only unbeaten teams within the NBA . Care to ask Van Gundy what he thinks about the Lakers and Hornets at this moment ? I guess he’ll pass on both questions and simply state they are both good teams !

Week 9 of the NFL and I’m now wondering how bad it can literally become for a number of teams within the league . It’s gotten to the stage where parity now becomes a misnomer for what appears to a diluted talent pool and coaching that borders on being insipid , completely agonizing and painful to watch . The Buffalo Bills remain win-less and I’m not so sure that by season’s end we might witness a second NFL team go win-less at 0-16 for the second time in five years. Chan Gailey and his coaching staff seem to be at a loss as to how best to get this team back on the right path. I’m not about to suggest that Gailey be fired but at this juncture there’s a distinct feeling that the fans and owners aren’t entirely happy with the situation as it now unfolds.

The AFC West has become an open race and it appears that the Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are looking to make this race a thriller. The Raiders and coach Tom Cable have been a team on a mission . For those who’ve become aghast with the explosiveness of the Raiders’ play in recent weeks then think how their fans are said to be feeling ? For the first time in three years the Raiders have won back to back games and are looking to make it three straight. The Raiders’ offense has racked up 700 yards of offense and unheard of 92 points in two games . Darren McFadden, Darius Heyward-Bey and Michael Bush seem to be the three headed horse that has come about to slay the dragon. Cable now has a decision to make as to which quarterback he wants as a starter for this team . The choices are Jason Campbell and journeyman Bruce Gradkowski _________ care to guess what the choice will be ?

Ah the saga that is the Dallas Cowboys ……. “America’s team” ? Well folks the team appears to be now as popular as the poll ratings of the Congress and the Obama administration combined. With each passing week the woes of this team and its owner becomes cannon fodder for the press and for Jerry Jones the choices are , watch this team continue to implode while a lame duck coach in Wade Phillips continues to lead the team. Phillips for his part has no idea where this team is going and the reasons behind the “free fall” and how best to address the problems. Suffice to say while the intrigue continues there’ll be more to this story that unfolds.

The World Series ended with a thoroughly lopsided series win for the San Francisco Giants. Tim Lincecum , Cody Ross and series MVP winner Edgar Renteria have a number of reasons to be proud. Bruce Bochy wins the team their first title in over 5 decades and the fans are now looking to next season to defend their title. One choice already made by the organization is that the services of Renteria will not be retained and in all likelihood we’ll see the retirement of the two time winning World Series player. For the losing team the Texas Rangers and the ownership group led by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Favored perhaps to win the series and with the apparent pitching of Cliff Lee it was believed that the team would be on their way to landing their first World Series championship.

A 4-1 series loss and now the fallout from this all is that Lee becomes a free agent and perhaps the most desired player on the market. ALCS losers the New York Yankees having been embarrassed by the Rangers in that series are now said to be actively pursuing Lee. And though Ryan and Greenberg have stated that is their intention to do their utmost to retain the player one gets the impression that the Yankees led by GM Brian Cashman will move heaven and earth to acquire the player whatever the cost. In all likelihood that will mean making him amongst one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball. That privilege currently belongs to Yankees’ ace C C Sabathia whose seven year $150 million contract now sits atop of the list. Lee who’s represented by Darek Braunecker is known to drive a hard bargain when it becomes common knowledge that one of his clients is the desired target of a team. And with the Yankees venerable financial resources we are now liable to see a bidding war start for Lee’s services between the Boston Red Sox , Los Angeles Angels , Rangers and New York Yankees. Lee has stated that he loves the camaraderie of his teammates and the friendliness of the Rangers’ fans but given the financial security that a $150 plus million contract will no doubt provide, do you get the feeling that this might be the one contest that no one really notices ? Braunecker for his part will seek to drive up the price as he’s often been known to do when it involves one of his more high profiled clients. And for the Yankees this once again goes to show how much disappointment there has been with the inconsistency of their pitching rotation in the postseason .

