Tag: Texas Rangers

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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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 ?

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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 …………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(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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The 1,000lb Gorilla In The Room Still Remains The Pittsburgh Pirates …..


The 1,000lb Gorilla In The Room Still Remains The Pittsburgh Pirates …..

I’m not about try and verify the mess that we now know as the Pittsburgh Pirates and their decline into sheer ineptitude . This is a baseball franchise that hasn’t had a postseason berth or winning season in almost two decades . If that’s not an indication of the ballclub that doesn’t know how to win then I don’t know what is . PNC Ballpark home to the Pirates has essentially become a graveyard of sheer ineptitude and the mere fact that this team still has a core of brave and loyal fans remains not only a mystery to myself but I’d dare say the vast majority of baseball fans out there ! I find it hard to believe that each season fans are of the belief that the Pittsburgh Pirates willingly begin the season as lambs to the slaughter . Were this team incarcerated I’d dare say that the apt description for them would be that they’re about to become someone’s prison’s bitch !

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Remarkably team manager Clint Hurdle and his coaching staff believe that this season the team can compete quite successively within the NL Central . If that’s not enough team owner Bob Nutting with each passing moment makes the most asinine of statements concerning the team’s immediate future and past. As we know the Pirates are one of the teams with one of the lowest payrolls in all of baseball but that in of-itself hasn’t been the main problem as to the team’s misfortunes over the last decade. GM Neal Huntington’s idea of assembling a roster is not unlike watching a blind man trying discern differing colors on a paint board through a sense of touch and smell. Given his lack of success thus far ; I’d say he’d better off relying on a soothsayer or psychic for that matter !

As much as I believe that the Pirates are essentially part of the game’s existing fabric I personally don’t believe that they’re good for the game. It’s all but certain that you can’t count on it as fact that the Pittsburgh Pirates are assured of losing in excess of 85 to 95 games a season without fail and end up posting a sub .500 record in baseball. I mean that’s simply been their mantra over the last decade and then some and it’s not about to change anytime soon. What I’d like to know is why repeatedly fans within the game have to be subjected to this monstrosity each season with the Pittsburgh Pirates ? It’s not as if this team knows how to play much less play with any great zeal or passion. I’d long to know what MLB Commissioner Bud Selig thinks when teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates repeatedly show such ineptitude on the baseball diamond ? Perhaps the only other major professional sport’s franchise that has shown as much mediocrity in recent memory has been the NBA’s —- Los Angeles Clippers under the ownership of Donald Sterling .

As I alluded to earlier the Pirates will have to contend and compete within the NL Central and there they will have to face the St Louis Cardinals , Cincinnati Reds , Houston Astros , Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers . The division itself is competitive enough but it’s clear that the Pirates aren’t about to show that they’re anywhere competitive enough to even be in with a remote chance of competing with this division. And that has become the anathema of this mess within the game as we have owners who seemingly are only interested in being part of the fabric of baseball merely because of the financial inducements offered by the game in terms of its tax sharing revenue scheme which is primarily used to create the perception that there’s a balance between the small big market teams. In reality nothing could be further from the truth because there’s no way that the Pittsburgh Pirates can compete with the likes of the Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees , Texas Rangers , St Louis Cardinals or the Philadelphia Phillies . The teams mentioned are financial behemoths within the game of baseball which strangely enough not many people would as such believe that the Rangers would be considered such an organization.

Since the Texas Rangers were bought by a syndicate group led by Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg who’ve made it their goal of not only building a competitive team but also a financially sound organization. The Texas Rangers in spite of them not being able to retain Cliff Lee in the offseason, both Ryan and Greenberg made it their option to build a financial base that would avail the organization of all it needed to be and remain competitive . Apart from having several multi billionaire members on its board the team was able to obtain a multi billion broadcast contract ($3 billion [$ 3,000,000,000]) that will secure its short and long term financial future.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the Pittsburgh Pirates under the tenure of Bob Nutting and his willingness to succeed. He’s been to this organization what the US Congress and Senate has been to the economy , as they’ve literally buried their heads in the sand while all around them has simply failed. As we now see the likes of John Boehner and Harry Reid have seen fit to lay blame for the country’s woes elsewhere instead of looking at themselves in the mirror. Not unlike the stance that has been repeatedly taken by Bob Nutting and his partners within the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization . Nutting essentially has no business acumen nor does he know what the hell he’s doing when it comes to running a successful professional sports franchise . Anyone who believes that Bob Nutting has been good for the game of baseball much less the Pittsburgh Pirates really needs to pull that stick from up their ass , wake up and simply look at the mess the organization still remains in !

