Tag: Florida Marlins

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 .


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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 …….


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And This Is Meant To Do What ?

And This Is Meant To Do What ?

Now it cannot have escaped most of you that a statue was erected to honor MLB Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig and his contributions to the sport of baseball. Now while I find this mildly amusing I also find it to be an absolute insult to the fans of the game and about as meaningful as suggesting that an statue ought to be erected to honor the deeds of Benedict Arnold . But I digress only the idiot team owners within baseball and in particular those within the front office of the Milwaukee Brewers could have been stupid enough to deem this to be a worthwhile gesture to a man who has done about as much for the game as Arnold did in trying to get the British to still remain as rulers of the US colonies . The life size statue erected outside Miller Park in Milwuakee will be a constant reminder to the fans there of what Selig supposedly meant to them as an owner. I’d can only hope that any pigeons other avian species flying within close proximity of the statue make a deposit of fecal matter upon Selig’s likeness in order to show how the vast majority of fans feel about the commissioner !


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Slide-show for your perusal .

While no one denies that Selig has brought about changes in the game the truth of the matter is other than his rather asinine steroid policy and that of the intoduction of the wildcard playoff system Selig’s legacy will be remembered as one of controversy and the mere fact that he has presided over one of the most corrupt enterprises that there now is in the country. Anyone who believes otherwise really needs to wake up and smell the damn coffee ! MLB may well be a multi-billion dollar business industry with its tentacles now reaching far beyond these shores as it seeks mass market appeal abroad . But what Selig , the hierarchy of the game and his own personal “inner circle” has been able to achieve while remaining far more secretive than anyone can imagine would suggest that cartels such as the Colombian , Mexican drug empires and their leaders could learn a great deal from the commissioner and his subordinates.

While not wanting to state the obvious but none of this could have been done without the able assistance of both the House of Representatives and Senate who each in their own way have made this all possible with the anti-trust exemption and the overly generous tax exemptions that the teams can attain courtesy of the House Oversight Committee and of the House Ways And Means Committe ____ the latter who oversees and writes many of the tax laws which has in many ways created the tax loopholes that they now would decry because revenues to the IRS are said to be on the decline . Well who’d have thought that when these idiots were the ones who continuously find ways to rewrite and finagle the laws that now stretch to several thousand pages and which has as much legalese terms that would befuddle a tenured law professor ?

Now while accolades and honors are bestowed upon individuals for their deeds to a certain cause. I find it somewhat galling that Selig should have this honor bestowed upon him but yet Pittsburgh Pirates’ great Roberto Clemente cannot have his baseball number retired or even a statuette placed in his honor at PNC Park ! Somehow things seem to be skewered here given the sacrifices made by the former baseball great but I guess Selig and his loyal band followers feel that he’s far more deserving of this honor than anything that they would feel is more appropriate for Clemente ? Oh the sheer and simple idiocy of it all ! But this is what baseball has become about ! Backslapping and glad handing those who aren’t really deserving of an honor but it’s done because , it’s meant to show that all is right with the game and for the sheer sake of the fans it’s meant to draw them in further.

Now if anything Selig will deem it a privilege and honor that this has been bestowed upon him but as I alluded to earlier I sincerely hope that a number of avian species will find their mark with aeronautic precision when they choose to deposit some fecal matter from their lower extremities . Think of it as a dog using a fire hydrant as its calling hard while it urinates on that actual being ? I trust that the janitorial staff there at Miller Park will be gainfully employed and well compensated for their time when it comes to cleaning up that mess !

With recent leaked documents concerning the financial dealings of the Pirates —— Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays and the profits earned by of the ballclubs in question. We’ve yet to hear a public utterance from Selig or from anyone within commissioner’s office . It were as if they’d rather this all go away but as of now the shit has hit the proverbial fan and the fallout from this all that present seems to be minuscule . It could well lead to a number of questions being asked of the teams around Major League Baseball and how many of them truly derive of their profits . It is becoming increasingly clear that much of that isn’t from standard operational business practices but more out of creative accounting and the monies given to the so called small market teams whose goal it is to bolster their rosters as mandated by the commissioner’s office. If any of the belief that this has actually been happening then one simply has to look at what has transpired within the Marlins and Pirates’ organization and the backtracking that has taken place by the respective owners of those two teams. Both Robert Nutting and Jeffrey Loria have been recluctant to answer questions head that have been posed to them on . But what might be even more exacerbating has been the stance taken by Selig , himself. No sense of consternation or of him being actually peturbed by this all, as he has simply looked the other way and the other owners around the league have remained ominously silent about it all. One gets the impression that they actually couldn’t give a shit at all as they know that they have the pocket books of the fans to fall back on as a way and means of recouping that money. And that clearly will be the action taken by the big market teams who bear the burden of the tax that they’re assessed in order that the small market teams can survive.

