Month: December 2010

It’s Not Always About The Money But Common Sense And Where The Heart Takes You


It’s Not Always About The Money But Common Sense And Where The Heart Takes You …..

I don’t know if I should feel nonplussed or bewildered by the naivete shown by some people be it from a lack of intelligence on their part or just sheer stupidity. It’d appear that several baseball fans many of whom are Texans and writers of a certain blog post are surprised that Cliff Lee has chosen rejoin the Philadelphia Phillies rather than opting for more money that had been offered by both the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers . The Yankees with their burgeoning pockets and vast financial resources in reality had met their match in the Texas Rangers who were backed financially by several noted Texas billionaires and the fact that team President Nolan Ryan and CEO Chuck Greenberg had recently negotiated a $3 billion television deal (20 year) with a prominent cable and broadcast outlet.

The Yankees who’d upped the ante in this ever increasing stake of ‘chicken’ went as far to offer the player an option of a six year $150 million deal which was something of a sticking point originally for Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman as he was reluctant to offer Lee’s agent Darrell Braunecker such a deal on behalf of his client, with an option for a seventh year.. The Rangers’ for their part may well have felt that they had the inside track given that the player and his family were happy being in Texas and with his home being relatively close in his native state of Arkansas . Ryan for his part along with manager Ron Washington and GM Jon Daniels had hoped that with Lee’s performances in the postseason and his camaraderie with his teammates that a decision would be something a formality. What many hadn’t realized was that the Phillies along with their GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had been in contact with the player and his agent gauging his interest in returning to the Philadelphia Phillies where he’d played for the team last year.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Another determining factor in Lee’s decision to forgo the chance of playing for the Yankees was the treatment received by Lee’s wife and family at several of the games attended by them in the ALCS when the Rangers took on the Bronx Bombers for the AL Pennant at Yankees Stadium . Typically up to their somewhat obnoxious behavior for which an apology hasn’t been forthcoming from anyone within the Yankees’ hierarchy Lee’s family was subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse and profanity, some of which was directed to his children and in particular his son who happens to be a leukemia survivor but who still has some health related issues because of the illness. If that wasn’t a precursor to perhaps one of the reasons why he chose not to join the Yankees then I can’t think of another pertinent reason.

The Yankees as always are viewed as the presumptive favorites to win the World Series year in and year out . But given the fact that we’ve now begun to cracks in their armor many believe that the team is now on something of a downslide . Their pitching remains suspect beyond their ace CC Sabathia and with an aging Mariano Rivera one can never be sure what you’re now going to get. Beyond that there also seemed to be something of a cooling of the relationship between team captain Derek Jeter and Cashman while that player’s contract was being negotiated . Tensions rose and it appears that Cashman rather callously sought to offer Jeter an out if he didn’t feel amenable to the team’s offer . Calmer heads prevailed but you got the feeling that although denials have been forthcoming there was reason to believe that all wasn’t well within the …….’ house that Ruth built’. And beyond Sabathia and Rivera one has to also look at the Yankees’ pitching roster and realize that the effectiveness and resilience one had come to expect just is no longer there. Andy Pettite remains but a back spasm or shoulder injury away from having a prolonged stint on the disabled list and does anyone truly fear Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes for that matter ?

What we do know is that the Yankees’ offense remains prodigious in the regular season with the like of Robinson Cano , Nick Swisher , Alex Rodriguez and Jeter setting the trend. But things seems to have dropped alarmingly this past postseason wherein Rodriguez was non- existent and little or nothing was seen from Swisher or Curtis Granderson during the postseason albeit that they had their way with the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS . What we can be sure of however is that the Yankees will once again resort to whatever means necessary to strengthen their roster. And one can assume that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner can’t have been too pleased seeing their divisional arch rivals the Boston Red Sox acquire both Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez this off-season . Suffice to say that things will be highly combustible and competitive in the AL East this upcoming season .

As I alluded to earlier the Texas Rangers with their now vast financial backing may well have felt that they were major players in the ‘Cliff Lee sweepstakes’ but clearly what they hadn’t counted on was a third party entering the fray and bidding for Lee’s services. And as resourceful and amenable as they were to the player it was becoming clear that he wasn’t necessarily happy with his tenure in Texas. So much was placed upon his shoulders as the mainstay and ace of the team and in terms of a reliable enough rotation to back him up beyond C J Wilson and closer Neftali Feliz there wasn’t a great deal there that was awe inspiring as can be witnessed from the rotation’s and team’s overall performances in their World Series’ loss to Bruce Bochy’s _____ San Francisco Giants . That too could have weighed heavily on Lee’s mind and the mere fact also that the Giants dealt with them with such ease . For Reuben Amaro Jr this is a coup-de-gras as the Phillies now possess quite possibly the most formidable pitching staff in all of baseball headed up by Roy Halladay , Roy Oswalt , Cole Hamels , Joe Blanton and now with the addition of Lee and less we forget the Phillies’ wily veteran Jamie Moyer who can still befuddle batters with his pitching after two decades plus in the game . Never mind taking to the account the bullpen and closer Brad Lidge . Does anyone now not believe that Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel , his coaching staff aren’t now licking their chops and can’t wait for Spring Training to come around ? The Phillies once again have to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites in the National League and that’s with due respect to the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants .

