The Games People Play ………….
Well here we are and the MLB season is beginning to find a rhythm and the teams themselves are certainly look to find their place. That being said the stories still encapsulating the game happens to be the fact that Bud Selig saw fit to have an independent controller J. Thomas Schieffer take over the day to day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Now I’m not one to question the mindset how any executive runs their business unless I see that there’s a great deal of ineptitude and gross negligence being shown. And that certainly has been the case with the ownership group led by team owner Frank McCourt . And as much as I hate to say this but GM Ned Colletti and Tommy LaSorda are either two of the biggest as_holes on the face of the planet or they suborned the idiocy shown by McCourt and his now infamous business dealings as it relates to the Los Angeles Dodgers . I’m sorry to say this but it appears that only worthwhile professional sport’s franchise within the city of Angels might just be the Los Angeles Lakers .
Slide show for your perusal .
The Dodgers are mired in debt the ownership appears to be absolutely clueless in terms of its business template . I’ve been told by one patron that the Dodgers have tangible assets and that’s said to be Dodgers’ Stadium and the prime real estate it sits on. Well considering the real estate prices have depreciated to below 2008 levels within the state prior to the economic downturn . That depreciation as an investment is long term and anyone of the belief that a creditor would be willing to sit around and wait until there’s an upturn in the economy before receiving the money it’s owed , then it’s abundantly clear that they’ll be in for a rude awakening . Granted , the financial institutions have about as much credibility nowadays as both legislative — chambers of the US Congress.
In the aftermath of this all Commissioner Bud Selig and game’s hierarchy have been completely oblivious as to what’s happening within their environment . I’ve said repeatedly that the MLB owners have been too self absorbed in their own worth rather than that of the financial stability and viability of the game . They’ve essentially have lived high on the hog and have been completely gullible with uber-agents such as Scott Boras simply simply corralling the general managers around the league and have them behaving like drooling dogs being lured with a bone when it comes to free agents come to the market . And one wonders why many of the teams are in such a mess ? If the teams are too gullible to realize that they’re on a part to ruination then whatever befalls them now and well into the future is of their own making.
A mere twenty games into the season and we’re seeing one or two surprises within the divisions The Cleveland Indians (13-8) sit atop of AL Central but within the division it appears that the Minnesota Twins have their own problems with the long term health issues of their All Star catcher Joe Mauer . Only last season the Twins made an eight year $184 million commitment to the player and since then he’s had two major knee surgeries , which could curtail the player’s career as a catcher with the team . My own thought , is that it’d be in the coach Ron Gardenhire’s best interest to have their most valuable asset playing in the outfield rather than continuing as a catcher. The torture on the player’s body and in particular his knees will be prone to recurring injuries and fatigue. And certainly that’s not a prospect that the Twins would want with Joe Mauer at this juncture . Jim Pohlad team CEO and the front office headed by GM Bill Smith certainly would not want to see Mauer’s career come to an abrupt end this early into his multi year , multi-million dollar contract , especially with there being so much invested their home grown talent.
The team itself seems to be struggling to make its presence felt within the AL Central where they’ve been a constant presence having repeatedly won the division with consummate ease over the past five years several times . In the midst of this all we’re now seeing the surprise resurgence of the Cleveland Indians . I know it’s early days yet but as things begin to pan out we may well see a completely different picture as the scenario plays itself out.
If ever there was a time to take a look at the NFL and ask what the hell is now going on ? Then now would be it , especially in light of the fact Judge Susan Nelson has now sided with the players in the mediation process. At the heart of it all has been the NFL owners’ wish to keep the larger part of the spoils in their treasure chest . However in the midst of this all we tend to forget that there’s a second trial taking place that was lodged independently by ten NFL players players challenging the league’s antitrust exemption status . Now while the verdict rendered paves the way back for players to return to the clubs the owners have stated that they intend to challenge Nelson’s verdict in US Appellate Court in pursuing a stay of the judgment . At this point I’m no longer prepared to ask how it all has come to this ? Because in retrospect seeing the mess that has been of both the league and the NFLPA’s making before they decertified and became a trade association . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith have been cordial in their press statements about the current situation . But it has been left to the owners such as Bios Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft and Jerry Richardson to express their feelings and how they see things panning out over the course of this upheaval that there has been within the NFL .
