NFL Or Bust ……….. Is There Anything Else On The Horizon ?
NFL — season or not there’s a great deal to view with optimism concerning this upcoming year especially in light of the players taken in the NFL Draft . Were it not for the stupidity shown by the league and union (NFLPA) I doubt that we would now be second guessing ourselves as to whether or not that the NFL would indeed kick off on time . As I had previously written were there not to be a series of games commemorating the events of 9/11 I feel that it would be a great disservice to all of those who died on that now solemn day ! Never mind the fact of the sacrifices since made by the men and women of the US military but such are the vagaries of the parties involved that it has me wondering how much does either side really wants to get back to playing football rather than the continued posturing that we’re seeing from both parties .
Slide show for your perusal .
It simply doesn’t pain me to say this but NFL Commissioner Roger Godell along with the league hierarchy and team owners simply boxed themselves in the corner with the recalcitrance shown . On the opposing side DeMaurice Smith simply showed that his legal mind and prowess spent as a corporate lawyer with DC law firm Patton Boggs LLC was simply money well spent as he outmaneuvered the league hierarchy on all counts . There’s not much really left to be said at this juncture concerning these negotiations other than the fact that the league will have a long way to go in repairing the damage done and luring the fans back the game .
Cautiously as we approach the MLB All Star Game and the midseason break it is interesting to see how the teams now seem to be positioning themselves as they face the final half of the season . Surprisingly enough beyond the idiocy of what has taken place with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets the season has been something of a competitive one in a number of ways . Inconsistency has played a large part in the ebbs and flows as to the performances we’ve seen from the teams and in particular a number of the marquee players . Injuries asides I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen and in particular from the Atlanta Braves a team that I sought to support this year having abandoned the Florida Marlins for good !
Strangely enough with the All Star Game set to be played in Phoenix Arizona at Chase Field , home to the Arizona Diamondbacks . The All Star voting ballot now seems to taking on a life of its very own . And I’ve no doubt that many of the fan favorites will there simply out of fan loyalty rather than for the accomplishments on the field by the players . I liken the voting for the event similarly to the idiocy that now takes place for the eponymous Fox tv show American Idol ! What a pity that Steven Tyler , Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson haven’t been sought out by Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy to participate in the precursor to the actual voting on the ballot for the players ! Tyler would proffer up why it is that Derek Jeter to his mind is more deserving of a place on the AL roster than the Cleveland Indians — Asdrubal Cabrera . Meanwhile , Lopez would simply be lost for words as she’d become all too emotional as to the fact that Cabrera isn’t a New Yorker ? Meanwhile as only he can Randy Jackson would simply give us all ……… a what’s up dawg ‘ ?
Is it as such too early to be handing out the individual awards in terms of the AL and NL MVP’s ? Along with that of the Cy Young Awards for the respective leagues along with that of the Rookies Of The Year ? There have been some impressive stats in all quarters for the categories in question . Needless to say there will be many amongst who will question the legitimacy of some of those contestants but that is the norm is it not ? I know as such that these awards are not handed out until season’s end but I have to admit in certain categories the case seems to be clear cut barring a sudden catastrophe on the part of the leading candidates . Amongst the leading contenders for the MVP within the AL , one has to be impressed with the play and stats of Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox .
. It’d be remiss to simply think however that Gonzalez should simply be anointed as the outright leading contender as there are several other worthy candidates vying for the AL MVP award . But I would think that the voters themselves will have the integrity and know how in making the right decision .
It’d be remiss to simply think however that Gonzalez should simply be anointed as the outright leading contender as there are several other worthy candidates vying for the AL MVP award . But I would think that the voters themselves will have the integrity and know how in making the right decision . And amongst AL Rookies I would like to think that a credible case can be made for the J P Arencieba of the Toronto Blue Jays or Al Alburquerque of the Detroit Tigers .
And amongst the notable Cy Young candidates within the AL it is as always the usual suspects that as such seem to be vying for the award . Last year notwithstanding when the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez won the award and deservedly so by my estimates . Albeit that some might have questioned the fact that the player was playing on a rather atrocious team . This time around the case isn’t so clear cut but it does heighten one’s interest to say the very least to view the viable candidates and make a summation as to an eventual winner . From my own perspective I do believe that Justin Verlander has the inside edge but much of that will be derived as to whether or not he can remain healthy over the remainder of the Detroit Tigers’ — season .