For the Rangers’ fans or for that matter any baseball fan out there just because the money being bandied about is seen as grotesque it doesn’t always mean that the player is willing to pursue that treasure trove . Clearly this wasn’t simply a decision taken by Lee to be simply about the money because it all boiled down where he felt comfortable and perhaps where he felt the best opportunity to win actually lay. Merely because the Yankees have the cash doesn’t make them the perfect fit or the ‘perfect team’ for that matter ! If anything in spite of their success what they seem to have a problem with a great deal of the time is to truly function as a team when it really matters most. Unequivocal success or not the New York Yankees showed that this past postseason when placed under undue pressure they are not always able to rise to the occasion .

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on each frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

As to the immediate future of the Texas Rangers they will now have to rethink their whole strategy moving forward and how best to proceed. The Phillies for their part now have the prized free market acquisition of the off season and simply feel that a five year $120 million contract is money well spent on their part given the vagaries of the market and the ambiguity that has taken place this off-season concerning the ever escalating salaries now being paid. And for Cliff Lee can anyone truly fault him for the decision that he made given the opportunity that now arises ? Chime in with your own thoughts on the matter anything else concerning the baseball off-season that caught your attention .

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………… ūüôā

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Keyshia-Dior

Eye candy ………. Keyshia Dior

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It’s true good things do sometimes come in small packages and a package like Keyshia certainly doesn’t come any better ! Chime on in with a comment about her if you so wish .

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Is This What $100 Million Gets You Nowadays ?


Is This What $100 Million Gets You Nowadays ?

I’m sorry but whatever seems to be now¬†erupting within the Washington Redskins is a tour de force in comedic madness . I was very much under the impression that the organization and their defensive player Albert Haynesworth¬† had essentially called a truce . Instead we are now finding out that there’s an even greater impasse between the player, his coach Mike Shanahan , the coaching staff and teammates . It’s bad enough that the season for the Redskins has once again fallen into a crevasse of ineptitude. Mike Shanahan , his assistant Kyle Shanahan haven’t improved this team one iota ! Furthermore in Shanahan’s inept attempt to prove that he’s in charge he chose to embarrass his veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb . Who didn’t feel that it would be the rest of the NFL and the fans who’d have the last laugh after this charade and allout¬†idiocy on the part of Shanahan ? =========================================================

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A team that was thought to quite possibly challenge the Philadelphia Eagles , New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys </a. for divisional supremacy within the NFC East has been anything but that ___ a team . Suffice to say that watching the Redskins play at Fedex¬†Field has become a comedy of errors. Team owner Dan Snyder has had problems running this organization as a business and to see an individual who’s greatly admired within circles by his peers in the business world. Personally I just can’t see it but it’s all in the eye of the beholder . Haynesworth¬†for his part has added nothing to this team since he was acquired via free agency . This being the same player whose career with the Tennessee Titans had been a success and where he’d made several visits to the Pro Bowl as a Titans’ player. However, Haynesworth¬†not content with his situation with the team at the time chose to parlay his status by garnering a 7 year $100 million deal with the Washington Redskins of which $56 million was in guaranteed money. At the time I thought the contract itself was preposterous and non-sensical . But then again those of us who’ve seen the Redskins operate over the years have seen this organization simply overpay for players who are either past their prime or whose talent has been vastly exaggerated.

There’s absolutely no chance that the Washington Redskins would choose to cut the player given the fact that they still owe the $32 million of the guaranteed money due. Do you get the feeling that the front office of the Redskins aren’t completely sure as to what the hell they’re doing from one moment to the next ? Kind of how certain federal agencies are now operating within the Obama adminstration¬†? We have a Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben S Bernanke whose every utterance now sends shivers up down Wall St . And a Homeland Security Chief in Janet Napolitano¬† who ovesees¬†the TSA and their now well publicized airport body searches. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about national security and anything that can derail the ambitions of home grown¬†and foreign terrorists, I do feel that the agency’s actions are a necessity. My only problem here is the fact that I’m not completely willing to have a TSA employee feel that it’s appropriate to body search me as if it’s being done for their own self sexual gratification . And less we forget we also have a Treasury Secretary in Tim Geithner whose every word concerning the malaise that has befallen the economy has me asking how and why the fu_k was he hired and why was he nominated in the first place ? Prior to his tenure as Treasury Secretary he’d worked for the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and as we know this is the very same individual that claimed errors made in his none payment of personal income tax was a mistake. Yes a mistake ….an honest mistake . But you might feel more aggrieved if I were to advise you that also as a senior employee at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City, Geithner played his part in assisting none other insurance giant AIG in their egregious speculative behavior in numerous financial markets around the globe. And as we all know the insurance giant had to be bailed out to the tune of $150 billion ($150,000,000,000) of taxpayers monies. The only thing that needs bailing out here with the regard to the Washington Redskins is for the organization to seek a trade of Albert Haynesworth. Clearly the player’s career has run its path with the Redskins and it’s also clear that Mike Shanahan has no faith in the player’s abilities whatsoever . What might be even more disturbing and incredulous is the very fact that with the player now having been suspended by his coach they are no better off than before . The Redskins’ season as it now stands is tenuous and there’s not even a remote chance that they can salvage this season and play with any modicum of respect. The situation now facing Snyder is whether or he can let this mayhem continue with there being¬†such a divide not only in the locker room but no actual semblance of respect between the players and coach.

