Month: January 2010

If Andre Miller Can Drop 50 + On Your A-s What Does That Say About You As A Team ? Answer The Dallas Mavericks Aren’t A Team …………. !


If Andre Miller Can Drop 50+ On Your A-s What Does That Say About You As A Team ? Answer The Dallas Mavericks Aren’t A Team ………….!

As much I love the NBA , I do love to see a competitive game that shows me every facet of the game.Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I feel that there’s anything inherently wrong with the ‘game’ on the whole. It’s just that, when I watch a game, wherein , there’s only ‘one team’ on the court capable playing a ‘lick of defense’. Then I’ve got to question the tenacity of the opposing team and their lack of a will to play with zeal. I’ll continue to maintain this and that is that the Dallas Mavericks in whatever guise they take ‘will never win’ an NBA championship ! Not as a ‘team’ in their present format and certainly not under Rick Carlisle as their coach !

<strong> Andre Miller (#24) </strong>of the Portland Trailblazers dives on the floor for a loose ball against Drew Gooden (#90) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  photo  appears courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty Images/  Keith  Stoddart  ..........
Andre Miller (#24) of the Portland Trailblazers dives on the floor for a loose ball against Drew Gooden (#90) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Keith Stoddart ..........

Granted, the Mavericks play great during the regular season and they’ll no doubt blowout the teams that they’re meant to blow out. I mean the ‘lesser lights’ of the Eastern Conference and crabs at the bottom of the barrel of the Western Conference have essentially become everyone’s bitch nowadays and it’ll continue to be that way for the foreseeable future. To see this point how is that the NBA’s hierarchy hasn’t yet seen fit to put the New Jersey Nets out of their misery by either contracting the team or placing them within the NBA ‘D League’ for all of the good that might do ?

Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for the lay up against LaMarcus Aldridge (#12) of the Portland Trailblazers during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.   photo  appears  courtesy of NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Glen  James  ............
Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for the lay up against LaMarcus Aldridge (#12) of the Portland Trailblazers during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Glen James ............

At this juncture I’ve got to question not only the business acumen of team owner , Mark Cuban, but also too the front office of the organization and how they’ve gone about assembling this roster. Money might appear to be no object and the NBA mandated salary cap ($71.2 million) won’t stop the likes of Cuban or James Dolan of the New York Knicks from making complete asses of themselves, in the pursuit of an NBA title. But since when did stupidity become the mantra for sound business judgment ? Both of these owners have been hell bent on spending money to assemble a roster that in large part has about as much unison and cohesion as bucket of water mixed with oil. You simply know that two substances don’t mix and cannot co-exist side by side. But yet somehow they’re intent on proving us wrong.

The Mavericks had the pleasure of taking on their conference rivals , the Portland Trailblazers in an agerly anticipated matchup. The Trailblazers were without their best player in Brandon Roy, who missed the game due to a hamstring injury. Never mind the fact that they were also missing both Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla, who’ve been lost to the team for the rest of the season, due to injury. But what this makes lacks in terms of personnel , they more than makeup for in competitive spirit. And that’s something that has been taught to them by their coach, Nate McMillan. And as a coach, McMillan has never really been given his due. He works well with young players and teaches them the intrinsic values that’s needed to make them better players. And there aren’t too many coaches in the NBA of whom that can be said about today.

Andre Miller (#24) of the Portland Trail Blazers drives against Jason Terry (#31) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  The  Trailblazers  would  go  on  to  defeat  the  Mavericks <strong> 114-112 </strong>  on  the  Mavericks'  homecourt  of the  American  Airlines  Arena in  Dallas  ,  Texas  . Miller   would score <strong> 'a  career  high  52  points'</strong>  in  the  game.  photo  appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/Getty Images/  Danny  Bollinger  .......
Andre Miller (#24) of the Portland Trail Blazers drives against Jason Terry (#31) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on January 30, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. The Trailblazers would go on to defeat the Mavericks 114-112 on the Mavericks' homecourt of the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas . Miller would score 'a career high 52 points' in the game. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Danny Bollinger .......

Now last night’s game if anything , taught me that the Mavericks as a team are very good during the regular season, when there’s not really much to play for other than jockeying for a position in terms of a playoff berth. All well and good but if as a team or should I say as a unit, you don’t even show any cohesion , much less leadership coming from anyone. Then how can you believe that as ‘a team’ you’re destined for success ? That’s something that neither Carlisle and Cuban have been able to answer. Much less players such as ‘seasoned’ veterans Dirk Nowitzski, Jason Kidd or Jason Terry and Josh Howard on this Mavericks’ team. They simply go through the motions of playing as if they are team. But in reality nothing could be further from the truth. They’re soft ‘physically’ , as well as ‘mentality’ and furthermore in terms of there being a ‘leader’ on this team , there’s no one to be found who will willingly accept the role !

Guard Jason Terry (#31) of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after making a three point shot in front of Steve Blake (#2) of the Portland Trail Blazers on January 30, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy  of Getty Images/ Ronald  Martinez .................
Guard Jason Terry (#31) of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after making a three point shot in front of Steve Blake (#2) of the Portland Trail Blazers on January 30, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez .................

Portland for their part are proving that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference . And though no one could ever have imagined that this team would now be at a point that many believe them to be potential future NBA champions. They’re now making a case that , that particular scenario could be reached sooner , rather than later. In Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez and Steve Blake. The Trailblazers possess the nucleus and the core of ‘a team’ that if they remain together could quite possibly challenge for and win multiple NBA titles in the future. Such is the belief of a number of analysts and pundits around the league. And that bodes well for the fans of the organization. Who if anything have had to put up with and live the days when there simply known as the ‘Jailblazers’. Such was the proclivity of the squad at the time, that David Stern and the NBA hierarchy couldn’t be sure if a ‘team’ would be suited up on any given night to meet their scheduled obligations on an NBA court. If a no more than two names were part of a police blotter then more likely than not then a team would be suited up and ready to play.

When Andre’ Miller was brought into the fold as part of the Trailblazers , it was done to add that veteran leadership experience and to provide their starting point guard , Steve Blake, with some guide as to what it would take to improve his all-round game. Miller is a wily veteran with years of experience from playing in the league, having played for the 76ers’ and Nuggets over the course of his career. And though he may well have questioned his role on the team and the authority of Nate McMillan. He was willing to accept the role of a player who if anything would be coming off the bench to provide a spark as and when needed. Last night for Miller in a starting role , he simply exploded and laid a barrage on the Mavericks’ ass that wasn’t even over with , even when the game went into overtime. Such was the explosiveness and virtuosity shown by Miller , that you could’ve easily mistaken him for either ‘Kareem’ or ‘Magic’ with the repertoire shown last night. His was a display that the Mavericks simply had no answer for, all night long.