The NFL schedule for the upcoming year has already been made public and in lieu of that we now have the NFL Draft is set to commence on the 28th April , 2011, being staged Radio City Music Hall , in New York City , New York . The event iself will be televised by ESPN , so we can expect the on air analysis of Mel Kiper , Todd McShay , Chris Mortensen and John Clayton to provide us with their insight and one might say succinct analysis . Personally, from my own standpoint the NFL Draft won’t hold that much interest for me over the entire three days of its existence , 7 rounds and some 200 plus picks . They say the teams’ war rooms will be filled with the general managers and the respective coaches and their staff seeking to obtain that ‘diamond in the rough’ or ‘ pure talent . Let’s put it this way if a player is able to have an immediate impact in their rookie season then the GM and the respective coach will be viewed as a downright genius . But if that player should underachieve or in fact simply implode then he’ll be viewed as a horrendous dud !
Other than the specialist positions (running back , quarterback & wide receiver) the norm within the NFL seems to be that a player usually takes two to three seasons before they really come into their own and make it within the NFL. And granted for every Sam Bradford , Mark Sanchez , Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan there tends to be the overhyped gross misjudged talent such as JaMarcus Russell , Ryan Leaf and Tim Couch. Which in essence tells you all that you need to know and the less said about the players mentioned and the fact that they were viewed as can’t miss players in the NFL by none other than Mel Kiper gives little credence to that analyst’s prognostications and his so called insight.
As if the fallout from the Jim Tressel affair can’t get any worse we still have a number of overly enthusiastic but loyal Buckeyes’ fans coming to the beleaguered coach’s defense. Now suffice to say that because the school’s athletics program has taken an almighty hit there will be those who’ll say that the actions of Tressel have been no different than any of his peers within collegiate football and that of collegiate athletics altogether. Well if you count lying to the fans , the university president Dr. E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith as an endearing form of behavior then I can only surmise that what little credibility that Tressel has left if any , and those fans have left border on being likened to shit on the ground that someone has inadvertently stepped in or for that matter that the coach can no longer be seen as an individual , who can tell you the truth , without a lie following in quick pursuit. Much of the coach’s actions were countermanded by that of the players on the Buckeyes’ football team and the mere fact that Ohio State and for that matter the NCAA have all but given him a mere slap on the wrist along with an asinine minuscule suspension of several players on the football roster leads me to believe that the NCAA simply doesn’t want to be viewed as making an example of one of the numerous cash cows that provides it and the BCS with countless millions of dollars each season .
Collegiate athletics has become a monumental cash cow wherein it has been the university establishments that have profited from that financial gain rather than it actually being used to the benefit of the student athlete. There are some who still defend the NCAA and what it allegedly stands for but given the fact that esteemed body has been less than open its own dealings and its transparency or lack of it thereof actually continues to be a bligh upon its very reputation. NCAA President Mark Emmert is said to be now considering sanction for a stipend for all student athletes at the D1 level but in truth that is little more than window dressing on a situation that already has become so perverse and if anything corrupt in its actual being . Needless to say there has already been criticism from those within and outside the collegiate ranks for such a proposal . And that if anything should be enough of an indicator to the fans out there who find not only the NCAA to be corrupt but also those representing the various interested parties in seeing the status quo remain as it is .
This upcoming season the Buckeyes will no doubt be a force to be reckoned but I wonder how they might now be viewed in the eyes of the nation’s collegiate football fans given what we now know about the program and what is said to have taken place ? This much I do know I can no longer view Jim Tressel as a man with an ounce of integrity much less think of him as being even a great coach . Not when his stance originally was that he’d simply done nothing wrong even when evidence came to light that he lied to numerous officials within the university’s domain and in fact to the local and national press about many of the football program’s misdeeds and that of his own as well . Can or should this be an individual that a parent should entrust their child’s education and athletic well being to ? Especially in the case where honesty is no longer an integral part of that coach’s persona and somehow we’re meant to believe that Tressel will have learned something from all of this . I think not because if anything he’ll continue to carry on as he has always done even if it now under closer scrutiny by AD Gene Smith . As for university President E Gordon Gee his culpability in the midst of this all and his questioning of the right of non BCS conferences to be given the right to even appear in a major BCS Bowl game smacks of the sheer incompetence he’s actually shown in not keeping his own house in order it relates to school’s image and athletics’ program.