The fact that Selig is being honored in such a way is rather asinine ! But one can simply view it as showing how really out of touch with reality that the game of baseball really is. Instead of dealing with the real issues within its sport , Selig , the owners and the players but perhaps even more so the MLBPA (union) led by Michael Weiner would rather portray themselves that the sport that the nation became so enamored with and where its history is littered with heroic feats by legends whose names have become synonymous not just with the sport but also with the fabric of society. And unfortunately for us this gesture is meaningless and simply shows once again the values espoused are cheap and trite . Under Selig’s tenure the game has become a joke wherein it is now the fans that are having to bear the brunt of the stupidity and the larcenous fraud that has been perpetrated upon us all. Anyone who believes otherwise either has their head buried in the sand and is utterly too naive and stupid to complain.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do have one Selig receiving the honor of having a statue placed outside Miller Park in his name ? Do you feel it is justified and warranted ? Bear in mind also that Selig has stated he doesn’t feel it necessary to retire Clemente’s number given the player’s philanthropy and the way in which he lost his life. If anyone is actually due such an honor in having a statue in his honor do you not believe that it should be Roberto Clemente ? Chime in with your thoughts on the matter and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !


Alan aka tophatal ……………………… ūüôā


Eva Mendes

Actress Eva Mendes . Keep the faith simply play with “the boys ” while ogling Eva .

Talk To Me Tell Me What It Is You Need ….It Can’t Be All About The Money

Talk  To  Me  Tell Me  What It  Is   You   Need………It  Can’t  Be All About  The Money……..

It seems  funny that  as  the  Major  League  Baseball  season  has  come  upon  us.  It  oughtn’t  to  surprise us  that  many  of the  teams  who’ve   made   a  big  splash  in the  free  agency  market  to  sign   in  some  cases  a marquee player. Those  players  in  particular  will  be  under  a    great  deal  of  pressure  to   justify  the   bounty  that they’re   being  paid.

A general  view  of  the festivities  before  the  game  between  the Philadelphia Phillies  and  Atlanta Braves  on Opening  Day if the  MLB  2009 season.
A general view of the festivities on Opening Day for the first game of the 2009 Major League Baseball season. The game in question was between the reigning World Series Champions the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. The home venue of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia brought about the start of the season . picture appears courtesyn of getty images/ Ezra Shaw ...........

The Philadelphia  Phillies start   off  the  defense  of  their  World  Series  title  with  a  game   against  the Atlanta  Braves.  The   Phillies  for their  part   are  looking  to be  the  first  team since  the New  York  Yankees in   1998 and  1999  to  successfully  defend  their  title. The  Yankees  would actually  go  on  to  win   a  third  consecutive  title  in 2000.  As  to whether  or  not  they  the  Phillies  will  be  able  to   do this  can  only  be  assessed   by  their   performance  on the  field  this  season  .  Most   certainly  their   All  Star  short-stop Jimmy  Rollins seems to  think   that  they’re  capable  of   doing  so.

Brett Myers  throws out the  first pitch of the game  against the  Braves'  Kelly  Johnson.
Brett Myers of the Phillies throws out the first pitch of the game to the Braves' Kelly Johnson. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ezra Shaw ...............

The New  York  Mets for their   part  with  the  additions  of J J Putz and Francisco Rodriguez and  now   veteran  stalwart Gary Sheffield make this  a  team  a  formidable   opponent.   On  both  sides  of the  ball  they’ve  got to be   considered  worthy of   being  mentioned  as  potential  contenders  for  the   World  Series.   However the   caveat   would   be  for  the   team  to overcome  their    near  end   season jitters  and  unraveling.   If they’re  able to  do  that  then  they   can   create  a rivalry  with the  Phillies   that’d  be  worthwhile  watching .

Braves'  starting  pitcher Derek Lowe on  Opening  Day  on the  mound  against  the  Philadelphia  Phillies.   picture appears  courtesy of  getty images/Ezra Shaw  ..............
Braves' starting pitcher Derek Lowe on te mound against the Philadelphia Phillies. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ezra Shaw ...............

And  with  the  NL East  seemingly  up  for  grabs   it  makes  this  upcoming  season  seem   somewhat  special.   The  AL East  as  a  division   may   appear to  be  where the  action  and   stories  will come  from .  But  I’d   like  to  think that  the division that  also   possesses  the Florida  Marlins and  the Washington  Nationals as  well  as  the  Braves. One  could   argue  that  here   within the  division  you’ve  got  some  very good  teams.  And  those  teams   may  well  elicit  a  great   deal  of  entertainment   for  their   respective  fans.


If We Build It They Will Come …………

If We Build It …..They Will Come ………

Field_of_Dreams”>‚ÄėField Of  Dreams ‚Äė starring
Kevin Costner , James  Earl  Jones and Amy  Madigan.    The Florida  Marlins finally  will   have  a  home  venue to  call  their   very  own.  Albeit  that  it  has  come  at  a  cost  and  the  expense  of having  to   work  extensively  to  gain  the   trust  of   the   city  of  Miami,   Miami  Dade  County  government  and  the  state   legislature.

H D Wayne Huizenga  former  owner  of  the  Florida  Marlins and now a minority  stake owner  in  the  Miami  Dolphins.
H DWayne Huizenga former owner of the Florida Marlins and a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matthew Sharpe .................

