Shut Up Already This Isn’t American Idol ………..

Shut Up Already This Isn’t American Idol ………..

Ah the somber days of early Spring and all is meant to be well . At least across the sporting landscape it’s meant to be. The MLB season has started off in its usual indomitable fashion with teams rising to expectations while others have simply underperformed . That being said it’s still early days yet and the season is a long one of 162 arduous games over the course of six tenuous months before the postseason kicks in .


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Slide show for your perusal .

As of now the divisions are looking rather interesting with the teams jockeying for position with regard to early season series . Now in the midst of finally making a decision as to where I’ll throw my hat in terms of supporting a team I’ve come to the decision that it’ll end up being a team within the NL . Well right off the bat let me say this without further ado it won’t be the Pittsburgh Pirates , Los Angeles Dodgers , Milwaukee Brewers , New York Mets or Florida Marlins . The latter for the reasons of which I’ve repeatedly stated because of the mismanagement of the team and organization as a whole by the ownership group ! The teams that seem to have my attention are the Colorado Rockes , Atlanta Braves and the St Louis Cardinals but I hate to say this as much as I like the Cardinals as a team I simply cannot stand their manager Tony La Russa ! He’s disingenous , an ingrate and someone whom I believe to be completely dishonest ! Suffice to say that to my mind he makes the fictional character Pinocchio seem like almost angelic nature !

So a choice has to be made and ultimately I choose the Atlanta Braves ! This has been a team and organization I’ve long admired because of their sheer longevity in terms of their success within the NL East and though they may only have that one World Series title to their name . It has to be said that period of consistency where they were repeating as divisional champions and making the playoffs had to be admired no matter where one’s allegiances may have laid . Now in their present guise this team is managed by Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff with a front office led by GM & EVP Frank Wren .

In terms of veteran presence the team is in that of the hands of Chipper Jones but his heir apparent to be sure is Jason Heyward , a player who has all the attributes desired to lead this ballclub long into the future and hopefully some real semblance of success. But there’ll also be contributions from teammates such as Dan Uggla , Brian McCann and Nate McClouth That being said with a pitching staff led by Tim Hudson , Jair Jurrjens , Derek Lowe , Tommy Hanson , George Sherrill and closer Craig Kimbrel , I’m fully hoping that this will undoubtedly be a season of success for the team and its fans who show up in attendance at Turner Field .

It’s long been felt that the Braves’ fans only came out in droves when they had perennial success or when the Hawks , Falcons or Thrashers were simply pedantic or downright mediocre . I’ll leave you all to be the judge of that because any and every team tends to have its ups and downs , no matter what their sporting endeavor might be . And the Braves are no different from no other professional sports franchise unless they happen to be the Los Angeles Clippers or Cleveland Browns for that matter !

The NL East the team will have to contend with the defending divisional champions the Philadelphia Phillies who look to be not only to be class of the division but the clear cut favorite to be the NL pennant winner this upcoming season . Whether or not that scenario actually pans out remains to be seen but I’m of the belief that the Atlanta Braves will do their utmost to deny the Phillies of that privilege ! . And I certainly believe that the Braves have as good a chance as any to make the postseason albeit that their division on the face of it isn’t an overly contentious one . I do believe that they will be challenged by the Florida Marlins and quite possibly by the Washington Nationals . And unless Terry Collins can in fact pull off the improbable , I certainly don’t see the New York Mets doing all that much this season within the division. Their situation is already tenuous at best from a financial standpoint and with both managing partner Fred Wilpon and team President Saul Katz under investigation by the Justice Department as well as there being a multi million civil lawsuit being lodged against the two as well as the organization their company Sterling Equities . I can’t help but wonder if the Mets can survive this season under its present ownership without Bud Selig , the league hierarchy and team owners intervening in some form or another to make sure that the team doesn’t fall into bankruptcy or be forced to cease operating should the Federal verdict go against the defendants Katz and Wilpon . At stake is in excess of $750 million and the very financial viability and existence of the New York Mets .