To cap it all off, in summation the resultant 114-112 win for the Trailblazers was nowhere as close as the score might suggest. In fact that the Mavericks should consider themselves lucky that in large part that this Blazers’ team wasn’t at full strength , otherwise the margin of victory would’ve been considerably wider. Especially when given the fact that Miller simply torched them for 52 points on the night. It could well have been a great deal more, had Miller not tried to push the pace at times when going for some of his shots.

The self promoting and narcissist known as Mark Cuban, seen here at the Blog-world Expo.

So I’ll ask this of you all now , how good are the Portland Trailblazers ? And more to the point do the Dallas Mavericks have any hope of ever winning an NBA championship in their present guise ? It’s becoming obviously clear that despite the vast financial resources at Mark Cuban’s disposal. He’s very much become the ‘Jerry Jones’ of the NBA. He just simply doesn’t know enough about the game to know when to let go and let someone else do the job that they’re being paid for. OK , so Cuban isn’t the de-facto General Manager of the organization. But at present you tell me, could Sarah Palin be doing a better job than the present occupant in the position ? For all sense and purpose Donnie Nelson might as well be selling sand to the Saudi’s for all of the good he’s done for this organization !

‘Biggie Smalls’ aka The Notorious B-I-G …. ‘Baller Shot Caller’

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The  delectable <strong>  Brooke Burke </strong>  .  Who  wouldn't want  a   piece of  that   fine  a_s  ?
The delectable Brooke Burke . Who wouldn't want a piece of that fine a_s ?

When It Rains It Simply Pours But With The Oakland Raiders It Literally Turns Into A Friggin’ Monsoon …………..


When It Rains It Simply Pours But With The Oakland Raiders It Literally Turns Into A Friggin’ Monsoon …………..

Just when I thought it was palatable enough not to want to ‘hear another story’ about Brett Favre or the Oakland Raiders. No sooner said than done , it is about to become a torrential monsoon that we’re about to be inundated with concerning both. No doubt the ‘boys ‘ at both ESPN and Foxsports will start to behave like members of ‘The Village People’ as they declare their wantoned lust for everything that is Favre in terms of a story. And with regard to the Raiders there’ll continue to be overt speculation as to whether or not head coach , Tom Cable will be fired by the venerable Al Davis . These are the questions that I for one am not interested in by any stretch of the imagination. But as the sports news' cycles goes on and these are the themes that the broadcast outlets believe that the fans are genuinely interested in.

Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings on their 34-3 victory during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  photo appears  courtesy  of Getty Images/  Elsa ..........
Quarterback Tony Romo (#9) of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings on their 34-3 victory during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Elsa ..........

Courtesy of ESPN.com

Sources: Harbaugh rejects overtures

By Adam Schefter

The Oakland Raiders have spoken to Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh about becoming their head coach, sources inside and outside the organization said, but Harbaugh did not express interest in the job.

The Raiders also have spoken with former offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, who now coaches in the CFL.

A source said Jim Fassel also talked to Oakland about the job but the former NFL coach, in an interview with Sirius/XM Mad Dog Radio on Wednesday, denied speaking to the Raiders.

“I’m not lobbying for the Raider job. I have never in my life rooted for a coach to be let go so there’s an opening. I never have. I’m in the same fraternity,” Fassel, who is the head coach of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL, said.

Tom Cable’s status as Oakland’s coach remains uncertain at best. He was scheduled to meet with owner Al Davis last week, but the meeting did not take place. The future of Cable and his staff remains up in the air until that meeting occurs.

Cable has pointed to the team’s improvement after Russell’s midseason benching as proof that he deserves another year to get the Raiders back to the playoffs.

Herrera said Davis and Cable have talked extensively since the season ended, with many of those discussions coming by phone.

“Most of the characterizations of Al Davis’ meetings with the head coach being short or brief are not true either,” Herrera said. “Mr. Davis has had meetings of some depth with the head coach. There have been meetings and meetings of substance.”

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In order to read Adam Schefter’s article in its entirety
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Now while we can all appreciate what a wonderful season Favre and his Minnesota Vikings’ teammates have had thus far. The pundits are simply making it out to be as if this were all ‘a one man show’, wherein the roster of the Vikings are just a secondary part to the team’s overall success. Granted, the front office of the Vikings, as well as their coach, Brad Childress , went ‘out on a limb’ to obtain the services of Favre. But had this scenario gone completely ‘south’ . What would we be now talking about ?

Far be it for me to suggest that the Vikings are now winging it , in the hope that Favre can lead them to the ‘Holy Grail’ of a Superbowl berth and a win. But much of that’ll now be predicated upon the resilience that they show when they meet the NFC South’s New Orleans Saints in the conference championship game this weekend .

Courtesy of NFL.com

Raiders interview assistants, but Cable’s future unclear

Raiders owner Al Davis has interviewed at least two candidates for positions on the staff this week, and both have ties to coach Tom Cable. Despite published reports, however, the team has not interviewed anyone for the head coaching job.

As Cable’s status for 2010 continues to linger, it’s worth noting that Hue Jackson, who interviewed for the offensive coordinator job, according to sources, and Mike Waufle, who interviewed for a defensive line position, according to sources, worked with Cable during their college coaching days.

Jackson, Ravens quarterback coach, was on the staff at Cal State Fullerton with Cable in 1990. The men then later worked together at Cal in 1996, when Jackson was the offensive coordinator and Cable was coaching the offensive line. Jackson has a deep history of working with young quarterbacks, and developing JaMarcus Russell is paramount to Davis, who selected Russell first overall in 2007 and has paid him over $30 million already.

Waufle, most recently the defensive line coach with the Giants, coached with Cable at Cal from 1992-1997, with Waufle coaching the defensive line and Cable the offensive line.

The Raiders have not interviewed any candidates for the head coaching job, according to sources. Davis has noticed the fine work being done by Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, but it is unlikely he could lure Harbaugh there. If Davis made a change at head coach, Jim Fassel, Marc Trestman, Kevin Gilbride and Winston Moss would be names worth watching as well.

However, it could well be that Cable will continue to serve as head coach, with some changes to the staff. Cable’s preference for quarterbacks other than Russell was apparent this past season, and with better results, but pairing Jackson with the young passer might be a possible solution to the conundrum without making changes at the top of the staff.

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Tom Cable is formally introduced as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders . Sound bytes asides what Cable set out to do has yet to manifest itself into anything tangible. You might as well be chasing a leprechaun for his pot of gold , rather than take in the diatribe that Cable was spewing out. More nonsense than anything else but it makes for good press amongst the beat writers and tv journalists there at the time.

