Category: Alex Rodriguez

Love ’em Or Hate ’em They’re Still Baseball’s MVP


Love ’em Or Hate ’em They’re Still Baseball’s MVP

They’re the team that everyone either loves or hates as there’s no in between when it comes to the New York Yankees . Having won an unprecedented 27 World Series titles this is an organization that simply doesn’t rest on its laurel as it strives for excellence , the way that a new born baby thirsts for knowledge having taken its very first steps. Well for the Yankees this season may well be one where they’ll have to take baby steps as they try and figure a way out to be battle their way through the AL East and the rest of the AL as a whole . Never mind the fact that in the postseason that AL pennant isn’t a sure thing as some would like to believe.

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Slide show for your perusal .

So much is expected of the team by their erstwhile fans that any slight hiccup won’t be necessarily tolerated but then again when it comes to being a fan of this organization you’re either thought of as being obnoxious or simply devout in your belief that they are the best thing in the game bar none ! In the AL East boasting a 27-21 record they (lead) stand a mere 1/2 game ahead of their most hated rivals the Boston Red Sox with the Tampa Bay Rays 1 1/2 games behind in third place. And as we have come to expect this division as usual will become a highly contentious and competitive one throughout the course of the season . So much so that to my mind I do believe that the wildcard entrant for AL will most definitely come from within this division ! To some that might not be a foregone conclusion but it has become a rarity for the wildcard to come from outside the division. That being said anything is possible and the improbable has been known to happen within the game , so why not this season ?

Coming off a convincing 7-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium the team now has a three game series facing the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. That series promises to be a very interesting one with the Mariners looking for some objectivity to their season given the inconsistency of their play overall . It remains to be seen whether or not Eric Wedge and his coaching staff can turn things around with this team and make the competitive within the AL West . Parent company Nintendo through its US subsidiary Nintendo USA have made a mockery as owners of this ball-club . Ambition and the will to win it would appear are the furthest thing from their mind. And it’s a pity to see the talents of Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez being wasted by an organization that simply is bereft of creativity and intelligence within their front office . It may well be that I’m proven wrong but I sincerely doubt it at this juncture !

In the Yankees 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays , pitcher , Mariano Rivera made his 1,000th pitching appearance for the New York Yankees a team record for the most appearances by a pitcher in team history and with it came his 572nd save for the team , the most ever by a pitcher and the most ever for a single team. Add in the fact his teammate Derek Jeter also looks to add to his own valid legacy within the organization as he approaches the 3,000 hits plateau . He now stands at 2974 a club record . But that in of itself isn’t the primary reason that both of these dominant figures within the Yankees’ dynasty still play the game. This duo have epitomized what the game has been about in terms of integrity and the fact that they’re well respected by their peers as well as the vast majority of baseball fans across the game’s panacea. I doubt the same can be said of the most recent players to have donned the Yankees’ pinstripes over the last decade and a half !

As the season unfolds and with it approaching the month </a? of June it will be very interesting to see how the team handles itself and whether or their pitching which I believe to be their Achilles’ heel can still be a threat . Beyond CC Sabathia and closer Mariano Rivera , there is nothing that would lead me to believe that this picthing rotation is a scare to anyone within the league ! Granted , there’s plenty of offense within this lineup with the likes of Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Alex Rodriguez , Nick Swisher , Robinson Cano and even that wily veteran Andruw Jones who seems to have found a new lease of life with New York Yankees. And that’s even with Jones platooning the DH position with Jorge Posada who seems to be undergoing struggles of his own , not just mentally but also physcially as well.

The one thing we can be sure of concerning the Yankees with the advent of both Hank and Hal Steinbrenner having taken over the reins from their late father George Steinbrenner III , no stone will be left unturned as this organization chases glory , no matter what the expense is said to be. GM Brian Cashman even though he’s said to have become somewhat frugal in terms of the team’s payroll we all know when push comes to shove he’s been given the go ahead this organization usually goes after a target and they usually end getting what they want even if it means having to overspend or delve into their top 10 prospects or for that matter within their minor league farm system in order to acquire a prospective free agent or to implement a trade. Money is of no object with a cash cow such as the YES Network there to provide the organization with a monetary treasure chest and the very fact that the team is still the biggest draw in the game by far let’s you know why it is that the organization remains the financial behemoth that it is . One of the most recognized and most valuable professional sport’s franchises in the world the organization hasn’t let the financial imbalance within the game impede its relentless steady march away from their MLB competitors. So much so, that I for one cannot see how the MLB league hierarchy led by Commissioner Bud Selig can actually come to a decision , wherein they will ever try to mandate a hard salary cap within the game of baseball. And it certainly isn’t as if the team owners within the game possess the common sense to actually realize that it may well be needed if they are to stave off financial ruin for some teams .

