Category: MLBPA

Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?


Better The Devil You Know Than The One You Don’t Or Is It ?

Better the devil you know than the one you don’t….. they say and in many ways that might just be true. Given the fact that we’re now seeing a great deal of unrest within the NFL and quite possibly the NBA in its imminent future . I’ve got say that I’m completely surprised with the ease at which MLB is now transitioning itself from Spring Training to the commencement of its regular season on the 31st March , 2011 . I suppose we’ve all got to grateful and thankful for MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the somewhat smooth transition for the situation ?

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Slide show for your perusal.

We’ve all seen for ourselves the unrest now taking place between the NFL and the game’s players represented by the NFLPA . And with there now being a league enforced work stoppage and the impending litigation process to take place within the US Federal Court System it has me wondering where are the current leaders of tomorrow for the respective sports that we’ve all in some ways either come to love or hate ? NBA Commissioner David Stern has been in place the NBA’ commissioner for twenty five years and having come from a legal background as a lawyer it’d be only natural to think that any successor to Stern might from within the league’s own hierarchy or a prominent lawyer from inside the beltway with known connections to Stern and quite possibly members up on Capitol Hill. That was most certainly the case with Roger Goodell when he succeeded Paul Tagliabue as NFL Commissioner. Goodell and the league NFL President and present Chief legal counsel Jeff Pash are protege`s of Tagliabue while he was commissioner of the NFL and also when he was first a practicing lawyer with the law firm Covington &Burling LLP . Tagliabue a founding partner in the firm has since returned to his old stomping ground to practice law on a somewhat limited basis with the firm.

Goodell for his part after his initial first two years in office he now seems to have hit a brick wall in his dealings with the union and in doing so he’s coming across as something of a bumbling idiot whereas his opposite number with the NFLPA , Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has been able to articulate the union's points with clear clarification leaving no one with any doubt that they’re not the culprits here but it’s the league and the owners who are trying to paint a very different picture of the stance being taken by the players. Personally I’m not about to take sides on the issue , except to say that the childlike immaturity that has been shown by those sides during the negotiations borders on being downright infantile and totally below anything I’d have expected from either party ! But that’s what tends to happen when you have a bunch of multi-millionaire players and multi-billionaire owners fighting like rabid dogs over the scraps left at the dinner table. Only the scraps isn’t in fact leftovers from a meal but how to split $ 9 billion ($ 9,000,000,000) evenly amongst the two sides . Have you ever seen or heard anything so ridiculous in all of your life ?

Now when it comes to David Stern you either love him or hate him . He’s something of a chameleon as to the way he wants to be perceived by the fans and public alike and when it comes to the photo-op whereby he can even outshine the elite players within the NBA , let’s just say that is when the commissioner is at his very best it’s very difficult to actually ignore him . Twenty five years as commissioner of the league has seen expansion , as to the number of the teams within the NBA and the gross revenues of the league as business concern. And that could not have been done without the ascension of Michael Jordan and his becoming the face of the NBA globally and still being a marketing phenomenon to this day even after his retirement almost a decade ago . The league hierarchy under Stern’s tenure has shaped the league and its brand not just domestically but also on a global scale . And it might just be next to soccer the most popular sport on the planet and that is with due respect to baseball .

From a league whose revenues could be counted in the tens of millions each year____ the NBA is now a $4.5 billion —- $6 billion ($4,500,000,000 —- $6,000,000,000) a year enterprise that is still growing globally but if anything it may well have hit its saturation point within the North American market. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that even with introduction of the D League or Development League as it is more commonly known , David Stern has hinted that he’d some day like to see an expansion franchise outside North America , either in Europe or South America. Pardon me , for saying this but as popular as the sport may well be , and the fact that the league though headquartered in New York City , any thought of adding a franchise in either of the two regions mentioned would not only prove costly but somewhat of a gamble on the part of the NBA. Both Europe and South America already have an established presence of professional leagues and teams albeit that the players there see the NBA as their envy and a professional wish to play in the most competitive and athletic league on the planet. But the risks for them don’t outweigh the rewards whereas for the NBA that would clearly be the case in setting up a fledgling franchise anywhere around the globe. And what the NBA hierarchy may not have also taken into account is that soccer as such is very much the predominant pastime of many sport’s fans within the regions mentioned. As I alluded to earlier the risks outweigh the advantages and with there being a great deal at stake monetarily any plan put into operation would have to thought out and enacted.