As much as it doesn’t pain me to say this , the longer this comedic sideshow carries on in the offseason as to whether or not Cable is fired by Al Davis. The more asinine and lacking in credibility the Raiders’ organization will continue to look. The fact that they even approached the Stanford Cardinals’ coach, Jim Harbaugh is enough to suggest that the Raiders’ front office and that of owner , Al Davis wasn’t entirely happy as to the way that their season ended. Much of that can be blamed on the complete lack of adept coaching from Cable and his coaching staff . And the mere fact that the hopelessly over-rated and detached quarterback, JaMarcus Russell is about as useful to this team as ‘a dose of gonorrhea’ . Both are simply out of their depth and merely treading water before capitulating and capsizing. Were this The Titanic, then this vessel would’ve already sank with no survivors anywhere to be seen. This is actually how bad this organization has now become and it starts from the front office, on down.

Former NFL GM and now CBS NFL sports’ analyst, Charley Casserly discusses the Oakland Raiders with program host James Brown.

Now I can understand the the loyal and devoted fans within the Raider Nation but simply put there can only be so much that the fan ought to be allowed to tolerate before speaking out. But instead all one continues to hear in large part from many within the fraternity is ……’that next year will be our year’ ! That’s the same sort of asinine notion and credo one would now come to expect from fan is who’s on the verge of being brain dead’. They’ve no actual semblance of reasoning or rationale as to what they’re now seeing in front of them concerning the team. But yet the thought is still there that they can ultimately achieve something. Well unless they intend to rise up from the ashes like a phoenix then that particular scenario is unlikely to happen anytime soon. And the continued ignorance that’s continually shown by the analysts and pundits alike with regard to the Raiders’ plight never ceases to amaze me. Instead of being open and upfront they’ll opine as to whatever other woes they deem fit to discuss concerning the organization without stating the obvious. In not doing so they show that they themselves lack complete credibility when it comes to discussing the topic in great depth.

As to the offseason in the NFL, we know that the business of the game has now become a year round thing. Even when baseball and basketball is at the height of their seasons respectively, within MLB and the NBA . There’s more concern shown for what happens within the NFL than anything that’s said to be going on with these other two sports. That is the unique thing about the NFL and ‘its complete dominance’ of the domestic sporting landscape.

‘The Village People’ render their international dance hit from the seventies ‘YMCA’. Who knew then that they’d set about a revolution and make the YMCA a place of distinct nuances in terms of behavior ?

Celebrity  wannabe  and   reality  star  Anna   Benson ,  wife  of  former  Mets  and  Orioles'  pitcher   Kris  Benson .
Celebrity wannabe and reality star Anna Benson , wife of former Mets and Orioles' pitcher Kris Benson .

Did I Miss Something But The Lane Kiffin Fallout Is Making The USC Trojans Look Bad. That Being Said The Program Was Already Stinking Up The Joint To Begin With ……. !


Did I Miss Something But The Lane Kiffin Fallout Is Making The USC Trojans Look Bad. That Being Said The Program Was Already Stinking Up The Joint To Begin With ……. !

When I first heard the news that USC Trojans’ Athletic Director Mike Garrett viewed the Tennessee Volunteers’ football coach Lane Kiffin was the right person to be succeeding the now departed Pete Carroll as the program’s next football coach. To say that I was surprised was a clear understatement. With Kiffin now being succeeded by Derek Dooley in Tennessee, as the new head football coach. The new Trojans’ coach can now start to lay the foundations of what he believes will be a new direction for this Trojans’ football program that underachieved and underperformed with Carroll at the helm. In reality the program had been declining somewhat under Carroll for the past two years . And it was clear for all to see.

Formal introductions are made as Lane Kiffin is introduced as the new Head Coach of the USC Trojans’ football team.

With that said , the fallout that is now taking place and with allegations that members of Kiffin’s staff having been in touch with recruits that’ve signed with the Tennessee program. It is now being alleged that they were trying to lure those recruits to either renege on their commitment and come to USC or simply come to join Kiffin , if they had not made a commitment to the Vols’ program. One has to bear in mind that no sooner had Kiffin joined the Volunteers’ program last year. Within months of him having done so, there were several allegations being made against the coach and the fact that he’d either directly or indirectly contravened several NCAA recruiting violations. Not only that he had the temerity to make allegations against his then counterpart at the ‘University of Florida coach Urban Meyer. All of which proved to be groundless and for which Kiffin hadn’t formally apologized. He however, weighed it down by stating that he was unaware as the NCAA code of conduct of what was deemed as appropriate in such dealings. Either it’s me but clearly Lane Kiffin is as unintelligent as first thought ! Either that or his loutish and boorish behavior is something that he believes will be something that will endear him to the fans. Somehow I don’t think that it worked there in Knoxville, Tennessee . And it’s unlikely to work either, with the fickle fans there in Southern California.

Pre press conference drama as Lane Kiffin announces his departure from Tennessee to take the position with USC. Could he have been more disingenuous during his stay there in Knoxville , Tennessee ?

Courtesy of USA Today

Tennessee may make it tough on Kiffin ….

By Reid Cherner & Tom Weir

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Then after the tears are wiped away it often gets ugly.

That’s where the University of Tennessee and Lane Kiffin are right now, with the Vols volunteering to help investigate the new Southern Cal coach’s football program.

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton told the Knoxville News Sentinel he will investigate whether USC staff had improper contact with Kiffin’s former recruits at Tennessee.

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The problem with Lane Kiffin is that he simply thinks that riding into town on his white steed, he’s essentially become the savior of a program. His body of work at the collegiate and professional level within the NFL would suggest that the exact opposite. His record with the Oakland Raiders was mediocre at best . Albeit, that he had to deal with the aging and completely ‘out of touch persona’ of Al Davis. And if anyone is to believe that a
7-6 record within the SEC is a great start and end to a season with such an esteemed program as that of the Tennessee Volunteers. Then clearly something is awry with their thinking !

New USC Coach Lane Kiffin acknowledged being involved in a car accident while head coach at Tennessee in August and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel.  photp  appears  courtesy  of  the Los  Angeles  Times / Robert Gauthier ..............
New USC Coach Lane Kiffin acknowledged being involved in a car accident while head coach at Tennessee in August and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel. photo appears courtesy of Los Angeles Times / Robert Gauthier ...........

Lane Kiffin should think himself somewhat fortunate that in just over the space of a year, he’s held two coaching jobs with two of the most storied programs in all of collegiate football. As to the reasons why Mike Garrett should feel that his coach is the right man for the job , merely stemming from his prior tenure as an assistant with Pete Carroll shouldn’t have been the deciding factor in this decision. But clearly it is one that Garrett and the faculty are prepared to live and die by. The fallout from this could prove to be disastrous if the program isn’t successful under Kiffin’s tenure. The expectations within the Pac-10 and that of the Trojans’ fans will be high. And a ‘9-3 season’ or anything less than that won’t be deemed to acceptable to the fans there, in general. They’re use to seeing the program challenging for national honors on a consistent basis. And it’s clear that Lane Kiffin will be judged by the bar set by his predecessor, Pete Carroll. Those are indeed a giant pair of shoes to fill.

Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times

Tennessee ivestigated Lane Kiffin’s car accident last summer

New USC coach told Mike Hamilton that he fell asleep at the wheel

By Ben Bolch , The Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Knoxville, Tenn. – Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton said Tuesday the university investigated rumors that have recently appeared on the Internet that Lane Kiffin had been drinking and was with female students at the time of a car accident last summer, but “we were never able to substantiate any of that.”

Hamilton said Kiffin, who resigned as Tennessee’s football coach last week to take the same position at USC, acknowledged being involved in the accident after it occurred in August and said he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

“I had staff members verify that he was at the office until a certain time shortly before that and that he had fallen asleep,” Hamilton said. “It was a late-night deal and I never was able to find out anything to the contrary.”

Kiffin, through a USC athletic department spokesman, declined to comment on the accident.

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In order to read Ben Bolch’s article in its entirety just
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With the NCAA findings, as to the programs ongoing problems concerning the basketball program under one time coach Tim Floyd and his dealings with former Trojans’ player O J Mayo. And the continuous allegations of wrongdoing, with the football program itself under Carroll and the transgressions of a number of past and present players. The allegations now being against alleged against Kiffin’s staff only further sullies the reputation of USC. One that either way can now view as being warranted , given the fact that Garrett wanted the NCAA let him allow the program to impose their own sanctions, as a way of circumventing whatever punitive or more harsher sanctions that may well be brought to bear and imposed on the program. What this might suggest is that Garrett and his subordinates have been fully aware as to what had been going on right underneath his very nose. But the fact that all of the rotten apples has brought about almighty stench is now enough for him to be proactive enough, to try and clean up the mess. Have you ever tried to shovel sh_t with a teaspoon ? Because this is in effect is what Garrett is now trying to do. And with Kiffin’s alleged actions, it won’t at all be making his job any easier whatsoever !

As to the NCAA and their continued walk amongst the ‘walking dead’ as to their lack of determination in dealing with the USC program. It merely suggests that while the Trojans’ football program is continually viewed as a ‘cash cow’ . That it has now become ‘off limits’ to any sanctions that many believe ought to be placed upon the program. In essence the hypocrites within the NCAA hierarchy are no different to the those behind much of the malfeasance behind what has taken place and now is still taking place not just within the USC athletics’ program but right across the collegiate athletics’ landscape ! The NCAA hierarchy has its own head so far up its own ass that the last time they saw daylight , even they couldn’t tell what time of day it was , much less what day of the week it actually was !

If over the next two years the USC Trojans aren’t even in the hunt for a national championship , you can bet your ‘bottom dollar’ that the faculty and in particular AD Mike Garrett may well be rethinking the whole issue concerning Kiffin and whether or not it’s still worthwhile to keep him in place as the program’s head football coach. It’s one thing to take a chance on someone but it’s one thing when all they’re just serving up is nothing more than a few asinine sound bytes and not much else tangible to back up all of that ‘talk’. We saw it there in Tennessee and we’re beginning to see it all over again all too clearly in Southern California. After a while the fans and boosters may well get sick and tired of it all , or they may not.

Captains Of Industry ………………


Captains Of Industry

There’s no mistaking the fact that in today’s world of sports franchise ownership it pays to be extremely wealthy and versed in business. And in terms of being versed, I’m talking champions of corporate America. I’d certainly like to think that many of the owners of such franchises as the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Orioles, New York Knicks , St Louis Rams , Tampa Bay Lightning and St Louis Blues.

Baltimore  Orioles'  owner,  Peter  Angelos  seen  here  being  interviewed  by local  area   reporters  .  The wealthy  owner and  noted  attorney   has  essentially seen  his  baseball  club   fall  upon  hard  times  and  they're  no  longer   viewed  as   serious  competitors   within  AL  East  division  of  MLB.  picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/   Scott   Richardson  ............
Baltimore Orioles' owner, Peter Angelos seen here being interviewed by local area reporters . The wealthy owner and noted attorney has essentially seen his baseball club fall upon hard times and they're no longer viewed as serious competitors within AL East division of MLB. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Scott Richardson ............

On the face it, franchises are there to make money for the vested parties , in this cases the owners. Success is merely a bye product of it all. But how would one equate the fact that so many of these sport franchises owners that we now see operate their businesses as if they’re running their businesses like a flea market stall We’re seeing it all the more frequently, as franchises merely give up of being competitive and now resort to being an entity that solely exists to be part of their respective governing bodies . I’ve heard it said with enthusiasm ……’well our team is building towards the future and then we’ll be competitive.’ More often than not that may well be true. But in large part it’s actually a fallacy. Five years on and that team is nowhere near the point where management and ownership had envisaged where the team should be. But yet those long suffering fans have to live with the charade of it all.

Well here I’ve a suggestion , put yourself in the place of an owner and you’ve at your disposal your estimated wealth of $ 1 billion ($ 1,000,000,000) but bear in mind that you won’t be spending it all . Now make a decision as to which of the four major sports you’d rather invest your money in as the owners . Would it be baseball (MLB), football (NFL) , basketball (NBA) or hockey (NHL ) ? Now as we know three of the four sports has a salary cap, which in essence controls expenditure for the respective franchise, in terms of salaries for the players. The exception to this all, is the sport of baseball.

The decision is now yours as to which of the sports you’d invest your money in as to the purchase of a franchise. First and foremost, I feel that before you assemble the on field personnel you have to have the right management personnel in place. So that of course, starts off with a coach or manager and the general manager. Without those prerequisites pieces in place as part of your jig saw, then more likely than you’re not going to be able to attain the success you’re seeking. Do you go after the best talent available ? Or do you go with someone who you believe has the talent and the skills you desire as a coach and that of a general manger ? These are things that as an owner will be the decisions that you’ll no doubt have to make.

Much has been made of the fact the Seattle Seahawks will hire Pete Carroll as their new head coach . All that is now being left to work out, are the financial details and the amount of ‘say and power’ that he’ll have as the coach, with regard to many of the decision making that there‘ll be in terms of personnel acquisitions. Now as good a coach that Carroll has been at the college level , we all know that success at the NFL level, was anything but that. In fact his record doesn’t even speak that highly as to him being a very good coach in the NFL. If anything it reflects that of a coach who at best , was no more than average. But this will be the person who Seahawks’ owner, Paul Allen will entrust the team to . Much of that now will come down to whether or not Carroll can replicate the success he attained at the college level with the USC Trojans. If Carroll is able to attain that , then there’s a great future ahead for the franchise. If not, then there’s going to be an outcry from not only the fans but also the pundits alike who’ll say that the choice was a poor one from the beginning.