While the Yankees are in the midst of their usual perfunctory season their crosstown neighbors , the New York Mets continue to do their best impression of the Titanic. What that organization and team brings to the game in terms of competency bears about as much comparison to the genuine belief that either the Democrats or Republicans in Congress actually has any idea as to what ails the country at present . It’s now being widely reported that hedge fund manager David Einhorn has bought a $200 million stake in the team . Given the Mets’ financial situation and the very fact that cash liquidity is needed with the organization and its two most prominent owners being defendants in a civil suit that involves team President Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon and their involvement in the Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme scandal . I’ve got to ask myself what assurances were given to Einhorn that his investment is indeed safe ? Two hundred million dollars is nothing to be sniffed at and with the plaintiffs in this case said to be seeking the return of somewhere between $700 million to $ 1 billion said to have been received by the duo through an associate company under their ownership and command __ Sterling Equities Inc . I can only believe that Katz and Wilpon have assured Einhorn that his investment will not be at risk. But herein lies the caveat as the mediation process unfolds Katz and Wilpon have been economical with the truth and they certainly haven’t been completely compliant with the requests of the plaintiffs’ attorney in this suit .

Irving Picard representing the plaintiffs has stood steadfast in suggesting in that the defendants ( Katz, Wilpon , Sterling Equities et New York Mets) were aware the profits received were part of Madoff’s scheme that has defrauded some 7,000 plus investors of some $59 billion . Do you get the feeling that this story and the case still has a long way to go before it all comes to a satisfactory conclusion ? It’s not as if anyone is actually concerned with the achievements of the Mets on the field of play at present . With Wilpon in his recent interview granted to Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker Magazine gives you every reason to believe that the beleaguered owner must be at his wit’s end if he is now criticizing several players on the team . But then you simply cannot buy the sort of stupidity shown by Wilpon and then GM Omar Minaya as well as former manager Jerry Manuel ! The actions of that trio during the team’s slide into mediocrity might well give hope to the likes of the Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners . But would that be asking too much also of the teams mentioned ? I will let you be the judge of that !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the points raised within this piece how do you see the New York Yankees’ season going and are you of the belief that they can make a serious challenge and quite possibly win the World Series ? And what thoughts if any do you have on the investment made by David Einhorn in the New York Mets ? Has he been duped into a false sense of security or will his investment in the team be a worthwhile one ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the matter .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning of a baseball game in New York, Sunday, May 1, 2011. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(2) New York Yankees’ Andruw Jones hits a two run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ………..

(3) New York Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada hits a double in the ninth inning off of Toronto Blue Jays closing pitcher Frank Francisco in the ninth inning of a baseball game that started a rally of runs to defeat Toronto 5-4 on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …..

(4) Mark Teixeira (25) of the New York Yankees celebrates with his team after hitting a game winning RBI in the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images ……

(5) Alex Rodriguez(13) of the New York Yankees looks after striking out against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on May 24, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images ……

(6) Derek Jeter (2) 2 of the New York Yankees hits a two run single in the seventh inning to tie the game a three against the New York Mets on May 22, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankees defeat the Mets 9-3 . Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images ……

(7) David Einhorn President, Greenlight Capital : The 39-year-old fund manager for the hedge fund Greenlight Capital has brought short selling into Wall Street’s lap with his public criticism of Lehman Brothers (LEH), the embattled Wall Street bank that has seen two top executives resign and its shares plunge roughly 50% since Einhorn made public his short position in April. His $6 billion fund has also waged a long-standing open battle against Washington-based small-business lender Allied Capital (ALD) since 2002; Allied’s share price has fallen by half since 2007. Getty Images / Paul Sprouse ……

(8) (L – R) Saul Katz, CEO of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, president of the Mets, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon , chief operating officer of the Mets pose for a photo during Alderson’s introduction as the general manager for the New York Mets on October 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Andrew Burton / Getty Images North America …….

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A-Fraud It Was The Best Of Times And The Worst Of Times Not More Of The Same ..