We saw the death knell given to the NFL’s decade plus long experiment in Europe with NFL Europe, which is said to have cost the league in excess of $100 million and at the end of the day it simply had nothing at all tangible to show for it. Remarkably though the NBA hasn’t set its sights that high but what it has done is to have offices in Europe , the Far East , and in South America, working in conjunction with numerous partners in those regions to get the game more widely accepted and established. Is it any wonder during the Beijing Olympics Team USA was the talk and toast of the town as its litany of NBA stars were accepted by the masses and wherein audiences for their games during the tournament were in front of sold-out crowds ? Albeit that the NBA worked in conjunction with USA Basketball and the association’s director Jerry Colangelo to establish a real presence and resurrect the appeal of the team after their most recent disappointments on the international stage competitively.

Perhaps it’s too early to talk about David Stern stepping down as NBA Commissioner and though he hasn’t stated when he’s likely to step down from the position as the game’s highest ranking official. It has to be said that he hasn’t groomed an heir apparent nor has he suggested who he’d like to see succeed him in that office. I’d dare say that’d be a decision left to the owners within the league who will likely search for someone with a similar vain to succeed Stern at the time he chooses to step down. From my own perspective while I’ve admired David Stern’s business acumen I’ve got admit I do not admire his autocratic style of running the NBA . Granted , he’s made the league a great deal of money over the years but at the same time he’s made a number of mistakes that at one time or another have come back to bite the league in the proverbial ass, much to the annoyance of the fans and the journalists who cover the NBA. His adoption of a code of conduct and dress code was one of the many things he’s done right but at the same time he stooped to the lowest common denominator in trying to make the league on appearance seem ethnic in terms of marketing it to a wider demographic , particularly amongst young African American males and other ethnic minorities. It may well have been one of the biggest faux-pas on Stern’s part during his tenure. And his intransigence in not wanting to adopt a much sterner drug policy within the league while all the while trying to use the league’s selling point that at the time it had one of the sternest testing policies within all of major sports. Players weren’t being tested for marijuana , but were being tested for certain opiates, iliecit narcotics and steroids. Do I need to go any further with this ? Or is it plain to see who held the upper hand with regard to that specific issue ? It …… certainly wasn’t Stern or the owners ! The players obviously balked at that idea and may have made their feelings felt through the their union the NBPA and their Executive Director Billy Hunter

Then you also had the image policy as it related to the players’ conduct. The very fact that David Stern has been so inconsistent there as to the punishment at times meted out , that it certainly had me believing that not unlike the NCAA and its own idiotic policies as it relates to meting out what’s deemed appropriate punishment , here too the NBA picks and chooses who they necessarily want to make an example of as a deterrent to others. And perhaps another of Stern’s biggest flaw is the fact that he believes implicitly in the officials who officiate the games in the regular and NBA postseason. As we’ve all seen over the years their mistakes during and in the postseason have become not merely a talking point amongst the fans but a complete embarrassment to the league when it’s clear that they’ve done an abysmal job of officiating a game. Stern simply cannot accept that they are flawed individuals in terms of their on-court performances and any public criticism of the officials is often followed with a hefty financial punishment of the critic in question. .

Should the NBA commissioner choose to step down in the imminent future then I’d like for the person who succeeds him to use due diligence when it comes to all matters and simply not laud of the league as if it were their own personal fiefdom . That clearly has been the case with David Stern as he ruled the NBA , where from his early days of running the league , as he saw his influence grow and the money that was to be made he certainly made sure nothing stood in his way even if it meant having to turn a once trusted ally into an enemy. There may well be a number people around the league who’ve a great deal of admiration for the commissioner and many of them may well have some very flattering and reverential things to say about him . But I can only assume that neither Mark Cuban or Stan Van Gundy would be atop of that list in their view of Stern as an executive who’s said to be impartial.

Of all the high ranking officials within the four major sports I don’t know if anyone has alienated and has been more disliked by the fans than Bud Selig. From interim commissioner to now having held the position full time , Selig has managed to assume the role of class clown and idiot without ever having to bar an eyelid . It was if he were in character right from the start. And the very fact that he was once a team owner before succeeding Faye Vincent has me believing that the owners didn’t really cast their net all that far or wide in looking for a successor . All they seemingly wanted was someone who’d be at their beck and call as and when needed _ and who would try to put the Players’ Union (MLBPA) in its place. Which is akin to saying that we’ll hand a child a box of matches and see what happens next . You simply know that no good can from those actions.