On the senior circuit it would appear that amongst those in with a nod for the NL MVP one would certainly have to look at Jose Reyes , Ryan Braun and quite possibly Troy Tulowitzki amongst the leading candidates . All three have are having terrific years and I as such would not have a problem with either of the trio of the player attaining the award ! And can we all agree up to a point one would have to first look at the pitching rotation of the Phillies before we can attest as to whether or not there are any other viable candidates for the Cy Young within the NL ? Cole Hamels , Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay seem to be in the driver’s seat but with that comes the situation where the votes tallied amongst them may well negate each other out to an extent . So if anything others who one would deem viable could from the likes of Clayton Kershaw , Kyle Lohse , Anibel Sanchez and Jair Jurrjens . A formidable cast indeed considering the sort of season had by the pitchers within NL.
Amongst the NL rookies , say what you will but there’s a plethora of young talent there that some day will become the driving force behind a number of teams within the National League . And given the competitive balance that there seems to be at present I have to say that it is a good thing for the game . Unfortunately however , no one knows how long this will all last given the financial instability for a great many teams of which Bud Selig as commissioner isn’t willing to admit that there is indeed a real problem . He much like the owners , league hierarchy and the MLBPA (union) itself would simply like to carry on , business as usual .
Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Darwin Barney is having a solid year leading all rookies within the NL with a .295 BA but if anything it is the Washington National’s —- Danny Espinosa who may well have the biggest plaudits and support not just amongst the fans but also quite possibly amongst the managers around the league . The player offensively and defensively has been all that and more for the Nationals and the faith showed in by GM Mike Rizzo , the scouting staff has obviously come to fruition and now seems to be paying off .
Amongst the leading candidates in terms of the pitching on show one can’t help but feel that Dillon Gee of the New York Mets could be in with a most definite shout but once again he’s up against an impressive assortment of players but at the end of the day when it’s all said and done it will be all left in the hands of the voters . The players who have won the NL Rookie of The Year have gone on to establish themselves as best they can by contributing to their respective teams .
From my own standpoint I simply have loved what I’ve witnessed this season in baseball with there being one or two surprises along the way ! Teams and players are giving it their all and allowing us all to bask as such in their limelight . And given the fact that with the NBA and NFL in the throes of a hierarchy mandated lockout we ought to be thankful as such that MLB still have their wits about them !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? And if anything at this juncture wanting to see more either from a player , players or for that matter a team ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and thanks as always for the continued support !
Alan aka tophatal ……. http://tophatal.wordpress.com
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, center, speak to the media outside of the Ritz-Carlton hotel after addressing players during the NFLPA rookie symposium on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 in Sarasota, Fla. Goodell and Smith are flying back to Minneapolis together to resume negotiations in the four-month old labor dispute. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….
(2) Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland talks with Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh prior to the start of the game against the New York Mets at Comerica Park on June 30, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Mets 5-2 . Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images ….
(3) Infielder Asdrubal Cabrera (13) of the Cleveland Indians fields a ground ball out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on June 29, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Indians defeated the Diamondbacks 6-2 . —- Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …..
(4) FILE – This May 7, 2011, file photo shows New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter after he took a strike during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. Jeter is set to rejoin the Yankees on Monday in his return from a calf injury. The shortstop said Thursday, June 30, 2011, he will play minor league rehab games Saturday and Sunday at Double-A Trenton and be with the Yankees for a series in Cleveland. Jeter is six hits shy of 3,000 . AP Photo/LM Otero, File ……….
(5) PHILADELPHIA – JUNE 29: Adrian Gonzalez (28) of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 29, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Red Sox 2-1 . Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images ……………
(6) PHILADELPHIA – JUNE 30: Cole Hamels (35) of the Philadelphia Phillies throws Adrian Gonzalez (28) of the Boston Red Sox during the top of the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park on June 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images ….
(7) Darwin Barney (15) of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated by teammates after scoring to win the game in the 13th inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.Ther Cubs defeated the giants 5-2 in 13 innings. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images ……
(8) Bobby Abreu (53) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is tagged out by Danny Espinosa (18) of the Washington Nationals after attempting to stretch out a double in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 29, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Nationals 1-0 . Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images ……
(9) New York Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee works against the Texas Rangers during a baseball game in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, June 26, 2011. AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis ……..
MLB Awards of 2010 ( Individual awards)