A $200 million dollar payroll and but for Robinson Cano this team was a complete disappointment in the postseason. No leadership when it mattered most and a group of players where there was about as much synergy and cohesion that one come to expect from a bunch of highly overpaid athletes whose biggest concern it appears wasn’t actually to win but give the impression that they were overly concerned about the Yankees’ legacy. Effort being what it is how the hell can anyone believe that the New York Yankees could actually be favored when they acted with such complacency and a complete lack of competitiveness ? As good as the Rangers were in the ALCS was there any point during the series that gave you impression that there was a chance that the New York Yankees were in with a chance of winning the series ?

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


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

Picture gallery for your perusal.

Given what we now know it will be interesting to see how things pan out as both the Rangers and Yankees pit their wits against each other in trying to acquire the services of Cliff Lee. As to the NFL the stories there are ripe for discussion and a battle of opinions from the analysts and fans alike. And for the paeans within ESPN it simply gives them something to talk about and give us their own rather mundane opinions concerning the fortunes of a number of NFL players and teams. Chris Mortensen , Adam Shefter and Mark Schlereth will no doubt still have their lips firmly pressed against the sphincter of Brett Favre as they try to give us the latest on the player’s relationship with his coach and teammates. I guess that will continue to provide us with a great deal of comedic value ? And what of the Dallas Cowboys and their descent into mediocrity ? Is there really anything else that we really need to know at this juncture ? Simply chime in with a comment on this and any other sports related topic that proved to be of interest to you .

😦

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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

Kimbella

A lil’ bit of eye candy for us all ….. Kimbella

Baseball, MLB, Sports

Take Me Out To The Ballgame


Take Me Out To The Ballgame ………….

Well now that the AL East looks as it’ll go down to the wire between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in terms of a winner of the division . It appears that whomever comes out as the victor could be the presumptive favorite within the AL for the World Series. Whomever finishes in second is guaranteed the wildcard berth for the postseason with the representatives from the AL Central being the Minnesota Twins and from the AL West there it will be Texas Rangers. And while I’m inclined to believe that the Yankees on paper look to have what it takes to win it all. Their play as of late and the fact that other CC Sabathia , Phil Hughes and closer Mariano Rivera there’s little to suggest that their pitching will be able to pull them through. The problem stems from the fact that manager Joe Girardi is unsure what he’s liable to get from his bullpen and number’s three and four starters. That’s uneasy feeling to have even if the team’s offense is clicking on all cylinders. And with merely a week to go in the regular season it remains to be seen whether or not Girardi can get this team focused and where they need to be.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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

Slide show for your perusal.

Now much has been made as to the situation concerning the Tampa Bay Rays’ financial viability and the stadium issue. But to my mind all of the posturing and the asinine notion that the building of a new facility is a guarantee that fans will come streaming to a new venue is ludicrous ! Never mind the fact that the local politicians and Rays’ ownership have yet to comment as to how the financing of the structure will come into being . Overt statements such as we can raise the funds needed via the state’s hotel room taxes, a bond issue and other ancillary taxes in order to fund the building of the structure. Now while this appears to be a sound decision I think of it as political suicide given the fact that the state of the economy within Florida and the notion that both Hillsborough and Pinellas County are using this matter as some sort of political hot potato. Meanwhile the Rays’ front office led by owner Stuart Sternberg has been less than forthcoming as to how he envisages the venue being built , its financing and even where it will be built. And once again given the fact that it comes down to taxpayers’ monies being used to facilitate the building of a venue for a professional sports franchise that’s owned by a multi millionaire. One has to wonder what the hell is going on ?