As many of you know I think that Bud Selig is to baseball what the Congress , Senate and present administration are to the economic health of this country ……….. a complete and utter failure when it comes to dealing with its most inherent and acute issues. Selig for his part along with league hierarchy , owners and the union were complicit in covering up the steroid issue , and that’s even light of the statements made by Jose Canseco and the subsequent book published by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (co authors of Book of Shadows) . As I said at the time when those 105 names came up on the list of then alleged steroid users and the fact that the union and hierarchy were under the impression that the list once in their possession would be destroyed as they were essentially were the ones who requested the testing of the players. Instead they chose to retain those records and when supoenaed by the Justice Department cried foul as the agency used that information to try and make its still ongoing case against Barry Bonds . At what point does the idiocy stop with Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy and common sense begin to set in and prevail ?

Beyond the steroid issue and the very fact that as a financial concern the game of baseball has some major imbalances that it seemingly doesn’t know how to handle or that they may well choose not to out of sheer ignorance. It’s extremely hard to envisage how the MLB commissioner can repeatedly state that the game is in a very healthy state when for years it has had to assist many of its small market teams merely stay afloat from a financial standpoint . In his almost two decades of holding the game’s highest executive position Bud Selig has brought being a simpleton and an idiot to an art form that could be only admired by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were they alive !

Not only content with that issue Selig also looks to enforce his will on a team such as the Tampa Bay Rays by suggesting that they will never be able to stage an MLB All Star Game unless they have a new stadium built . But at no time has he or anyone within the game’s hierarchy come to their assistance in dealing with the politicians within the community at the municipal or state level to provide any type of input that would be of benefit to the organization and its owner Stuart Sternberg . Not only that Selig has also made a point of now pushing the issue to where it has now become something of an all consuming battle between the city of St Petersburg where the team resides at Tropicana Field and the organization (front office) itself. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel on this issue but and Selig continues to keep fanning the flames that has provided the discontent between the two factions on the matter.

What might be even more surprising in the midst of this all , while many teams within the league are suffering financially , the commissioner has been so well compensated over the last four years that he’d prove to be the envy of any senior banking executive on Wall Street. From 2006 to 2009 , Bud Selig earned in excess of $65 million accumulative in that span and it begs the question if he’s earning that much then why all the furor by St Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa belly aching over the team’s slugger Albert Pujols wanting to be well compensated for his productivity and what he means to the team and organization ?

It’s from the sublime to the ridiculous in all things related to Bud Selig and the game of baseball . Many have suggested that by initiating the wildcard system within the game it made it all the more suspenseful in terms of the postseason. And with the added incentive that whomever won the All Star Game between the AL and NL would gain home-field advantage throughout the postseason . True enough , that has been the case but all of that pales into comparison with Bud Selig’s inconsistencies and decision making on so many levels in terms where has gone wrong with many issues concerning the game . The negatives have far outweighed the positives in my belief and will continue to do so until he actually steps down from his role as commissioner.

The decision making as and when it starts prior to Bud Selig’s departure as to the list of candidates quite possibly interviewing for the position and then assuming the role may well be not necessarily a large one . But I’d like to think that whoever is chosen will be a vast improvement upon the present incumbent .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

At the time of either Bud Selig and David Stern stepping down from their respective positions do you believe that of their legacies will be well respected in terms of their overall achievements ? Or do you feel that the sooner their departure the better off both sports will be , no matter who assumes their roles as the respective commissioners of MLB and the NBA ? Merely leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece.

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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Picture and slide show details .
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(1) Commissioners Of Major Sport Leagues Attend Hearing On Capitol Hill L-R) National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, National Football League Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw,(now deceased – succeeded by DeMaurice Smith) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, Major League Baseball Player Association Executive Director Donald Fehr (who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA ) and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig testify before the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee, National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency. Chip Smodoville /Getty Images North America ……….

(2) Team representative Tommy Losorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig speak during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. Mike Stobe /Getty Images North America ……

(3) John Wall of Kentucky stands with NBA Commissioner David Stern after being drafted with the first pick by the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden on June 24, 2010 in New York City. Al Bello /Getty Images ………..