From my own perspective I don’t even feel that the situation that transpired betweeen¬†Donovan McNabb , Mike and Kyle Shanahan is actually at an end. It’s merely time before I feel that there’ll be another parting of the waves and that another impasse is created between the player and both coaches. On and off the field the Washington Redskins are a complete mess and given the soap opera drama that has taken place within this division with the Dallas Cowboys and their roller coaster season , with the subsequent firing of Wade Philips by owner Jerry Jones . Philips’ successor Jason Garrett seems to have the team back on track but once again the hopes that Jones had for this team in terms of a postseason berth¬†and playing in the Superbowl is now a pipe dream. What else can now happen you may ask ?

Well with Wade Phillips , Brad Childress and now the Denver Broncos’ Josh McDaniels¬† having been fired this season the managerial count now stand at three coaches having been fired this year. And by season’s end we could well see several others bite the dust . It’s no surprise that the Cincinnati Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis won’t be returning to the Bengals next season . The team had been befelled¬†by their own sheer ineptitude and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the choice is that of Lewis’ and not from the front office. The one bright spot for the team may well have been the play of wide receiver Terrell Owens who’s been the sole reason perhaps to see him play. He leads all players in terms of the team’s offensive receiving categories and for Carson Palmer whose own performances have been understated at best. Owens’ receiving partner Chad Ochocinco¬† has been a complete bust this season and it’d be reasonable to suggest that he might not be part of any plans the Bengals may well have in the future .

McDaniels’ dismissal by Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen wasn’t completely a surprise but the real issue here may well have been the fact that Bowlem¬†had reiterated that he wasn’t about to let go of his coach. But with the preseason upheaval that took place with the trade of Jay Cutler and then the fallout between Brandon Marshall and McDaniels¬†. Both players have now found new homes , Marhsall with the Miami Dolphins and and¬†Cutler with the the¬† NFC North leading Chicago Bears . But what might’ve¬†been the straw that broke the camel’s back was the behavior by McDaniels¬†and the team’s videographer in taping the San Francisco 49ers¬†walk through in their game played at Wembley Stadium in London , England earlier in the season. The NFL front office was made aware of this but neither McDaniels¬†or any member of his coaching staff reported the incident . Both team and coach were fined and Spygate¬†II came to something of an abrupt end . And there are idiots about the blogo-sphere¬†who felt that the Patriots deservedly got was coming to them when Bill Belichick¬† took part in such an act . I reminded a number of patrons to my site that this practice was widespread around the NFL and that it only comes to light when a team has been caught . Anyone who feels that this will be the last time that we’ll hear of such an incident needs to have their heads examined as it seems to be customary for a number of coaches and their staff around the NFL. For Pat Bowlen this is simply another reason of an owner whose cognizance of a situation isn’t clear. The Broncos now find themselves in a situation with having fired Josh McDaniels¬†they’re now in a position where they’re paying McDaniels¬†and his predecessor Mike Shanahan who was also fired by Pat Bowlen. When Shanahan was fired he was still owed two years on his contract in the case of McDaniels¬†he’s owed three years on his original five year¬†contract. Do you get the picture I’m painting here concerning the idiocy of some of the NFL owners and GM’s around the league as to how they deal with their managerial problems ? Far be it for me to say but who’s providing the legal counsel for these owners ? And have they never heard of installing a buyout clause in an employee contract ? Now Bowlen and the Broncos are on the hook for at least $ 8 million this year alone in paying both Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels. And the general public thought that only the federal government knew how to squander money ? Not so it appears when it comes to professional sports franchise owners as they all seem to be a law unto themselves. In this day and age where athletes can and are earning multi million dollar contracts and the coaches aren’t too far behind in that situation I find it hard to believe that common sense isn’t being used by the executives and owners who are the custodians of these teams ! ===================================================================

=================================================================== Picture gallery for your perusal . Your thoughts if any as to how you view the issues raised within this piece and that of what we’ve seen happen in the NFL this season either on or off the field of play . Thanks as usual for your continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated .

Alan aka tophatal ………………

================================================= Raquel Eye candy ……. video vixen Raquel Reign . Who wouldn’t want to feel Raquel’s biscuits ? I know that I would !