There are many fans out there who believe that the state of the game of baseball is indeed a healthy one but there’s absolutely nothing there that ought to lead anyone to believe that. Attendances are essentially down in comparison to a decade ago but albeit that for some teams that’s not necessarily the case as we’ve come to see that the vast majority of the baseball teams within the league are struggling simply to survive from a financial standpoint. Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy would simply like to point to the positives that there’s said to be within the game but in reality they are few and far between of what one might consider to be a success. It’s all being done with smoking mirrors and is liable to implode at some point in the future without there being much that Selig , himself will able to provide as an answer .

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

The impending future for the Pittsburgh Pirates might not seem all that bright at this juncture and though the team’s fans hold out hope that they can be a success this upcoming season I can’t really see this team being able to turn things around with any great resolve . Bob Nutting simply has proven to me that he’s not capable of running a concern such as the Pirates without showing any idea as to what he and boardroom of executives are said to be or have been doing since he assumed control of this team.

What thoughts if any do have concerning the Pirates and their immediate future and how do you view the 2011 season for the team from a competitive level ? Simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on the matter .

Picture and slide show details.
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(1) BRADENTON, FL Manager Clint Hurdle (13) of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 20, 2011 in Bradenton, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …….

(2) Pittsburgh Pirates non-roster invitee Josh Fields takes hits during spring training baseball practice, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, in Bradenton, Fla. AP Photo/Eric Gay ……..

(3) (3) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen prepares to run bases during spring training baseball practice, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011, in Bradenton, Fla. AP Photo/Eric Gay ……..

(4) Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talks with some of his players during spring training baseball practice, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, in Bradenton, Fla. AP Photo/Eric Gay …….

(5) Pirates’ senior partner Bob Nutting (left) is seen inset with team GM Neal Huntington (center) and manager Clint Hurdle just after the formal announcement of the manager’s hiring by the organization. AP Photo / Gene J . Puskar ………

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Pittsburgh Pirates’ front office

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PNC Ballpark

Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2011 schedule

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Alan aka tophatal ……………………………………

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Eye candy …………. Playboy model Corrie Loftin

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NB: Click here for the latest MLB news

MLB Important Dates for the upcoming season .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………… 🙂

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Keyshia-Dior

Eye candy ………. Keyshia Dior

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

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Honk If You’re Watching The World Series At Present ? Honk If You’d Rather Watch Paint Dry Or Have Sex Instead ?


Honk If You’re Watching The World Series At Present ? Honk If You’d Rather Watch Paint Dry Or Have Sex Instead ?

Well the ‘Fall Classic’ has started and baseball’s best two teams are left to fight it out in the best of seven game decider is now off to a rather pleasant start . The 2010 World Series presents us with pennant winners the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers . And already the series has presented us with a number of sub plotlines . Rangers’ catcher Bengie Molina has the chance to win a ring no matter the outcome of this series happens to be. Having started the season with the Giants the player was traded to the Rangers during the season . Rangers’ manager Ron Washington had something of a tumultuous season wherein it was a matter of faith as to whether or not the Rangers’ front office would stand by their manager after his admittance that he’d succumbed to substance abuse. Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels and team President Nolan Ryan chose to stand by their manager and there was wholehearted support for this stance by the entire Rangers’ team .