(4) (L-R) Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonell, Sports Illustrated Writer Tom Verducci and Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig attend the 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Celebration at The IAC Building on December 1, 2009 in New York City. Theo Wargo / Getty Images North America ……………

(5) Stern presents Michael Jordan with the 1991-92 MVP award in Chicago, MJ’s third of the five league MVP awards he’d win over the course of his career . Nathaniel S Butler Getty Images ……….

(6) Jeff Pash (background), NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel, left, and Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, leave after negotiations with the NFL Players Association involving a federal mediator in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2011. AP Photo/ Alex Brandon …..

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Do participate in the above listed poll by placing a vote as you see fit .

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If It Acts Like A Drunk And Smells Like A Dog ……….. Then It Has To Be A Drunk !


If It Acts Like A Drunk And Smells Like A Dog ……….. Then It Has To Be A Drunk

It appears that the Detroit Tigers problems continue to no avail with their All Star —– Miguel Cabrera and his off the field antics. Cabrera having charged with DUI and domestic violence underwent rehab and was welcomed back within the Tigers’ organization . Coach Jim Leyland and team GM Dave Dombrowski have mustered all the strength that they have not to have the player traded away but given the stakes involved they thought it more prudent to retain the player whose statistics within the league have been amongst the very best in (MLB) ( baseball) over the last five years .

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Slide show for your perusal.

It goes without saying that the Detroit Tigers have been something of a disappointment in recent years within the AL Central having to compete against the Minnesota Twins , Chicago White Sox , and Cleveland Indians . But it has been the fact that this Tigers’ team has shown remarkable inconsistency in not competing as many believe that they can . Team owner Michael Illitch long ambitious as an owner having won multiple Stanley Cups with perhaps the NHL’s most heralded sport’s franchise the Detroit Red Wings . Illitch wants to win and win big because it has now become an anathema to this business entrepreneur . With the Tigers not having won a World Series under Leyland’s career it has to be said that the team has become something of a major disappointment to the fans in attendance at Comerica Park who’ve longed wait to see another title come to this heralded ballclub .

Miguel Cabrera for his part is now under even closer public scrutiny with a second indictment having just been adjoined to his record . Driving in Southern Florida recently the player was stopped by a law enforcement officer believing he’d been driving under the influence and excessive speeding on a major Florida highway. The player failed a field sobriety test and it is believed that he blew a .014 bac (blood alcohol content) (above the state legal level of .08) which break that state’s legal limit. The player had undergone rehab and anger management for his prior act with the assistance from the MLBPA (union) but it appears that Cabrera still can’t escape the fact that he has a problem and that is that he’s an acute alcoholic and in doing so he’s a detriment to his family and that of the Detroit Tigers’ organization . But in reality the real problem facing the organization is that beyond Miguel Carbera there isn’t really a great deal for which one could look admiringly at the team . They’ve tied their sails to the mast that is the first baseman and now they have a very serious image problem from a player who’s viewed as the face of the ballclub . And no amount of empathy sought can hide the fact that the player has now become a major distraction and a problem for not only Leyland’s coaching staff but also for the ambition of the organization as a whole .

Cabrera was signed to a seven year $119 million dollar contract for which he’s still owed $68 million and one seriously doubts that there’d be any takers by a team at this juncture, for a player who has an alcohol and anger management problem. As productive as Miguel Cabrera has proven to be over the course of his career he’s now become that while prolific in his professional life , he’s become a mindless and pathetic individual in his private life ! He’s a danger to himself , his wife , his kids and to the public . Had he be involved in a vehicular accident one simply wonders whether or not he’d have been willing to be held accountable for his actions ? Because that clearly wasn’t the case with NFL player Donte’ Stallworth and his vehicular accident where a pedestrian in South Florida on a crosswalk was killed while he’d (Stallworth) been driving under the influence (DUI- bac .014 —-marijuana ) and narcotics. The pedestrian a 51 year old maintenance worker with was killed on the crosswalk and where his body had been dragged some sixty feet after it had been hit by Stallworth’s $175,000 Diamler-Benz. And as we know the player served only a mere 24 day sentence in a Florida state prison in a plea agreement with Miami Dade County DA Katherine Fernandez-Rundle . The justice system has become skewered and a pale parody of what it’s meant to truly represent.