It may well come as a surprise that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff intends to sue the BCS and its associated partners in their alleged illegal monopoly within college football. That being said I would’ve thought that Shurtleff has more pressing issues to deal with within his own state . But it appears that isn’t the case as he looks to make a name for himself on the national stage. Had this been a collective effort on the part of a multiple number of states attorney’s generals then I would say that the suit would be taken more seriously nationwide. But the fact that the BCS is a damn near all too powerful body with many friends in Washington DC by way of the actions of its lobbyists in aiding members of the House and Senate , I do believe that Shurtleff’s endeavor and well meaningful actions will be all for nothing . This action will have about as much success as that of all of the previous such suits that have taken place . If Texas representative Rep. Joe Barton ( Rep-Tex) had little success in drawing up a bill to challenge the BCS’ power and its antitrust exemption status then what are the chances do you believe that Shurtleff as an attorney general will actually have anymore success in pressing ahead with this lawsuit within the US Federal Court System ?
It goes without saying that any legal proceeding along this avenue will take time given the fact that a presiding judge would be willing to hear the case with both sides preparing their arguments . However at the end of it all I seriously doubt that anything will actually change because of the mere fact that the power of the BCS and the spread of its tentacles are so vast . This might as well be looked at as an exercise in futility if nothing else as the BCS and NCAA has no real proclivity to clean up the image of collegiate athletics on any level whatsoever ! Had it a wish to do so then the actions would have been taken long ago .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as to your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the issues raised .
Alan aka tophatal ……………………………….
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) J Thomas Schieffer a former US Ambassador to Japan ( 2005-2009) and brother of CBS News Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer . The former ambassador was also the President & lead managing general partner of the Texas Rangers when the organization was owned by former President George W Bush . He’s now been entrusted in dealing with the day to day running of the Los Angeles Dodgers by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig . AP Photo/ Carl Peterson …….
(2) Coach Don Mattingly (L) and general manager Ned Colletti of the Los Angeles Dodgers attend a press conference announcing that Mattingly will manage the Dodgers in 2011 after Joe Torre retires at Dodger Stadium on September 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images North America …..
(3) Owner Frank McCourt (foreground) and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers talk after the Dodgers were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 in Game Five of the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 15, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images / Harry How ….
(4) Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau watches his double against the Cleveland Indians during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Minneapolis. Morneau was 2-3 on the day with two runs batted in as Minnesota won 4-3 . AP Photo/Paul Battaglia …..
(5) Denard Span(2) , Michael Cuddyer(5) and Jason Kubel(16) of the Minnesota Twins celebrate Span and Kubel scoring on a Justin Morneau(33) double against the Cleveland Indians during their game on April 24, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twins defeated the Indians 4-3 . Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images …….
(6) Joe Mauer (7) of the Minnesota Twins in the dugout during the seventh inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics on April 9, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Athletics defeated the Twins 1-0 . Mauer is now on the DL with a bilateral fatigue of both knees and a viral infection . Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….
(7) NFL Draft prospects stand atop the Radio City Music Hall marquee Wednesday, April 27, 2011, in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek …..
(8) University President E Scott Gee (left) , head football coach Jim Tressel at the podium addresses to the local and national convened press as he gives offers an oral apology after his misdeeds that has tarnished the school’s reputation. Also in picture to the left of the coach is AD Gene Smith . AP Photo Terry Gilliam ….
(9) Mark Shurtleff the Attorney General for the state of Utah proposes challenging the BCS antitrust status and their illegal monopoly over collegiate football. The case will be heard in a Federal Court within the state of Utah this summer . Shurtleff hopes to show that the BCS contravenes the law in terms of its operations and how it runs collegiate football. AP Photo / Mark Rice …………….
Red Rat …………… “Tight Up Skirt”