Taking it all with a pinch of salt …

Taking it all with a pinch of salt …

The weekend within the sports’ world has supplied us with very little news , which was really noteworthy . At St Andrews , in the third Grand Slam Major of the year the PGA has been turned on its head with an amateur leading, heading into fourth round of The Open . Pressure being too much to bear Paul Dunne has now slipped back three shots behind joint leaders Louis Oosthuizen and Zach Johnson with world number two and two-time Major winner for this season , Jordan Spieth a shot behind at twelve under par (-12) at the prestigious St Andrews Golf Course , St Andrews , Scotland.

Whether or not Spieth can make history by becoming only the second player in PGA Tour history to have won the first three Majors of the season. Tiger Woods having achieved the feat , bowed out of The Open,having failed to make the cut , with many now wondering whether or not the former world number one will ever win another Major much less a PGA Tour title , given the slump in his game this season and over the past two years. With the whole world watching it will be interesting to see whether or not Jordan Spieth can win his third Major this season and jump ahead of Rory McIlroy in the world rankings.

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It would be fair to suggest the NBA remains devoid of any type of leadership even when David Stern helmed the league hierarchy. His autocratic rule was simply one of a dictator and the old boys’ club that exists among the owners and league executives remains something of a joke. The NBPA (union) remains all powerful and Stern’s successor Adam Silver has now proven to be just as incompetent as his predecessor. In the wake of the latest troubles bedeviling the career of Ty Lawson , it would appear Silver doesn’t see fit to punish the player for his actions and the very fact in the last six months, this has been the second time the player has ran afoul of the law having been charged with a DUI . Lawson’s former team the Denver Nuggets have seen fit to rid themselves of the point guard and his legal woes sending him to the Dallas Mavericks in a trade. Given the issues of the Mavericks last season and the lack of productivity seen with Rajon Rondo , I am not so sure Lawson will prove to be any better.

Ty Lawson has since admitted himself into a drug and alcohol program of his own volition, but the mere fact the NBA has not seen fit to even address the issue and suspend him for his actions even when there is a precedent to do so , sends a disturbing message about the NBA and the image it is now sending to its fans. Personally, I believe the league itself has become too wrapped up in its self-importance and the chase to increase its revenues rather than dealing so many acute issues now bedeviling the league. Homophobia , misogyny and racism seems to be ongoing and in spite of the actions taken against former Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling , where the league’s handling of the situation was simply comedic, simply indicates how out of touch with reality the NBA still remains.

The two best teams in baseball over their last ten games have been the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals . Both appear to be heads and shoulders above everyone else within the American League (AL). Yet for all of the prowess seen from both teams , the second half of this MLB season will likely prove to be an immense decider as to the fate of both ball-clubs. The Angels’ game against the Boston Red Sox was rained out due to rain and the two teams will make up that game up on Monday with a double-header, day and night game on Monday. On the mound for the Angels for the two games at Angels’ Ballpark in Anaheim California , will be Hector Santiago (6-4) in game one and Andrew Heaney (3-0) in game two of the double-header.

Mike Trout and the Angels are likely to take both games in the home stand, given the inconsistency shown by the Boston Red Sox over the course of this season. This will also prove to be a make or break season for Mike Scioscia after the apparent turmoil within the organization which led to the departure of former general manager Jerry Dipoto . If Scioscia fails to lead the team and their making a deep postseason run. Then there is every belief Arte Moreno will make the decision to rid himself of Sciocsia and the entire managerial staff .

It is becoming increasing difficult to assess how good the Los Angeles Dodgers are said to be. They may well lead the NL West , with a comfortable lead over their closest divisional rivals, but if that were enough of an indicator to suggest how good the Dodgers are said to , one only has to look at their failure over the last two years in the postseason to realize how much of a disappointment this ball-club continues to be. Clayton Kershaw was scintillating last season on his way to winning the NL Cy Young and NL MVP Awards. This season Zack Greinke has been putting up astonishing numbers of the team leading league , NL low ERA. Greinke is on pace to match,if not lower the MLB season low ERA for a starting pitcher during the regular season. Bob Gibson’s record setting stat of 1.12 ERA was once deemed untouchable and the mark set in 1968, puts into perspective how spectacular his season just happened to be for the St Louis Cardinals that season.

For now Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to continue their pace, while seeking to distance themselves from their divisional rivals and trying keep apace with St Louis and the Pittsburgh Pirates for the best record in the National League. Monday will see the Dodgers on the road , when they face the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia , when Brandon Beachy (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will be on the mound to face the Braves’ Matt Wisler (3-2, 3.10 ERA) .