While I feel that the upcoming MLB season ought to be very thrilling for the fans in attendance. I’m hoping to see the season be a truly competitive one and also see whether or not the San Francisco Giants can prove last season’s triumph in the World Series wasn’t a fluke and that they can make a serious run at possibly successfully defending their title. This much I think that we can all agree upon the big money moves made by such teams as the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have been made the pre-emptive favorites for the game’s showcase event. No doubt New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman and the organization will be surely looking to make that envisaged scenario merely one that’s played out in the minds of the believers than that of reality.

The New York Yankees may well be hard pressed to even challenge the Red Sox within the AL East as they’re not considered favorably as a team to even win the division much less garner the wildcard berth within the AL.

The Detroit Tigers’ season will be predicated upon their pitching and off course their offense and how they respond throughout the season. Are they capable of competing successfully within the division as well as the rest of baseball remains to be seen . But I for one view this season as being more of a reclamation project not only for Mige Cabretra but also for that of the Tigers if they’re to be viewed a success. If that fails to happen then there’s liable to be a major upheaval within the organization initiated by GM Dave Dombrowski and team owner Michael Illitch. This much we do know for a ballclub that’s steeped in history this franchise has fallen on hard times struggling to maintain a sense of urgency and purpose . At the same time Miguel Cabrera has to prove to not only the Tigers’ fans but also fans of the game in general that that he’s simply not become a self absorbed player and constant drunk. He has to once again become the player we know him capable of being and leader of this team if the Tigers are to have any semblance of success this upcoming season.

As to what fate has in hand for the game of baseball this upcoming year one can only hope that the off the field issues that we’re now seeing within the NBA and NFL won’t be something that we’ll see within the game of baseball. The real problem the game faces is that it’s hierarchy , owners and the union (MLBPA) are completely oblivious as to the acute financial issues that the game now faces . Commissioner Bud Selig acts like an ostrich with his buried in the sand looking for the sun to shine on his proverbial ass . Unfortunately Selig’s intelligence much like everything else about him isn’t shown with the public statement he makes but with the sheer idiocy of his actions during his tenure as the game’s highest ranking official. And to think that he’s been compensated to the tune of in excess of $65 million over the last four years for a position that a chimpanzee could have filled ! Let’s just hope that the homosapiens out there aren’t offended by the statement but in reality I doubt that they’re not discouraged that they’ve been compared to an imbecile like Bud Selig .

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning Miguel Cabrera’s current situation and that of the Detroit Lions’ upcoming season ? Do you believe that this was a mere mistake by the player but merely his self indulgent and absorbed attitude that once again threatens his career ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this matter and any other that you feel that’s now pertinent to the game of baseball ? By all means chime in with your thoughts on the subject and as always thanks for the continued support !

Picture and slide show details .
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(1) Detroit Tigers general manager David Dombrowski speaks to reporters about Miguel Cabrera before a spring training baseball workout Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Lakeland, Fla. Dombrowski said Cabrera will not practice with the team until next week at the earliest. Cabrera was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving in Fort Pierce, about 110 miles southeast of Lakeland, where the Tigers hold spring training. AP Photo/David J. Phillip …………

(2) This undated photo provided by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office shows Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera after he was arrested on drunken driving charges late Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 in Florida. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office says the 27-year-old’s car engine was smoking alongside a road late Wednesday when a deputy spotted the vehicle. According to the arrest report, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy. Cabrera posted $1,350 bond and was released Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. AP Photo/St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office ……

(3) Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera bats against the Cleveland Indians in a baseball game Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan ……….

(4) LAKELAND, FL Manager of the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 21, 2011 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images ……..

(5) Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch (left) is seen here with team GM Dave Dombrowski at Comerica Park , Detroit , Michigan at a convened press conference at the team’s headquarters . Detroit Free Press ………..

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Alan aka tophatal ……………….

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Eye candy ………………… Ali aka Amazin’ Amie

Ali Milan I think she’s liable to pack an amazin’ wallop if you can get her to play with your balls !

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Anthony Hamilton ………………………….. “Do You Feel Me “
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Fallout ….. Baseball Is It Really What It Should Be ?


Fallout    Baseball     Is  It   Really  What  It  Should  Be  ?