Badly ran organizations tend to have a way of making this even worse at times with their irrational decision making. None more so, when it comes to the choice of a coach. The common thought is that, we’ll go out there and get the biggest name possible. But a lot of the time that choice simply doesn’t equate with the best coach available or for that matter a very good coach to begin with. It comes down to a team wanting to make ‘a splash’ for the glare that the publicity will bring. Certainly the Seahawks now need a coach and all the publicity it needs, as under Jim Mora Jr, the team and the organization simply regressed. No excuses ought to be made, as you could simply see from the outset that Mora wasn’t the right person to begin with for the position, as the coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Clearly the regime of Mora’s predecessor , Mike Holmgren made the decision to have Mora named as his successor. There were far better candidates out there,other than Mora. But somehow Holmgren and the organization saw fit in offering the position to Mora. As to the Seahawks following the NFL mandated ‘Rooney Rule’ . Well, let’s just say the transparency of that edict wasn’t even followed and no action was taken by the hierarchy of the NFL. So once again, we see the stupidity of a regulation put in place by the NFL that isn’t even eagerly followed by a franchise. But we’re to believe that a minority candidate with the qualities that a potential employer seeks but they’re not even prepared to offer them an interview. Or when they do it’s under the subterfuge that they’re a likely candidate for the position but they actually stand no chance of landing the position whatsoever !

Mike Holmgren  (left) former  head  coach  of  the  Seattle Seahawks  seen  here  hugging  team  owner  and  Microsoft  co-founder  , Paul  Allen.   Holmgren  having   announced   his  retirement  last year  has  since  returned  to  the  NFL  to  become  President  of   Operations  for  the  Cleveland Browns.   Allen   has  since  the  Seahawks   as  a  franchise   labor  over the  last  four  years   and  recently   fired  incumbent  coach,  Jim  Mora Jr,.   His  replacement  is   none  other  than  USC Trojans'  coach  Pete  Carroll.    As  to whether  or   not   Carroll  can  turn  things  around   for  the  franchise   remains  to  be  seen.   The former  coach's   previous   forays in  the   NFL  as  a  head  coach ,  has  proven  to  be  less  than  successful.   He previously  coached   the  New  England Patriots  and  the  New  York  Jets.       picture  appears  courtesy of   Getty  Images/   Rick   Parfitt  .........................
Mike Holmgren (left) former head coach of the Seattle Seahawks seen here hugging team owner and Microsoft co-founder , Paul Allen. Holmgren having announced his retirement last year has since returned to the NFL to become President of Operations for the Cleveland Browns. Allen has since the Seahawks as a franchise labor over the last four years and recently fired incumbent coach, Jim Mora Jr,. His replacement is none other than USC Trojans' coach Pete Carroll. As to whether or not Carroll can turn things around for the franchise remains to be seen. The former coach's previous forays in the NFL as a head coach , has proven to be less than successful. He previously coached the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Rick Parfitt .........................

Instances such as mentioned here, with regard to Pete Carroll just doesn’t happen within the NFL only. It also happens within baseball , hockey and basketball. In the professional ranks, it appears to be all about the perception of getting the biggest name , rather than the best possible candidate available. But such are the vagaries in the world of sports, that you can never be sure what to expect nowadays. Especially when it comes to the owners of a professional sports franchise . There was a time when it was about being ambitious and about winning for many of them. But now it appears to be about little more than the perception being viewed as seen to be competitive ,making money and not much beyond that. However, in the world of ‘Corporate America’, were you running your business the way that many of the owners are running their franchises. There’d be no productivity much less profitability to many of these companies. ‘Captains of Industry’ actually meant something but in the world of sports it gives us the perception that these individuals aren’t really all that bright or intuitive when it comes to the running of a sports franchise.

The owners may well come from a wide , diverse backgrounds and many champion themselves as ‘captains of industry’. But in large part they do come across as being no more capable of running a sports franchise than they are of running a lemonade stand ‘for profit’ . And that’s how asinine the world of sports has now become ! These owners may well be good on ‘Wall St’ and ‘Madison Ave’ but once they’ve dipped their toes into the arena of becoming a sports franchise owners. They in essence become demented lunatics embracing the philosophy that they can conquer the world. Nothing could be further from the truth ! As the world just isn’t simply about them !

Hickory , Dickory, Dock , The Mouse Ran Up The Clock , Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock ……….Time Is Now Ticking In The NBA ….


The NBA season has started off at its usual pace and a number of the teams are either beginning to separate themselves from amongst the pack or those with aspirations of making a name for themselves are surprising their fans , plaudits and pundits alike. That being said ‘controversy’ rears it ugly head with the actions of Washington Wizards’ players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton . All that you need to know is that the Wizards’ front office as well as that of commissioner’s office have failed to act appropriately with regard to the actions of both players. Little needs to be said other than the fact that David Stern ‘no longer’ has any credibility whatsoever as the commissioner of the NBA. The same can be said of his ‘main enforcer’, Stu Jackson. As to the Wizards’ front office, their inaction only speaks to the ineptitude shown by the organization over the years.

Early  season  MVP  candidates  ?  The  Cavaliers' LeBron  James,  the  Grizzlies'  Zach  Randolph   and  the  perennial  fan  favorite   , Kobe  Bryant  of the Lakers  .     picture appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images  ................
Early season MVP candidates ? The Cavaliers' LeBron James, the Grizzlies' Zach Randolph and the perennial fan favorite , Kobe Bryant of the Lakers . picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images ................

Courtesy of NBA.com

Reeling Wizards brace for fallout from Arenas incident

By David Aldridge

So, you want to hear about how Tim Duncan’s back on track this season?

Didn’t think so.
The Big Fundamental’s renaissance, like a lot of other interesting developments in the league this week (from the latest on Tracy McGrady, to Kobe’s latest incredible game-winner, to KG’s knee) has taken a back seat to a ridiculous problem for the Wizards, all Gilbert Arenas’ doing — and one that will surely cost him money and games when either the Washington, D.C. and/or federal authorities, and/or David J. Stern are done with him.

On Saturday, in front of assembled reporters following the Wizards’ loss to San Antonio, Arenas said he used “bad judgment” in the Dec. 21 incident with Javaris Crittenton in which, according to sources, both players had their hands on guns in Washington’s locker room — though it is not clear that they pointed them at one another, as the New York Post has reported.
Former Wizards beat writer Mike Jones, on his blog, and the Washington Post’s Michael Lee both reported that a frustrated Crittenton threw one of Arenas’ guns across the locker room after Arenas had laid out three guns near Crittenton’s locker and taunted him to pick one up. It was an extension of an argument that began between the two on the team’s plane from Phoenix Dec. 19, when a source told me that Arenas failed to pay a $25,000 debt to Crittenton. (Jones says the amount wasn’t $25,000, and was owed not to Crittenton, but to another teammate: Javale McGee.)
No one disputes that Arenas brought three guns, which were unloaded, to the locker room from his Virginia home. He said he brought them to work because he no longer wanted them in his home with three children around. But it nonetheless was a violation of the NBA’s constitution, which specifically prohibits bringing weapons to team facilities. In addition, Arenas had not registered the guns in the District of Columbia, where Verizon Center is located.
“I take responsibility,” Arenas said. “If I have to deal with the police, the investigation, the DAs, that’s what I have to deal with. I have to deal with that on Monday. I’ve got to put it in their hands, tell the story, and then see what they say.”