No word has been forthcoming on this matter from anyone within the MLB league hierarchy . Certainly no formal statement from Bud Selig or any of his subordinates such as EVP ,Administration & Chief Information Officer, John McHale Jr , EVP , Labor Relations & Human Resources Rob Manfred or EVP , Baseball Development Jimmie Lee Solomon . Kind of makes you wonder who’s in charge of the lunatic asylum otherwise known as Major League Baseball (MLB) ? With there now said to be a great deal of speculation that if Katz and Wilpon aren’t able to find a willing investor to purchase a stake in the team they could very well be forced to sell the team . A number of interested parties are said to have made private inquiries as to the duo’s willingness to sell at a stake in the team at a reasonable price .

This season within baseball could be one those that surpasses the events last season and the postseason by a long way . Granted the World Series itself ended up being something a one sided affair with the San Francisco Giants easily taking command of the series in defeating the Texas Rangers with a great deal of ease .

I’d certainly like to think that teams thought to be in contention won’t fail to deliver and at the same time I’d like to think that Commissioner Bud Selig and the owners are finally coming around to seeing that their game cannot continue to survive under its present financial structure . Especially where teams at the top of the pecking order in terms of payroll are now having to subsidize their small market peers . It simply hasn’t created that perceived level playing field that the owners and Selig had hoped for . And as far as the MBLPA is concerned, seeking any common sense from Executive Director Michael Weiner and his members is akin to trying obtain blood out of a stone . This being the very same union that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century along with baseball’s hierarchy merely adopt a steroid policy that could be even remotely considered to be fair. It’s rather idiotic to think that Selig as commissioner can’t even be succinct even when it comes to explaining the game’s most acute problems it now faces. I’ve heard so called purists and fans try to explain how the game has made great strides from those infamous years during the nineties , wherein the illicit use of PED’s was at its most rampant .

I’ve read on a contributor’s site and a baseball fan who fan even tried to justified the fact that both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa can be considered appropriate candidates for Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame ! The fact that the two players in essence are cheats doesn’t seem to have bothered this individual or the mere fact that they each profited financially in terms of the fraud perpetrated upon the fans of the game . Guess what , the duo both broke not only the law but also one of the most inherent doctrines of the game. That patron in particular who tries to justify this hypocrisy is an out and out idiot in making a case where it was wrong for two consenting adults ,one of whom happened to be an athlete (basketball player) at a parochial establishment of higher education chose to have sex , within the hallowed halls of Brigham Young University . The player was suspended albeit that there’s an honor code involved at the establishment but given the fact that there have been far more serious incidents that have gone unreported of at the school . Unless I’m mistaken there’s been more hypocrisy going on within the Mormon Church and on the campus than most would even care to admit . But that’s what you tend to get with the hypocrisy of organized religion and the de facto piousness that it espouses and that concerns all forms religion , be it Islam , Judaism , Christianity , Catholicism or otherwise . It breeds intolerance and it purveys it even to this day, with the still rather asinine notion that theologians and preachers , priests or Imams are above reproach . They’re human and they have their fallibilities or hadn’t anyone noticed ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the season and as it slowly meanders along its arduous path ? And how do you see things panning out for the Atlanta Braves this season in terms of their fortunes within the NL and the league as a whole ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and the points raised within this piece . .

Alan aka tophatal …………………..

Picture and slide show details below .


(1) LOS ANGELES – APRIL 18: Jake Harris of the reality TV show Deadliest Catch throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …….

(2) Left fielder Jerry Sands (47) of the Los Angeles Dodger, playing in his first major league game, chases down a fly ball ball against the Atlanta Braves on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers won 4-2 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……..

(3) Pinch hitter Brooks Conrad (7) of the Atlanta Braves reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ………

(4) Alex Gonzalez (2) of the Atlanta Braves reacts as he strikes out during a ninth inning Braves rally which fell short against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Dogers won 4-2. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……

(5) James Loney (7) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two RBI single in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) ……

(6) Tim Hudson(15) of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 18, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ……..