I’m    not  so   sure  that the AL   East  will  end  the  way  that  many  of  us   expected   and  with  there  being  a thrilling outcome  to what  has  been  an  exciting season  in  some  respects. The  New  York Yankees  have  literally played themselves  back  into  contention and   appear  to  be less  than  six  games  away  from  winning  another AL  East  title. For their  part the  Tampa Bay Rays  have given  all  that they   possess but   now seem to  falling   short  of what their fans expected.  Albeit that manager  Joe Maddon  has done his  utmost with this team their flaws have arisen at a time when so much had been expected.This was the year when the Tampa  Bay Rays had been expected to challenge the supremacy and   dominance  of the  New York Yankees. And from a  financial standpoint now more than  ever the  Rays need to  be seen as a perennial contender. Granted, their   precarious   situation   hasn’t  been helped   by the  backbiting and infantile  behavior of  the   local  politicians  and  that  of the Rays’   front  office .  Is  it  any  wonder  when   one  looks  across  the  spectrum  of  Major  League  Baseball (MLB) and  that  of  the owners  and  the  commissioner’s  office   you   get   a sense  that  the   game  is  being  ran  by  a  bunch  of imbeciles .  Where else  can you  get a   group  of  executives  and  owners   fawning  over  a  commissioner  who  has  been as  much   use   to  the  game  than   a  five  inch   gaping  whole  would  be at  the   bottom  of   a  bucket  filled  with  water.

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Slide-show for your perusal.
Commissioner Bud Selig has been the 1,000lb gorilla in the room bringing  mayhem to the the game. Now if there was a way with  which things could  change for the better then it’s knowing  that Bud Selig will be stepping  down in  his role as  commissioner. That if anything  has  to a  blessing  to the true  baseball  fans out  there. Unfortunately  however   amongst  the   archaic  presence of the   owners  and  than  their  belief that  having  a  commissioner  whose only  purpose  is  to   serve  them  then  it clearly shows  how out of touch   they have   been and  the   ever  changing   environment  of  the  baseball  landscape. From a  business standpoint  that baseball  is in a   severe  financial  mess. At  least three  quarters  of  the  league’s  thirty teams   are struggling  to  make ends  meet  from  a financial  standpoint.  And  were it  not  for the tax sharing  revenue scheme  instigated by   Selig’s  office  we’d  now   be  seeing  several  teams  around  the  league  fighting  to  stave off   bankruptcy.  Who amongst   you   knew  that  the   Chicago  Cubs  was   placed   into  bankruptcy   by   its  former  owner  billionaire  Sam  Zell  in  order to stave  off  financial   ruin  ?   And   now  that  the  team  has  been  sold  to  the   Ricketts’  family   we’re seeing  that the woes   that has  been the  Cubs’ mantra  still exists.    Lou  Piniella   is  no  longer  the  team  manager  and  the  players   do not  seem to  be  playing  with a  passion  much  less  with  any  pride.   And for  the   woeful  fans  who  for  each  home series attend  Wrigley Field  to watch  this  team  play  they   can’t  be   entirely  happy  witnessing  the   mess on  the   field   who’ve  got  to  watch  this  idiocy.

The Los  Angeles  Dodgers are   in  the  midst  of  an   acrimonious  ownership  struggle wherein  owners Frank  and  Jamie McCourt  are  laying  out their private lives on display for  all to  savor,  the mess  that  comes with a divorce that has all the  ingredients  of  a soap  opera.  Never mind  the fact that there  too  manager  Joe  Torre   has sought to   walk  away  from  the   organization  rather  than  deal  with a  team  that  has  no wish  to  play   with  a  zeal or  passion.  Tell  me  how in God’s  name this team  was going to  contend in  the  NL West  given  the  fact  that  the  players   have no  stomach for a fight ?  GM Ned Colletti is no  closer to  making  this   team a  competitor than  Mitt  Romney’s  chances were  in  winning  the GOP nomination  for the Presidency in  2004. Now  in  the  midst  of   a  downward  spiral  that   appears  to have no end in sight  and  the  fans   at   Chavez Revine (Dodgers’ Stadium)  must be  wondering  what  the  hell  is going  on ?    Personally  I  look  at  the  saga as  if  it  were  simply  just another   Hollywood   script  that the  writers  couldn’t  have   scripted  any  better themselves.  There  seems  to  be   everything  happening  with  the   Dodgers  as  a  team  other  than the  fact  that  they’re  not  winning. And  if  you’d  ask  anyone  to  try  and  explain  the  malaise  behind  the   team  I  doubt  that   one  would  be  able   to  get a  succinct   answer   from  any  baseball  analyst  or pundit  much  less the   fans  themselves.  The   Dodgers have  become  a  paradigm   of unending    ineptitude  both  on  and  off  the   field.