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Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm  ......
Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace (30) yells as he celebrates with teammates Kendrick Perkins (43) and Ray Allen after dunking the ball as Toronto Raptors' Jarrett Jack (1) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in Boston. The Celtics beat the Raptors, 103-96. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mary Schwalm ......

While no real light needs to be shed on the action of both players, other than to suggest that the image that the game strives to exude isn’t helped by the stupidity shown by Arenas and Crittenton by this incident. The ramifications of which could’ve been far more serious had either of them discharged their weapons. But then again we should be thankful that they didn’t self a wound upon their person, or should we ? Think Plaxico Burress and his ‘idiotic antics’. A lesson well served as to the reason why guns shouldn’t be placed in the hands of individuals who have no use for them , other than in the case of Arenas, Burress and Crittenton to make themselves look like complete morons.

Cleveland  January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  picture appears courtesy of  NBAE/ Getty Images/ David  Liam Kayle .....
Cleveland January 3rd , J.J. Hickson (#21) of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks the ball as teammate Shaquille O'Neal (#33) and Nazr Mohammed (#13) of the Charlotte Bobcats look on on January 3, 2010 at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ David Liam Kayle .....

In the Eastern Conference the usual suspects are striving for supremacy. And there isn’t a great deal to choose from the triumvirate of the Boston Celtics (24-8), Cleveland Cavaliers (27-9) , Orlando Magic (24-9) and certainly new to the bunch, the rather surprising Atlanta Hawks (21-12). And if you think that the Hawks’ fans aren’t surprised just think as to what this must be doing to the mindset of TNT tv on air analyst, Charles Barkley ? What sound bytes will he be looking to use, to describe the play of the Atlanta Hawks ? Cause as we know ‘Sir Charles’ has never been one to hold things back.

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard look to contest a loose ball during the game played at the United Center , Chicago, Illinois. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Randy Belice ….

The triumvirate mentioned all lead their divisions with some room to spare. But once again it looks like the Celtics may well be without their most pivotal player in, Kevin Garnett. Age and recurring injuries seem to be catching up fast, with the seasoned veteran. And without him at the helm it appears that they’re not the threat many would believe them to be. Albeit that point guard, Rajon Rondo seems to have raised the level of his play and all-round game. So much so , that this is no longer about the ‘Big Three’ of Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. But you could perhaps now add Rondo into the mix. Never mind the fact that Rasheed Wallace has now been added to this deeply talented Celtics’ roster. And for Celtics’ coach Doc River he must feel like he’s been blessed with an abundance of talent. But I guess it can’t be done without their veteran leader to guide them and guide as they embark on returning to the NBA Finals. But that’d be predicated upon them overcoming the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.

The Cleveland Cavaliers for their part, in addition to LeBron James have added 15 time NBA All Star center, Shaquille O’Neal to their roster. And this is being done in the hopes that the combination of James and O’Neil can clear the obstacle of making to another NBA Finals and raising the Larry O’Brien trophy to signify them as world champions. Last season’s bittersweet loss to the Magic in the Eastern Conference semi finals was a sour note for the franchise. And for their coach Mike Brown it was a tremendous disappointment. Nevertheless , the team is expected to contend for postseason honors come what may. And if anything O’Neal has something to prove , while LeBron finally wants to show NBA world that he can land the ‘Big One’.

Kryptonite they say is the only thing that makes Superman susceptible and not impervious to defeat. In the case of the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, it is his arrogance and lack of maturity, despite his years in the league. This time around there’s nowhere for Howard to hide should the Magic fail in their quest to return to the Finals and redeem themselves from their lopsided series’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers (4-1). The team performed nowhere near as expected and that was despite their thrilling series’ wins against the Cavaliers and Celtics on their way to last season’s NBA Finals. Stan Van Gundy as their coach , squealed ,squawked , cajoled and with the all of the usual animation you’d come to expect of a cartoon character could not get this Magic team to raise the level of their play as and when needed to stem the tide or play of the Lakers, or for that matter, Kobe Bryant, the Finals’ MVP.

The Western Conference it seems is replete with talent as well teams on a mission. The defending champions , the Los Angeles Lakers are off to a fast start and they possess the best record in the NBA ,with a 27-6 mark. And it’s safe to say that Kobe Bryant alongside his teammates are eager to successfully defend their NBA title. At the same time it gives Lakers’ coach, Phil Jackson a further chance to distance himself record’s wise, from the achievements of Red Auerbach. And one seriously doubts that we’ll ever see another coach replicate Jackson’s feats as an NBA coach.

Los Angeles 3rd 2010.  Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers  would go on to  defeat  the  Mavericks 131-96.  picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............
Los Angeles 3rd 2010. Kobe Bryant (#24) of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a pass around Dirk Nowitzki (#41) of the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on January 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Mavericks 131-96. picture appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images / Andrew D Bernstein ............

With the loss of Trevor Ariza to free agency, the Lakers would acquire Ron Artest. Curiously enough, as Artest would join the Lakers , Ariza did likewise by joining the Houston Rockets</a, Artest's former team. And it’d appear that the Lakers have yet to miss a beat. With Artest in tow to provided some stout defense as well as being the third or fourth scoring option for the team. One would find it hard not to resist placing a wager on the Los Angeles Lakers. With Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum all having that confidence about them. The Lakers are deemed the team to beat in the Western Conference. That’s not to say this is a one man show within the conference. The Denver Nuggets (21-13), Portland Trailblazers (22-14), Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15), aPhoenix Suns (21-13), Dallas Mavericks (23-11) and the San Antonio Spurs (20-12). Each of these teams are looking to take down the Lakers a notch or two. As to whether or not they are capable of it remains to be seen. But so contentious is the Western Conference that it has become a conference wherein the bloodletting once it starts just doesn’t seem to stop. Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus from the movie ‘Gladiator’ would feel at home with the barbarity that ensues within the conference. The bloodletting itself seems to have the fans of the teams in awe. As to the bragging rights. Well, let’s just say ’til you knock the champion of his pedestal, the bragging rights still belong to him.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Charles Rex  Arbogast  .......
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives on Chicago Bulls guard James Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 4, 2010, in Chicago. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast .......

