Things I’m Now Trying To Understand In The World Of Sports ……
Well for the last nineteen years I’ve been residing here in the United States as an honest law abiding expat resident . And during that time I’ve immersed myself within the social activities of the country and aligning myself to one or two of the sports franchises of the four major sports. Sadly , but not regretably I’ve no time for the wiles of NASCAR or the NHL ,which to my mind is like trying to understand what it is about Paris Hilton that makes her so fascinating to the paparazzo ! I mean which is it to be ? Has she a modicum of intelligence much less a God given talent ?
Recently , I divested myself of all interest in the Florida Marlins , simply out of the fact that the ownership group led by multi-billionaire Jeffrey Loria and his stepson Dave Sansom have simply sold and told the community of South Florida a bold face lie as to their financial well being . Not to be allay anyone else’s misgivings about this but I do feel that the MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the game’s hierarchy was fully aware as to what was going on and the fraud being perpetrated by the Marlins on its fans and that of the community at large. Whilst this has been going on you’d be hard pressed to find anyone coming out in support of the teams now pleading poverty as to their plight . Even these so called writers who are considered to be doyennes of the sport would rather not touch on the finances of major league baseball . As they’d rather not ran afoul of their paymaster and incur the wrath of Bud Selig . Well considering that the vast majority of them seemingly chose to ignore the stories emanating out of the locker rooms and clubhouses concerning the steroid era and the fact that they viewed as nothing more than an urban legend . I’d say right about now any baseball writer now trying to inform the public and fans in general about the financial health of the sport might as well be writing about a night out on the town with their drinking buddies.
Slide-show for your perusal .
The divsional races within the game is now heating up and a number of teams look as if they’re now falling by the wayside. One simply has to look at the fate of the St Louis Cardinals at present as their season seems to be now spiraling out of control . Losers of their last 6 of their last 10 games you’d be hard pressed to believe that they’re able to catch the Cincinatti Reds within the NL Central . And even with the inspired play of Albert Pujols and the pitching talents of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright but yet this team is unable to play with any great consistency over the past few weeks . And for manager Tony La Russa and his coaching staff this might just be the time for them to show their worth on the coaching front. I do believe that the Cardinals’ front office made a monumental mistake in lettting go of Ryan Ludwick via a trade to the San Diego Padres . But such decisions can end having one of two consequences …… it’s either a success or it can end up being a horrendous mistake. And given what we’ve seen of Ludwick’s contributions to the Padres and their ongoing success this season within NL West . One could surmise that Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak are now regretting the decision made to trade the former Cardinals’ player and the very fact that what Ludwick is now providing the Padres with, is now once of the desired traits that’s now lacking on this team. Timely hitting and getting runners into scoring positions but it’d be remiss to think that is the only area where the Cardinals are coming up short. The team’s bullpen is a mess and but for the frontline presence of Carpenter , Pujols and Wainwright there wouldn’t be anything at all for the team to strive for at this juncture.
If your team has a $134 million payroll you’d be better be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth from each of the parties involved . In the case of the New York Mets this season is once again proving to be a sad and disappointing one. And if one were to write an obituary on this team it could be best described as ” ……. here’s lies a team that bore no heart or competitive spirit” . And for team owner Fred Wilpon and the entire front office what they and the fans have had to witness this season has been nothing short of diabolical. Excuses can be made that the team has suffered numerous injuries throughout much of the season. But then again what is a roster there for if not to supplement the players there lost to injuries ? Team GM Omar Minaya and his able accomplice manager Jerry Manuel are now confined to making excuses for what has been a lackluster performance on their part also . If there’s a Laurel & Hardy duo to be found within the game of baseball then Manuel and Minaya would seem to be it. As to the fans who turn out repeatedly to witness the team’s play inside the resplendant Citi Field in Flushing New York for their home games. Anything witnessed within that multi-million dollar emporium built to the tune of $ 770 million certainly cannot be called baseball by any stretch of the imagination. The fans are being short changed not just by the team but by the entire ownership and the organization in general.