(7) Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones (10) swings for a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Florida Marlins on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in Atlanta. The RBI was the 1,500th of his career. Only two other switch-hitters have reached the 1,500 milestone. AP Photo/John Bazemore …….

(8) Atlanta Braves’ Jason Heyward runs to first after connecting for a home run in the fourth inning of a baeball game against the Florida Marlins on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 5-0 . AP Photo/John Bazemore …….


MLB news

MLB Standings

MLB scoreboard scheduled game 19th April 2011

MLB results 18th April 2011

MLB Schedule team by team schedule

MLB Team Stats

MLB Player stats

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves news

Atlanta Braves’ history

Atlanta Braves front office

Atlanta Braves coaching staff

Braves’ active roster

Braves’ depth chart

Atlanta Braves team stats

Atlanta Braves’ team stats 2010

Braves historical team records Single game

Braves historical team records – season


17 thoughts on “Shut Up Already This Isn’t American Idol ………..

  1. I like La Russa; always have to be honest, but that’s more because I believe him to be the best manager in baseball. He has a great baseball mind and has won wherever he’s been. By the way, the Cardinals would be a legit team to root for.

    1. smurfed

      If La Russa in your estimation is the best manager in baseball that’s not saying a lot for the likes of Scocsia , Gardenhire or Charlie Manuel .

      I find La Russa to be disingenuous, conceited and above all a lying bastard ! He knew what was going on with the likes of McGwire and Canseco but he chose to ignore it by pleading ignorance . But the real blame lays with the owners , managers , league hierarchy and the union .

      If La Russa continues to lie , like he has , then he has no integrity whatsoever ! Do you respect someone like that merely because of their career resume’ ?

      tophatal …………….

  2. Pretty good choice Al. I’ve always liked the way the Braves do business. Under the radar, but solid moves all around. I’ve had a mancrush on Heyward since his opening day last year. Chipper looks good so far, we’ll see if he’s healthy for long…

    I picked the Braves to be in the World Series in our predictions. So if that happens to hold true, you and I will be happy come October!

    1. chappy

      I surveyed the landscape of teams as such and I knew in my heart of hearts I couldn’t go with an AL team ! It had to be a team in the NL and I knew as such it’d be one from either of the three divisions possible . Threw out the dregs and it went with the more viable options and ended up with the Braves as the final choice .

      I think that they can do well in NL East this season and if the Phillies should slip up then the division becomes a two horse race with a likelihood that the wildcard entrant also comes from within the division as well .

      Even Gabriella Michaels agrees with my sentiments .

      If the Braves were to make it to the WS and win it then you’ll be hearing me hollering about it all over the place .

      tophatal ……….

    2. chappy 81

      The whole season has been somewhat topsy turvy so far but at the same time I can’t help but wonder what’s in store later on. I see law enforcement was in full force and show at Dodger Stadium in light of the incident there ? I think that the Dodgers and the fans responsible for the attack will face a major civil suit from the victim’s family members . Talk about bad PR for the Dodgers at present can it get any worse than it now is for the organization ?

      tophatal …………….

      1. Understandable. I don’t think I could take on an NL team if I abandoned the A’s. If baseball ever contracts them, I don’t know if I can stay a fan…

        McCourt needs to sell that team and get themselves out of the picture for anything good to happen to that franchise…

  3. Braves have been a viable organization for years…beginning in the Boston era and then to Milwaukee..hey…looks like I spelled the city right. Hated whan they moved to ATlanta, but guess they got a lot out of the deal.

    1. al clements

      They’re always been a well ran organization and albeit that they’ve the lone World Series to their name the undoubted success they’ve had as NL pennant and NL East division winners has been part of their history and what makes many I believe admire them from afar !