I’m no longer amazed by the simple notion that this is what baseball has come to ! I mean when even MLB Commissioner Bud Selig continues to make the statement that baseball is a viable entity even when he has a number of teams struggling to eke out a profit. Now I’ve read where fans are calling for a shortening of the season and where there ought to be a restructuring of the divisions. Well that’s something that’s not about to happen given the fact that the league’s hierarchy won’t even address the issue as their only concerns are the game’s overall image and that of revenues…… and profits. Now whilst there would appear to be nothing wrong in that over the past six months we’ve seen the Chicago Cubs placed into bankruptcy proceedings and then brought back out of it merely to avert the organization become liable for the debt of its parent company the Tribune Group. Now with the team having been sold to the Ricketts family it remains to be seen whether or not the club will ascend to the lofty heights expected of the new ownership.

Beyond the problems of the Cubs , we’ve also seen the culpability shown by the ownership groups of the Florida Marlins , Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays as they’ve been less than forward with the veracity of the argument they’re making concerning their profitability. Now the Rays are on track to lose between $60- $ 80 million this season alone . And it goes without saying that the Rays have been beneficiaries of the league’s tax sharing revenue scheme but the greatest problem this ball club has, is the fact that absolutely no one turns up to see the team play unless the opposition happens to be their division rivals the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees. Now the league would have us believe that the team’s average attendance for their home games is in excess of 23,000. Far be it for me to state the obvious but even with the renewed vigor of this team it’s rarely that there’s in excess 20,000 fans for a game at Tropicana Field . But as I’ve already stated that’s unless the Red Sox or Yankees are in town and then and only then do those figures bear out the stats stated. It hasn’t been uncommon to see less then 15,000 fans for a game between the Rays and an opponent whose legacy isn’t that of the Red Sox or Yankees. And most certainly if the claims being made by the press , fans and ownership that a new purpose built venue will see a spike in attendance. Well if it’s not happening when the Rays have a winning product on the field then what makes them think that it’ll happen with a new venue ? The idiocy of this ,is that feasibility studies done simply don’t address and the information being used to support the claims that a new stadium would ease the problems we’re now seeing with the organization. What we’re now witnessing is the political gob-speak that has become the excess of our county and state legislators. Now matter how much shitone tries to shovel into a hole before trying to cover it the stench will always remain.

The best step forward for the Rays at this juncture is to go out and do their best in trying to win the World Series . It’s clear that with all of the financial ramifications that are in the organization’s midst and the continued rumors that the team will be stripped to its bare bones in order to remain financially viable. Well it’s clear that the talk and the dire situation of the Rays is very much the same for a number of teams across the landscape of the game. And repeatedly we’re told by Selig that the game is in a healthy state but seriously most fans who claim that they know what the real problems that the game is facing have never really sat down and looked at the financial structure of the teams and how they operate on a day to day basis. If the commissioner’s office is disinterested in dealing with the acute issues that a number of teams are facing then be prepared to see a number of teams either go under or be sold to interested investors who may well have the financial wherewithal to steer those teams in the right direction.

This postseason has a great deal in store for the teams that will be in the midst of going after the World Series and while we the fans can appreciate the revelry of the series as they play themselves out. I for one hope that they’re entertaining from start to finish and that they actually live up to the hype . As to the ongoing problems of the Rays well let’s just say reality has yet to set in concerning the fans , the local community and the mere fact that the talk of the team remaining within the state of Florida. In all likelihood should the team remain within the state things are unlikely to change in terms of the meager attendance at a venue wherever it might be. Curiosity or not the fact of the matter is the Tampa Bay Rays even during its success still is unable to draw fans in vast droves. And any thought that a new venue would bring about a change in the team’s fortune is completely misplaced. No one is prepared to face facts on this very topic and it’s clear to see that Stuart Sternberg and his partners have a clear cut decision to make even with contractual agreement in place concerning the team’s location to remain within Pinellas County.

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

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

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming postseason and also how do you foresee the ongoing situation concerning the Rays being dealt with ? Chime in with a comment as to your thoughts and as always thanks for the continued support.

Alan aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

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

Candace

Eye candy courtesy of XXL magazine ….. Candace