To my mind the most surprising team in the Western Conference at present may well be the Oklahoma City Thunder. And night in, night out , Kevin Durant never ceases to amaze us all with his play , nor his phenomenal offensive prowess. Here’s a guy who looks less than 120 lbs ringing wet but plays with the heart of a lion and has the ‘killer instinct’ of a cold hearted assassin. Need one say, that he’s now beginning to make people think less and less about how god-damn awful the Seattle Supersonics use to be- the Thunder’s previous guise as an NBA franchise. Needless to say that when you’ve a team of complementary parts then things that come to fruition tend to be really good. And in Scott Brooks, the Thunder may well have one of the most unassuming coaches in the entire NBA. If there’s a more unassuming coach in the NBA that you know then let me know about him.

The usual cacophony of teams who all want to be a part of the postseason drama within the conference are as always many of the better managed teams. And with ‘Mr Fundamental’ back to his usual best , the thought is that Tim Duncan and his Spurs’ teammates are ready to assume the mantel as the Lakers most dangerous opponents. Now that’s not to say that the likes of the Nuggets, Suns , Mavericks, Thunder and Trailblazers won’t be a reliable source of drama throughout the regular and postseason. Suffice to say that with all of the bloods and guts that’ll be spilled. Whatever’s left from the carnage more likely than not will have to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title. I know that there’ll be some derision those who are fans of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. But if the lack of real effort shown by last season’s conference representative is anything to go by. Then whomever comes out of the conference to face the Western representative is liable to get more of the same. How much more is dependent upon the resistance that team is able to put up.

So as of now, the clock is ticking on the NBA season and how things will pan out as the season unfolds. We all know smart a mouse can be as he’s being chased by the cat. But we also know how the guile of a cat can be and the dangers that lie within when the cat has his prey trapped. So which is it to be for the Los Angeles Lakers this season ? Are they going to be the mouse who evades capture from the chasing cat , as in the rest of the NBA ? Or will they be the mouse who gets caught by its erstwhile predator the cat, who’ll no doubt devour its prey ? What are your thoughts on it all ?

A classic ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoon and the usual staple of classic mayhem ensues that the characters were always known for. Much like what we’ll no doubt see throughout much of the NBA regular season and also in the playoffs.

No Stone Will Be Left Unturned , No Idea Will Go Unheard , No Thought Process No Matter How Stupid It Appears To Be Will Be Listened To…………..Blah , Blah , Blah This Is Change That We Can Believe In


Well the winter season MLB meetings are over , baseball is doing its level best to remain in the mainstream. The ‘NFL is still King , baby’ and don’t you forget it ! And at this point of the season it is essentially all that they (MLB) can do. MLB itself , becomes about as interesting at this time of the year as a speech being given by a member of Congress on the country’s trade deficit. We all know its there and it hasn’t really improved at all on a month, to month basis. What little improvement that comes about incrementally, economists are gleaning over like ‘Cheshire cats’, trying to tell us that the economy is changing course and we’re gradually moving out of a recession. Any statistic can be read differently , to garner whatever information what you want put forth. Much like the asinine statements you tend to hear coming from Bud Selig on the financial health and state of the game.

Trades asides and the signing of free agents , all the fans can do at this stage, is to speculate what those maneuvers will mean for their teams.

Omar Minaya speaks here about the ‘Tony Bernazard firing’ and the fallout from it all. Clearly a person who when he’s stressed, doesn’t like the spotlight of the media upon him .

And speaking of health , how is that the New York Mets GM , Omar Minaya still remains in a position of power after all that he’s done to all but ruin the organization? Essentially as the General Manager and de-facto ear of the owner , he’s entrusted in making sure that the best talent available is placed on the field, at the behest of the manager, Jerry Manuel and the manager’s coaching staff. Never mind the fact that Fred Wilpon, the team’s owner , might not live to the current team win another World Series at this stage of life. The septuagenarian has seen a great deal over the course of famed career as a businessman and entrepreneur. But for the lone World Series’ triumph in 1986 over the Boston Red Sox, with that improbable ending. Fred Wilpon still yearns for another championship for his organization.

Mets' GM  Omar  Minaya (left) seen  here alongside  team  President  Jeff  Wilpon , son of team  owner  ,  Fred  Wilpon.    Minaya   recently acquired  free agent  slugger  Jason  Bay  , formerly  of   the  Boston  Red  Sox.  The  player   was signed  to  a   four  year   $65 million  contract.     There  are  those  who  are  questioning  the  deal   as the  rotation of  the  Mets'  pitching  is   deeply  lacking  a  reliable  starter  besides  Johan  Santana.  picture appears  courtesy  of nydn/   David  Pokress (freelance)  ......................
Mets' GM Omar Minaya (left) seen here alongside team President Jeff Wilpon , son of team owner , Fred Wilpon. Minaya recently acquired free agent slugger Jason Bay , formerly of the Boston Red Sox. The player was signed to a four year $65 million contract. There are those who are questioning the deal as the rotation of the Mets' pitching is deeply lacking a reliable starter besides Johan Santana. picture appears courtesy of nydn/ David Pokress (freelance) ......................

The Mets have been an abysmal organization over the past five years and much like a race horse with a great deal of speed and not much stamina, or shall we call it saying power ? Each year over the past five seasons they’ve fallen out of contention in the NL East divisional race. Much of the time through their own sheer ineptitude. Many also place this upon the injuries suffered by star players at inappropriate times during the regular season. But I consider this as a poor excuse for an organization with its vast financial resources and its so called ‘stocked farm system’. Obviously the so called farm system isn’t as burgeoned with talent as first thought.

Courtesy of New York Daily News

Omar Minaya, New York Mets get Jason Bay for four years, but strike out on pitchers

By John Harper , New York Daily News

The way the winter was going, it seemed inevitable that some other team would jump in and steal Jason Bay at the last minute. Only it didn’t happen, and so while Bay is hardly a cure-all for the Mets, landing him is at least reason for them to believe that the curse of 2009 won’t carry over into 2010.

GM Omar Minaya and Mets ownership still have plenty of work to do, but you have to give them credit for playing the Bay negotiations exactly right, as it turned out.

Considering the mounting pressure on them to make a big splash, the Mets had to seriously weigh the PR value of offering the fifth year that Bay’s agent was demanding, just to get the deal done. Still they were determined not to get suckered, not to bid against themselves when they were convinced no other team was seriously pursuing Bay.

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 Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar throws to the plate during the first inning of baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim, Calif. The New York Mets have signed Escobar to a one-year contract. The team announced the deal on Monday, Dec. 28. He was expected to get $1.25 million.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar throws to the plate during the first inning of baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Anaheim, Calif. The New York Mets have signed Escobar to a one-year contract. The team announced the deal on Monday, Dec. 28. He was expected to get $1.25 million. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark J. Terrill .................