And   while  the  residents  of  the   county  and   the  city  of  Miami   in particular  might   feel  aghast   at   the  fact   in  these  dire   economic   times,  a professional   sports   franchise   will  be  obtaining  a    stadium.   It  can‚Äôt  have   escaped  their  notice   that   upon  the   franchise‚Äôs   inception    there   were   playing   in   the  Miami  Dolphins‚Äô  stadium .   That  being   said    the  ownership  carousel  that  has   taken  place   since  the  franchise‚Äôs  original  owner

H D Wayne  Huizenga hasn‚Äôt   exactly  been a  welcoming  one.    The present  owner   of  the  franchise was  able  to  obtain  the  franchise  with a  loan   from Major  League  Baseball (MLB) at   an  exceptionally   cheap   rate.  One    has  to   remember   also  that  he   basically   sold   the to  the   league   in  order   that   franchise  would   survive. Survive  ?   Well  the  franchise   was  buried   with   the  expediency  of  it    being  a  rotting   carcass.

Marlins'  owner  Jeffrey  Loria  was  originally an  owner  of  the  now   defunct  Montreal  Expos.
Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria was originally the owner of the now defunct Montreal Expos. Loria a world renowned art collector also owns several art galleries in North America. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Phillip Masters ........

The  Expos  were   cocooned   for   several    years   before   they    returned  to  competitive   play  within  the  league  in the  guise  of   the Washington  Nationals.   The   franchise  itself   at  present   in  the  midst  of   its  own  dilemma.   The   furor    now  surrounding   Nationals‚Äô  player  Esmailyn  Gonzalez  and   the   resignation  of  former  GM  Jim Bowden  and  that  of  his   Special Assistant   Jose  Rijo   leaves  the   franchise  in  the  midst  of   an  ongoing  investigation   by   the  FBI (Federal Bureau  of  Investigation).

As  to  the  Marlins  it  gives   them   the  sense  of  purpose  that   they  finally  sought.  In  knowing  that  they‚Äôll  finally  have  a  venue  to  call  their   very  own  and  play  within.   For  their   entire   existence  they‚Äôve  played  in a  venue  that   wasn‚Äôt  an  all   purpose   baseball  park .    Unlike   the   rest of  the  franchises   within  the  game.   And  it  certainly  hasn‚Äôt   helped  that  MLB  Commissioner   Bud Selig  has  done  to  make   demands   without   ever  having  been  able  to  come   up  with  a  solid   solution    for  the   franchise‚Äôs   ongoing   problems.   He‚Äôs  has  been  more   about   what  he   perceives   is  the  image  of  the   game   than   deal  with  many  of  the  underlying   issues   that  the  game   faces.     And  now we‚Äôll be   able  to  see  whether   or  not he  and   the  owners   will   have    the  acumen   and   insight  to  deal  with   the  possible   issues  the   game  now  faces  with   the  uncertainty of  the  economic  climate.

Mets' player  Carlos  Beltran  is  tagged  out stealing  second  base  by  Marlins' second  baseman   Dan  Uggla  for the  third  out  in  their  spring  training  game played  in  Port  St Lucie  ,Florida.
Mets' player Carlos Beltran is tagged out by Marlins' second baseman Dan Uggla in the spring training game played between the two teams in Port St Lucie Florida. The Mets would go on to defeat the Marlins 5-4. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Alex Bustamante ....................

It‚Äôs  almost  certain  that   certain  revenues   streams  will  be  down.    And  the  game‚Äôs  hierarchy  will  have  to  be  totally   reliant   on  the   goodwill  of their   most  loyal   corporate  sponsors  and  the  fans  most  of  all.  For  the  Marlins  this  presents  something   of  a  predicament. As  they‚Äôve   never  been  known  to have   a  hotbed   or   rabid   fans.  If  anything   the   fans  that‚Äôve   remained   loyal  to   the   franchise   have  been  the  ones  at  the  team‚Äôs  inception.    But   with   those   days   now   far  behind  them   it‚Äôs  been  a  struggle   for  the  franchise   to   have   an  adequate   and  active   fan base.  Rarely   is  there   more   than   15,000   in   attendances   for   a  home  game.    And  one   would   be   right  to  assume  that  the  franchise   is   one  of   the  least   supported  teams   in  terms   of    their   home  attendance .  It  also  paints   something    of  a   poor   picture   as  to  the  support   that   the   game  receives   from  the   fans   in  South  Florida.    The  Dolphins  has  and  will   always   hold   sway   within  the  tri   county  area  of   Broward  , Miami  Dade  and   Palm   Beach County.  But   yet  the  fans  turn   up  with  about   as  much   frequency   as  Halley‚Äôs comet.   It‚Äôs   indeed  a  sad   indictment   of   franchise   other   than   the  New  York  Yankees  and   Boston Red  Sox   have  been  the  only   franchise   in  the    game  to  have   won  multiple   World   Series   over  the  last   thirteen  years.