It’s extremely difficult to imagine how either Manuel or Minaya can survive beyond this season and still remain in their current positions. If that happens to be the case, then the Wilpon family have to be clearly out of touch with the feelings of the fans and patrons of the game . This isn’t just the case of changes needing to be made but the apparent intransigence of Minaya and Manuel in doing what is right. You’ve a roster of highly overpaid stars who in some cases are either past their prime or simply who just haven’t performed up to expectations. Never mind the fact that in Omar Minaya you have someone who is unwillling to admit to the fact that he’s made several horrendous personnel decisions that has bought about the team’s malaise in recent years. Then one can add to the off the field issues now facing the team wherein pitcher Johan Santana faces a civil suit for sexual battery and that of closer Francisco Rodriguez facing charges in the assault of his girlfriend’s father . And with the team now having placed the player on the unable to perform list in light of him having injured his thumb in a pitching accident . One could say that the comedy of errors of has not only happened off the field of play but also within the front office and far away from the field of play. As much slapstick as one could ever wish to see in a silent movie this is nothing compared to the idiocy of what has taken place this season with the New York Mets. Alas the only thing that the Mets are now said to running away from or towards is the mediocrity of their season and the fact that they now steer up at the likes of the Florida Marlins , Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves who’ve made the NL East something wortwhile to talk about. For the fans of the game the snickers have already begun, as it concerns the Mets as they probably no doubt view the organization as the East Coast’s version of the Chicago Cubs . And there too we’ve also seen the Cubs’ own self implosion and fall from grace . Both teams couldn’t eke out a win at this juncture if their very lives depended on it.
In his defiance to prove his innocence former baseball great Roger Clemens seems intent on dragging himself and anyone else who happpens to have been e a close associate of his down into the mud . Granted, his former trainer Brian McNamee comes across as a man for whom telling the truth seems to have been a constant struggle . But I have to ask myself if Clemens is allegedly getting a good deal of legal counseling who is the person who’s actually said to be giving it to him ? Clearly Clemens’ good friend and lead legal representative lawyer, Rusty Hardin while apparently being a noted attorney r in his home state of Texas _____ he must now realize that he and his client are playing amongst the big boys ? OK, as of late the Justice Department have been about as competent in their trial preparations and evidentiary hearings as the ensemble of the Keystone Cops chasing down the perpetrator of a crime . But why is it that this time around I get the feeling that both Clemens and Harden seem to have misjudged the weight of evidence that the government has against the defendant ? If they’re solely relying on the subpoeanaed testimony of both McNamee and Andy Pettite then clearly they’ve misjudged the preponderance of evidence in the hands of the prosecution. And should Clemens be found guilty on all six counts raning from perjury to obstruction of justice then he faces of a minimum of 15 months up to a maximum of 5 years in prison. Lying about one’s taxes or choosing to lie to a federal law enforcement office much less a convened committee of Congress members is about as serious as it can get , that’s taking into account that you haven’t committed felony homicide . There’s a great deal riding on this all apart from Clemens’ alleged honor. And honor as we’ve now come to find out has never been one of the hallowed principles of the sport of baseball. If anything honor along with integrity is no longer one of the prerequisites of the game .
Less we forget also but with the government having spent in excess of $15 million on the Barry Bonds’ trial and with them yet to have gained a verdict as to Bonds’ guilt or innocence. Is anyone under the impression that the Justice Department is about to fu_k up this case when it’s set to take place in April of 2011 ? US Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff are looking to make an example of both players . And with both cases set to take place at around the same time it is of course their most urgent wish is to obtain guilty verdicts on all counts. For Bonds it will be a reconvenence of what has already been something of a nonesensical trial as the prosecution’s biggest witness Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson chooses not to turn state’s evidence against Bonds in the case. So everything now rests on the statements made by Bonds to the federal law enforcement officers within the FBI and Justice Department . Chances are at this trial will be one of intrigue to those who are keen to follow the outcome of this all. From my perspective this is all one more needless wast of taxpayers’ monies for a situation that should’ve been left with the hierarchy of baseball. But unfortunately for the fans of the game there isn’t a person there to with a backbone who can adequately deal with a situation when called upon.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
Nineteen years to the day having arrived in the US I have to admit that though I’m the wiser for living here . I’m still at a loss as to how things can still be so utterly complex when it comes to dealing what to my mind are the simplest of issues , especially those within the field of sports. What if anything has you wondering what in the hell is going on within the field of sports at this juncture ? Simply leave a comment as you’d deem fit . From the English guy who has indeed acclimatized himself to his new found home and friends and once again thanks as always for the continued support !
Alan aka tophatal ………………… 🙂
Actress Kellita Smith . Cop a hold of this Nubian princess . Oh mama !