The unfortunate thing for the New York Mets in all of this , is that their crosstown neighbor and rival, the New York Yankees are now once again back atop of the ‘baseball world pecking order’, as World Series champions. And they too, like the Yankees have essentially spent their way to their present situations. In the case of the Yankees however, they’ve been able get the right stars at the premium prices and simply plug them into an organization that has been built for continued success over the years. Whereas, the Mets just continue to plug away with assorted pieces , that in some respects are like that of a jig saw puzzle . But what Minaya and the team’s manager Jerry Manuel and Manuel’s predecessor, Willie Randolph, had failed to realize, is that when the pieces are ill suited for the puzzle, there’s no way in hell that you can attain success. But yet they continue to repeat the process over and over again.

Stars have come and gone within the Mets’ organization and some have remained. And it has been the same also in terms of the managers of the organization. On average they’ve lasted no more than three years over the last three decades. The longest tenured manager over that period was and still is ,Davey Johnson (1984-90). Whose six year tenure with the team brought them their only World Series win.

 Yakult Swallows' Ryota Igarashi pitches against Orix BlueWave in Osaka, western Japan.  Hoping they've found their setup man on the other side of the globe, the New York Mets agreed to a $3 million, two-year contract with Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009.
Yakult Swallows' Ryota Igarashi pitches against Orix BlueWave in Osaka, western Japan. Hoping they've found their setup man on the other side of the globe, the New York Mets agreed to a $3 million, two-year contract with Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Kyoto News Agency ...........

Fans of the Mets have seemingly remained patient and loyal, though some have also been very vocal in what they see as the lax attitude taken by the organization in showing a real determination to become competitive. They’ve gone out and spent money either on aging veterans who’ve passed their prime or in some cases on players who’ve struck lightning in a bottle in terms of their form over a short period of time and then hit ‘pay dirt’ when pursued and then signed to a monumentally exorbitant contract. See Carlos Beltran ! Prodigious and prolific for the Houston Astros , not so for the Mets and on it goes . And much of that is down to Minaya and his haste to always try and outdo the Yankees. It’s like giving the keys to a drunk driver and then asking him if he’s able to drive you home . You know no good is going to come of it and it is the same with the personnel moves of Omar Minaya.

Another situation that the fans will also find exacerbating about this Mets’ team , is that it doesn’t posses anyone who’s prepared to be a team leader on or off the field. It certainly hasn’t come from Carlos Delgado, for all of his heroics. And it most certainly hasn’t come from David Wright their so called ‘glamor boy’ and best player. And when they did rise to the occasion with the determination shown by their ace pitcher, Johan Santana, his teammates reciprocated by either performing poor defensively , or gave him no run support whatsoever. Minaya’s insight into sound judgement when it comes to personnel decisions for the Mets border on being asinine and is akin to the sort of ineptitude that was shown in later stages of George W Bush’s second term in office by his administration. The danger signs were there but there was never any sound decisions being made. Something of which, it appears his successor , President, Barack Obama seems to want to painstakingly follow on with, in some of his decision making. You can have, print or borrow all of the money in the world. But you’d better know how the hell to spend it judiciously and you’d better be able to explain yourself succinctly when you screw things up. And it appears to be something in common that this triumvirate has . As to either of them offering up a comprehensive and succinct answer. I’ll leave that up to you , to decide ! Make of it what you will.

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If the New York Met are to compete for the NL East division as well as the NL Pennant, then they’d better be ready to deal with the ever present Philadelphia Phillies, present division champion and NL Pennant holder. Also too, there are the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins and the lackluster Washington Nationals bringing up the rear. The bone of contention will be which teams amongst the triumvirate of the Braves , Marlins and Mets will step up to challenge the supremacy of the Phillies within the division ? This question and whole lot more will need to be answered most certainly by the Mets and the the duo of the Braves and Marlins.

And in what will be Braves’ manager , Bobby Cox’s final season. This Atlanta Braves’ team will be looking to send him off with one last big stab at winning a divisional title and perhaps another World Series. And as remote as those chances might appear to be. Look for the Braves to pursue this with a great deal of gusto. And as to the chances of the Florida Marlins ? Well that will be down to the progress that has been made by this young team under the direction of their manager, Fredi Gonzalez. And if they’re to fulfill the promise shown last year , then the likes of Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin and their All Star short-stop, Hanley Ramirez , will have to be extremely productive – the same can be said of their pitching.

The Phillies for their part coming off last season’s loss in the World Series to the Yankees will look to regroup and replenish their roster. And that’s something which they appear to have done with such urgency, that the swiftness in its execution was staggering. They traded Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners and in his place they acquired former Blue Jays’ ace, Roy Halladay. Talk about addition by subtraction ? Wow, this is just stupendous. They are the ‘clear favorites’ in the entire National League (NL) to make a third consecutive trip to the World Series. Perhaps the only thing that could deter them from that might just be ‘divine intervention’ from up above ? And if the baseball gods are listening and they love the New York Mets , then perhaps they could provide some assistance ? I’m no Mets’ fan but Omar Minaya certainly hasn’t been helping the organization’s cause with many of his personnel moves in recent years. Can I get an amen here ? Amen, amen , hallelujah !

With the Mets acquiring Jason Bay as a free agent and then signing him to a four year $65 million contract , this may or may not be the last singular personnel move made by Minaya. God knows the moves that he’s made haven’t exactly panned out. They’d be deemed a disaster in certain cases and in others, well the jury is still out. And as I much as I like to see teams strive in their drive for excellence. I can’t but now wonder how much more the Wilpon family can withstand in the depletion of their overall wealth. Especially as it has been rumored that the family may well have lost in excess of $ 500 million in the Bernie Madoff ‘Ponzi Scheme’.
Not the sort of money that any affluent billionaire can afford to lose in these uncertain economic times. A million here or a million here. But a half a billion dollars ? Holy shit ! I’m surprised that no one has put ‘a hit’ out on Madoff , as of yet ! But I’ve no doubt that he’s been well taken care of in the Federal Prison system. Well at least I’d like to think so , but in a certain type of way. Can I suggest that he’ll become a ‘pillow biter’ while a prison inmate has his way with Madoff in certain way,sexually ? Here’s hoping anyway !

Well alas, this piece must end though not on a somber note. The travails of the New York Mets have been well documented in recent years and I expect that to be continued for the foreseeable future. I mean, life in general when it comes to sports in the ‘Big Apple’ is tied primarily to the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Islanders, Rangers and the Buffalo Bills. And each of them in their own way will run the wrath and adulation in the print media as the case maybe. And things being what they are, it appears the Mets and Knicks are on the receiving end of it all in terms of their wrath at the moment. No need for me then to pile on them anymore . I think that the New York print media, sports talk show hosts and tv broadcasters are just doing fine all by themselves with regard to this matter.