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Now perhaps the vast majority of fans might have preferred to have seen the New York Yankees make it to the World Series in their quest to win their 28th title . It has to be said that their fall from grace at the hands of the Rangers was not only a pleasant surprise but also a welcoming one as well. And when one considers that the Yankees’ team payroll as almost four times as much as their opponents in the ALCS it has to be said that frugality now seems to be the way in baseball (MLB) . The payrolls of both participants in this season’s World Series is a combined $155 million . Not overly exorbitant by any stretch of the imagination but had it been the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies as the participants here, then there would have been in almost $350 million worth of talent on display. That being said it’s not always about the talent on display but the desire and the will to win. And the usual bye product of it all one hopes is an exihilarating series .

With the National League (NL) having won home-field advantage throughout the series one could assume that this gives the Giants the advantage that Bruce Bochy and his team sought. Game one of the series proved to be prophetic as this Giants’ team would get off to a resounding start in defeating the Texas Rangers and their ace Cliff Lee ___ 11-7 . The match-up between Lee and the Giants’ Tim Lincecum was all that and more , way beyond what anyone could have imagined or have wished for.

Now it goes without saying that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league hierarchy hopes that not only are both venues AT&T Park , San Francisco and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington , Texas are filled to capacity. But also nationwide the television audience will be one that makes the event a ratings’ bonanza for Fox Televsion and the for the league as a whole. Steady declines in ballpark attendance and in television veiwership has left the game to an extent somewhat bereft of appeal. And it certainly hasn’t helped that the NFL is now in full swing and the apparent start of the NBA ____ season as well. It’s almost as if baseball suddenly becomes the ‘ugly duckling’ that no one has an apparent interest in or lusts for. This seems to be the one time of the year that the game really does have a problem resonating with the fans at large.

A World Series that proves to be a thrilling and excting one would no doubt lure the viewing public and fans to watch the series. The San Francisco Giants are making their first apperance in the World Series since 2002 where they would eventually fall to the Los Angeles Angels losing the series 4-2 . For the Texas Rangers this is their first appearance in the ‘Fall Classic’ and having undergone a change in ownerhsip this has all been a pleasant surprise not only for their long suffering fans but the ownership group led by Nolan Ryan and Charles ‘Chuck’ Greenberg. And given the fate of the organization prior its purchase by this syndicate group one ought to consider the Rangers an extremely lucky organization altogether. Their plight certainly wasn’t helped by the laissez-faire attitude of Bud Selig and his office as the team lay within bankruptcy proceedings and the intransigence being shown by then owner Tom Hicks . Now with a new ownership group in tow and their ambitions not merely being set with this lone appearance but in becoming a perennial contender for years to come it remains to be seen what the future holds for the Rangers at this juncture.

If game one proved to be a disappointment for the Rangers’ fans and the team as whole then game two would prove to be just as disastrous . It would pit pitchers Matt Cain against the Rangers’ C J Wilson and the resultant onslaught would once again be piled on by the Giants as they would overwhelm the Rangers 9-0 . If you thought the hole dug after game one was deep then one only has to look at the situation now that the Rangers face. Down 0-2 and with their offense and pitching now in a tailspin it’s hard to envisage how the they can now find their out this by erasing this series’ deficit and staving off defeat as the momentum has shifted towards the Giants. Had they split the series in San Francisco then one could conceivably say that they’d still be in with a chance. But the mere fact that the Rangers’ offense has been inconsistent and their bullpen seemingly in tatters Ron Washington and his coaching staff have a great deal of work ahead for them as they and the team try to get back on track before the series resumes at Rangers Ballpark on Saturday evening.

As this series unfolds it’ll be interesting to see how the television ratings pan out and the statements forthcoming from the league office. Quietly they have to be thinking to themselves what else needs to be done by them in order to lure the fans to the spectacle of the game and the value it provides in terms of entertainment. While overtures are being made to shorten the regular season and expand the number of playoff teams in the postseason. It has to be said that before any of this is done both the league hierarchy , team owners and the MLBPA (union) led by Michael Weiner will have to address many of the game’s underlying issues concerning the economic viability of the teams and their immediate future.