Now as the   closing  weeks  of  the  regular season   is   upon   us   many  of the  divisional  races  seem to be playing  themselves  out.  In   some  cases it’s  all  over  bar the  shouting  as  the   Cincinnati  Reds seem  to  be  well  on their  way  to   winning  that particular race (NL Central).   In  the  NL  East  it looks as  if the  Philadelphia  Phillies  will  make  a  successful   defense  their   divisional  title  albeit  at the  expense of  Bobby  Cox’s  farewell  parade after the  monumental   success  he achieved  with  the  Atlanta Braves.  Cox  led the  team  with a  great  deal of  pride  and  dignity as  he  sought  to make  this  his  last   season  within major  league  baseball.

Now  for  all of  the   furor  over the  AL  West  I’ve  got to  ask myself   what  must  Mike Sciocsia  and  the   Los  Angeles Angels __ front office   be  thinking  ?  Having   released   hard  hitting  outfielder  Vladimir  Guerrero  who would  then find  a  home  with  the  Texas Rangers.  And  the Rangers seem to be  on  the  cusp of winning the division and   making  it  something  of  an   inspiring season for the  new  ownership of  the  Rangers  led  by Chuck Greenberg  and former baseball great Nolan Ryan.  As  to  how the   Rangers   will  fare  in  the  postseason  remains to  be  seen.

Pardon   me   for  saying this  but  how is  it  that the Minnesota  Twins can consistently year  in  and  year  out   play  with  such  abandonment ,  remain  competitive   but  yet  do so   on  budget  that  most major  sports   franchises   would   struggle  to survive? .  Clearly  the  front office of  the Twins  in conjunction  with  manager Ron Gardenhire  have  managed to acquire talent nurture it and see it  all  come to fruition with  the   team  now   on  the cusp of winning  another divisional title and   playing  themselves into  contention this postseason.  Don’t  be surprised by  the fact  this  team  now  has  the second best record  within  the   league(MLB). They’ve   played  with confidence  and a  great  deal of  maturity. And although  within their division  that  opposition was  posed by the  Detroit Tigers  and Chicago White Sox  haven’t been anything  near what  many had  expected them to be about. And the  Minnestoa Twins  have  been  all that  and  a  great deal  more throughout  much  of  the season.


As the regular season winds  down I  just  hope  that  the  postseason  will  have  something  to  offer  us all   and that  there’ll  be  as  much  excitement  there   for the   fans  to  be   happy  in seeing  !  If  nothing  else  we  can  but   hope that will  be  the  case. And  as   far  choosing  an  outright winner  of the  World  Series ,well  as  much as  the  New  York Yankees  are perceived  as  the   favorites to  win  it  all  merely  because of  their storied  history  and  the  fact that  they’re  the  reigning champions.  To my  mind as good  as  the  team  appears  to be  on  paper their   weakness appears to  be  with  their   pitching .  Beyond C C Sabathia and   Phil Hughes their  team’s  pitching  isn’t  an   imposing  one.  So  that in  of-itself  should   give  their opponents in the   postseason some  hope .  But I’m liable  to  believe that  the  Yankees  will   make it  all  the  way to the playoffs  but as to  how far they  go,will in part  rest  with  their   pitching. If that’s  not  up  to  scratch  then we are  liable  to  see  them  fall from  grace  for  all  of the  wrong   reasons.   And  as  talented  as  this   team  is  they’re still   an  offensive  threat   but  beyond   Sabathia, to   my  mind  this   team  can  be  something of a   Jekyll  & Hyde  !

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Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can see the picture in its original format.

Your  thoughts   if  any as  to  how you  see  the   remainder of  the  postseason   playing  out and  that  of  the  postseason  also  ?    Which   team  do  you  believe  will  have  what  it takes  for  the   long  haul of  the   postseason  and   raise   the World  Series   trophy   in   November  ?

😦

Alan    aka   tophatal 🙂 * 🙂

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Model & actress Olga Kurylenko