 

 

 

A-Fraud  ….  It Was The  Best Of Times And The Worst  Of  Times Not  More  of  The  Same 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If  baseball   didn’t  need  to   shoot  itself  in the  foot   again. Then  the  allegations  now  coming  out  concerning  the  game’s  perceived  best  player is  somewhat of  a disturbing  one.   The  article  written  in Sports  Illustrated  alleging   Alex  Rodriguez’s  use  of  steroids  in  2003  speaks  as  to  what’s  still   wrong   with the  game.    Granted  at the  time   there  was  no  steroid   policy   in the  league.    It  does  beg  the   question  why   in  2007   when   conducting   an  interview  with  journalist  Katie  Couric   in 2007 on  the CBS’  magazine  program  60 Minutes. The  player  stated   that  he’s   never    used  an  illicit   substance ?  Couric  specifically   asked  the  player  with    regard to   steroids and   he  implicitly   replied  “No”.

 

 

 

 

Rodriguez’s response  as  it  now  stands  is that  any  comments  forthcoming  will  have  to  come  by  way  of  the  Players’  Union.  When  questioned  about  this   prior  to  the  incident  becoming  public by  Selena  Roberts. He commented  that  it  would be  addressed   by  the  union. His  agent  Scott   Boras whilst  not making  a  statement  on  his  client’s   behalf .   His  only   comment   has  been  to  make  the  case  that while   Rodriguez  is  out  of  the  country  at  present.  He  cannot  make   a  statement   substantiating  or  denying  the  allegations.  

 

 

 

Rodriguez along  with  his  then  wife   Cynthia  and  Katie Couric  in  their  "60 Minutes" interview  of  December 2007....
Rodriguez with his then wife Cynthia and journalist Katie Couric in their "60 Minutes" interview conducted in December 2007 ................. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Mark Cuthbert ................

 

Rodriguez along  with his  then wife  Cynthia  and  Katie Couric in  their “60 Minutes” interview  nducted  in  December 2007 .

 

 

 

 

No  wrong doing  there   mind  you   as  his   answer  to  the  question wasn’t  to  a  law   enforcement  official.    Nor  was  it   part  of   any ongoing   legal   proceeding.  But   what   does  that  say  as  to  the  player’s  veracity  and  persuasiveness  when  it comes  to   making   himself   a  likeable  commodity.  The highest  paid  player  in the  game  and   one   whose  leadership  skills  have  always  come into  question.     His  abilities  are   without   doubt  are  unquestionable.  But  it  does  set  a  troubling   ball  in  motion.  This   all comes  back  to  2003  when  the   game   was  conducting   testing   though  it  wasn’t   part  of  the  yet  to be  edict   for   a  steroid   policy  which   was  adopted   in  2004.

 

 

 

 

 

Though  at the  time  the  player  was  on the  Texas Rangers  roster.  It  can  be  said  that  it shouldn’t  make this   situation any the   less  dire.  Rodriguez  for  his  part  has  been  more than  happy  to  make   himself   the   ever  so  likeable  commodity   as  a  player  who’s   amenable  to  corporate  sponsors. Bearing  in  mind  also  the  player that  year  would    go  on  to  win  the  AL  MVP  award  for  that  season.   It  may  sullen  his   reputation  but  at the   same  time  it  points  to  the  nonsensical   farce  as  to  the  overall   policy  and  how  it  was  adopted  by  Major League  Baseball.  

 

 

 

Rodriguez  and  his  family   his  ex wife Cynthia  and  their  two  young daughters  in Miami  Beach , Fl .    picture appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Paul Robertson...........................
Rodriguez and his family , his ex wife Cynthia and their two young daughters leave a restaurant in Miami Beach , Fl . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Mark Robertson ........................

 

 

 Rodriguez and his family, his  ex  wife  Cynthia  and  his two  young  daughters in Miami Beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2004   Rodriguez  was  traded to  the  New York  Yankees  for  Yankees’  first  baseman  Alfonso  Soriano.   There  are  those  who  are  questioning  the  privacy  aspect of  this  all. And the  fact that  the   article   itself  was   researched  and  verified.  But  the  league   itself  and   the  pretentious   stance   that  it   has   taken  with  the  issue.    Sealed  or not   the  fact  of the  matter  is  that   had  they   dealt   with  this   very   issue   with  some   expediency  rather   than   being  complicit   in   much  of  the  subterfuge   that  has  taken  place.  Then  perhaps  we’d  not  be  in a  situation where  at almost  every  turn  we’re   now   questioning  the   statistics   of  many  of  the  players  in  the  game.   The  league  has  its   policy  in  place and   several  players   have   received   the  mandatory   50  game  ban  for  a  first   transgression.  But  simply   put  though  the  numbers  are   down   the  suspicion  is  still   there   that   players   are  still   using   some  form  of  an    a  banned  substance.  And  no  matter   how   ,much  testing  is  being  done  and  the  voraciousness  of  it all.  It   really   has  done   very   little   to stem  the   tide  of   suspicion  allround.

 

 

 

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