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

What thoughts if any do you have concering baseball’s regular season and as such were there any major disappointments as far as you were concerned ? Also how do you view the World Series as it now stands and do you see the Texas Rangers playing themselves back into contention ? Or do you now seeing the San Francisco Giants winning their first title and erasing the nightmare of 2002 ? Chime in with a comment on your thoughts .

NB : Links provided for the latest MLB news and views . Merely click on links below.

MLB News ……

MLB scoreboard …

San Francisco Giants’ roster

Texas Rangers’ roster

Teams’ postseason stats for the 2010 World Series.

😦 —- 🙂

Alan aka tophatal ……… 🙂

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Ophilia

Eye candy video vixen Ophilia

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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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

Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League


Image ? Image And A Self Conscious League

I found this story somewhat unbelievable when I’d heard that Detroit Lions’ President Tom Lewand has plead guilty to a DUI charge . Now far be it for me to suggest that it should just be the players that be held accountable for their actions both on and off the field of play. The image conscious NFL has been somewhat none compliant on this issue concerning the team executives . Had this been an NFL player pleading guilty to these serious charges then the story would be front and center with everyone opining on the matter. Instead it has been placed at the foot of the sports pages almost nowhere to be seen.

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Picture gallery for your perusal. Just click on a frame to view in its original format.

Courtesy of The Detroit News

Lions’ Tom Lewand apologizes for ‘very, very serious mistake’

By Tim Twentyman , The Detroit News

Roscommon, Mich. –Tom Lewand stood in front of 83rd District Court Judge Daniel L. Sutton in Roscommon on Friday and admitted his guilt.

Charged with driving under the influence June 25, the Lions president pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to six months of probation, received a $532 fine and will have to complete an “intensive” outpatient alcohol recovery program. He is also not allowed to consume alcohol while on probation.

If Lewand does not complete the program or violates probation, he could spend 60 days in jail, according to Sutton.

“I’d first like to thank Judge Sutton and prosecutor (Mark) Jernigan and Sheriff Stevenson for their professionalism and efficiency in dealing with this matter,” Lewand said afterward. “As I said before, I offer my complete apologies for my actions. I take full responsibility for them.

“I’m glad that this portion of those consequences for my actions is completed and I look forward to coming out of this a stronger and better person as a result of it.”

Lewand was stopped the night of June 25 by Roscommon County sheriff’s deputies on M-55 after deputies saw his Lincoln MKX moving erratically while exiting the Limberlost bar and restaurant near Houghton Lake.

Lewand failed a sobriety test, and when he refused to take a breathalyzer (PBT) test, he was handcuffed and arrested. The charge of failing to take a PBT test was dropped as part of the plea deal.

Lewand was in Houghton Lake attending the 30th annual Kolo Golf Outing, a charity event founded by Bob Kowalkowski, a former Lions offensive lineman who died last September.


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Commissioner Roger Goodell has been playing his cards close to his chest where no one can see them . And now when “the image” of the NFL is at its lowest up comes a story that would have most asking what the hell is going on ? An NFL executive being charged with drunk driving and the league itself has yet to issue a statement on the matter. Never mind that the Detroit Lions have not issued a statement on the matter but rather a curt apology from Lewand and that has been it. Why oh why am I not surprised by any of this at all ?

Call me crazy but now that the LeBron James’ saga is now over perhaps the most disappointed individuals are none other than the Cavaliers’ fans . But what I found most surprising was the fact that comedic actress Betty White had an opinion on the matter and the actress was very eloquent in her thoughts on the matter. White went so far as to suggest that she’d have spent the night with the young superstar if it was enough to entice him to remain with the team . Pardon me for saying but this might well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back as LeBron probably didn’t want it to get that the cause of him remaining in Cleveland was the fact that he bedded the octogenarian actress. Way to go LeBron , you missed out on a glorious opportunity but that being said could you have handled Betty to begin with ?