      I think once Turner bought the team the ambitions, success became even more ingrained and even though they’re now under new ownership that ambition hasn’t died at all .

      tophatal …………

  4. I’m glad to see that you picked a team in the senior circuit, although the Reds would have been my choice. I have always wanted the Rays to be in the National League, but I alas it is not to be. Great post my friend.

    1. Chris Humpherys

      I can understand that ! I’ve been watching the playoffs while doing work at home or streaming it unto the two tablet computers I’ve got at work to watch during the down time . I make sure that whatever I have to delegate to associates and subordinates gets done and then I glance at some of the games .

      The Celtics are now 2-0 in in their series and I can’t see the Knicks erasing that deficit even when the series resumes at MSG !

      Good to see the Magic come to life and even the series with the Hawks .

      I simply hope that the Spurs can do the same thing tonight against the Grizzlies !

      tophatal ………….

  5. chappy

    I can tell you this if baseball doesn’t get its house in order then contraction will definitely happen .

    Who the hell would want to buy the Dodgers in their present financial situation ? They’re almost a $1.2 billion in debt and McCourt has about as much business sense as Palin and Michelle Bachmann collectively ! He treats the Dodgers as a bauble rather than a going business concern . He and the entire front office are too fu_king dumb for their own good !

    Look at the state of the NBA at present ? All but 8 teams will have a combined projected loss in excess of * $390 million for the fiscal year 2011 and that’s on a turnover of over $ 3 billion ? You tell me what’s wrong with that picture ? These are Stern’s and the league hierarchy’s projected figures for this year and that’s on the conservative side by all accounts .

    *22 NBA teams will account for the vast majority of the NBA’s operating losses while 8 will actually show a profit in one form or another .

    In baseball’s case Selig doesn’t make their figures public but I can assure you that more than 70% of the teams will struggle to eke any form of a profit ! That’s why the league’s asinine tax sharing revenue scheme is in place as teams can use it as a form of creative accounting to show a profit .

    tophatal ………

  6. Alright Al, someone told me to read the last paragraph of this because it’s about me. I’m very glad to know that my words get you so riled up.

    Now, I’m going to ignore the insults, painful grammatical errors, and general lack of understanding of…well, anything and just ask you to do one very simple thing for me.

    I’m going to link you to the conversation we had over at Doin’ Work and ask you to show me where I said it was wrong for two consenting adults to have sex. Please use quotes.

    If anyone else is up for the challenge, please jump in.

    1. classic 17

      Riled up ? No I think that the pontificating ’bout what’s right and wrong when there are far toxic situations that’ve happened on the campus there at BYU and you’re going on about two consenting adults having sex ? I’m not that naive but hell there are under age kids boozin’ and doing drugs not only on campuses of parochial educational establishments but also on non parochial one as well . And the rules there are quite specific and this broke no laws other than archaic rule of a religion that in many respects gives credence to a great deal of sanctimonious bull_hit !

      Deal with it and don’t excuse the crap and then try and make it look as if you feel that this kid was thoroughly deserving of his fate at the time . Had it been a sexual assault I’d have been the first say why wasn’t his ass expelled ?

      tophatal ………….

      1. Well, I expected a garbled response that in no way, shape, or form addressed my concerns so thank you for not letting me down. Once again, I’ll ask you to show me where I was “going on about two consenting adults having sex ?”

        Again, I will ask you to be specific and provide quotes. Here is the link to the whole conversation:

        You can use anything I wrote to show the world that I said two consenting adults shouldn’t have sex. Please, use quotes.

        Also, read your second comment again. The irony is amazing. Actually, you probably won’t see it which is even more amazing. Anyway, I’m hardly the grammar police here, so I don’t want to get off topic.

    2. classic

      The English language has been bastardized by the American verbiage and not the other way around . I use a mix of colloquialism interjected what you deem to be grammatical errors . Hell look in the print media and see for yourself the language being used there to elicit the viewer .

      tophatal ………….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s