Hold unto your horses but the New York Yankees lost out on obtaining Seattle Mariners’ starting ace Cliff Lee . The two sides couldn’t agree on the compensation sought by the AL West team. And instead Lee will make his way to the Texas Rangers within the Mariner’ own division. As to the Yankees they may well now pursue other opportunities in terms of acquiring a starting pitcher to add their already burgeoning roster of pitchers. And it appears that team GM Brian Cashman won’t let this minor occurrence get in his way of strengthening the roster of this team. As good as they’ve been Cashman knows that nothing can be overlooked not when you’ve got both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays chasing you down within the division __(AL East) . Now when it’s all said and done the defending World Series champions would like to make another return to the postseason and thereby successfully defend their crown. Nothing less is expected from the organization where success is deemed the pinnacle and where “failure” is seen as not an option.

HBO the much vaulted cable network more widely known for its dramatic staple and first runs of box office success movies is also home to rather influential niche in the sport of boxing. Especially within the heavyweight division but recently the head of the sports programming Ross Greenburg has stated the cable network is no longer interested in televising fights within the heavyweight division as the public interest is no longer there. Now that statement should not come as a surprise to anyone with a keen interest in the sport. But given the lack of credibility within the division and wherein the two best heavyweights refuse to meet each other in an undisputed unification bout because of familial ties. This decision will have some serious ramifications for the sport as HBO and its parent company Time Warner are one of the primary sponsors of PPV. And without that to hang its hat on then the division and the various international governing bodies within the sport are at something of a loss. And for champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko the big paydays that they’re both no doubt looking for won’t be forthcoming, not unless they are prepared to fight each other in an undisputed title unification bout. The fighters , their managers and respective promoters have simply made a mockery of the division and the pretext that the problem as to the malaise within the division has nothing to do with them is a complete misnomer. As it has everything to do with and the diabolical situation within the heavyweight division.

The fact of the matter is that the division has not had an undisputed heavyweight champion since the retirement of the British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2004. And since then the championship has found itself in its various forms in the hands of the Ukrainian, Klitschko brothers. Ability wise , watching either brother fight is a rather mundane and at time painful experience . A tooth extraction without the use of anesthesia would be far less painful than watching either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko. And such is the scene of heavyweight boxing that there are no real credible opponents within the division and that’s with due respect to WBA champion David Haye .

Well known and legendary promoters Don King and Bob Arum once the most gregarious of showmen seem to be more interested in dividing the spoils between them in the lighter divisions. And for King this would be something of a come down given the stable of credible heavyweight fighters that he’s either managed or promoted over the years. And Bob Arum for his part , well his main concern is to create the buzz and promote what has been described as what will be the biggest fight in boxing . The proposed bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao promises to be that and a great deal more . But as of yet no concrete timetable has been set as to where the bout will be staged. This much we do know however , it will be by far the most anticipated and biggest grossing fight in history without a doubt. And the fight itself will be co-promoted by Top Rank Inc , Golden Boy Promotions Inc in conjunction with Mayweather’s own fledgling promotional company.

Everyone involved in that aspect of the bout will end up being a winner. At $49-95 per viewer and with an anticipated 2 million buys expected the gross via the sales only here in North America will top $100 million and when one takes into account the international interest that figure is liable to double without taking into account ticket sales and merchandising .

A $200 million grossing fight would be unimaginable but it is in the offing should this proposed bout take place. One would expect both fighters to be handsomely rewarded for their exploits and suffice to say that having fought then retirement could very well be beckoning for both fighters. With Pacquiao pursuing a political career in his native Philippines and Mayweather looking to cross over into the business side of the sport , boxing could very well face some lean times ahead.. Say what you will however much of this malaise within the sport has been brought about by the lack of authority from the various international governing bodies and their unwillingness to do what is inherently best for the sport.

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If sport is so much about its image then why is it a great deal of the time when there’s something inherently wrong , so why is it that the proper authorities are so slow to act ? The answer could well lie in the fact that those who are actually in power either have very little intelligence or they are for all sense purpose merely a puppet while it is the marionette who is indeed pulling the strings . Your thoughts on the topics raised in this piece are welcome and I will do my best to respond with a succinct and clear answer. Thanks as always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………… 🙂

Chris Brown ……….. feat’g Tyga & Kevin McCall …….. ” Deuces”

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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