This may well be the season that the Chicago Cubs are able to turn things around , albeit , they find themselves in a tough NL wild-card race, with the divisional race itself already lost to this Joe Maddon managed team . A great has been made about about the developing talents of Kris Bryant with his having been brought up from the minors this season. Maddon and the front office staff of Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein finally believe they have a team ready to compete at the highest levels of the game. From my own perspective, I do not believe the Cubs are yet ready to compete at the elite within the NL much less the rest of baseball . For years this has been a franchise complacent with its attitude with a loyal fan-base which yearned for success , only for them to witness either blatant stupidity or failing to grasp the opportunities that came their way.

This is unlikely to be the Cubs’ year , but finally , it may well be the season where the fans might feel, there is some hope for their long-term future. When Clayton Richard takes to the mound to face Michael Lorenzen at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati Ohio, for the Cubs . It will be interesting to see how Richard fares against the Cincinnati Reds in this NL Central clash.

Rob Manfred just can’t seem to get out of the way of his own ongoing stupidity and like his predecessor , Bud Selig , the current MLB Commissioner will simply rehash the same old lame ideas , refocus their importance by trying to present them all in a new way. Manfred is currently behind the call for the expansion of Major League Baseball with the possibility of three or four new franchises within the next five years and the increase in the number of participants in the postseason. Pardon me for saying this, but Rob Manfred might be an even bigger @sshole than his predecessor , given his lack of intelligence and his unwillingness to address one of the most acute issues facing the game of baseball. At a time , when several teams are facing financial uncertainty, expansion should be the furthest thing from the hierarchy’s mind. Teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are having trouble with game attendance, as well obtaining the assistance of Manfred in the possibly of fast tracking their need for a new ball-park.

This commissioner seems to more focused seeking more addition of more teams at a time when baseball’s popularity among teens is said to be on the decline. Their Returning Baseball to The Inner City Initiative (RBI) seems to have fallen on deaf ears , never mind the fact , many of the game’s biggest ball-clubs now spend more money on developing baseball academies in the Caribbean and Latin American than they do in developing home grown talent. Call me naïve , but at what point will Manfred , his associates as well as the team owners realize that they are on the wrong track , with the train having already left the station ?

We are now less than three weeks away from the start of the NFL preseason schedule and it has to be said even in the aftermath of the NFL Draft, fans were still not able to get enough with regard to the latest stories encapsulating the league. From Deflate-Gate down to the latest report of player misconduct or that of Rex Ryan making proclamations as to how good the Buffalo Bills will be this upcoming season . The stories just seemed to be a non-stop flow of relentless media reports , no matter how trivial and asinine they might appear to be on the surface.

There are impact players in the NFL and players, who believe themselves to be players who can impact a game . Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant believes himself to be the former , whereas I believe Bryant , is a very good player , he is not a player who on a consistent basis has known to impact a game much less be an impact player. He lacks maturity , leadership ability, as do several of his teammates on the current Cowboys’ roster , without one having to delve into the lack coaching acumen shown by Jason Garrett . But , as we know the Dallas Cowboys remain the NFL’s biggest whipping posts and one of constant ridicule , as to their aspirations year in and year out , over the last eight years.

This off-season Dez Bryant is holding out , refusing to attend the Cowboys’ OTA’s, until he is given a long-term contract , a deal which he believe he merits , making him among the highest paid wide receivers in the league , by way of a contract and salary . Bryant is not on par with the likes of a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald and his seeking to be even placed on their level seems absolutely ludicrous .

If Dez Bryant and his agents at Roc Nation Sports are seeking the long-term deal the player believe he is worth , then he might now be placing himself in something of a corner. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones known to be a shrewd businessman has already made one mistake , with his allowing DeMarco Murray to go elsewhere during the off-season , when in reality franchise failed to deal with a player who if anything was more productive than Bryant throughout much of last season. Now Dez Bryant is seeking a six or seven year deal , with a minimum of $45 million in guaranteed money , with a contract worth a minimum of $120 million. Bryant is not a $15 million or $20 million a year player and even if the NFL enters 2016 with revenues at an all-time high and a salary cap likely to exceed $130 million per team . I seriously doubt Jerry Jones is willing to “break the bank” for a player yet to show anything of note during postseason. .

Dallas will begin their preseason in earnest, as Jason Garrett gets to assess his team, the latest acquisitions , and rookies on the roster , before they hit their stride with the first game of their regular season schedule . The NFC East remains a riddle and conundrum all rolled into one alongside a great deal of mediocrity. With the level of coaching now bordering on incompetence and so many of the head coaches on appearance seemingly out of their depth . I certainly believe this upcoming season will be bland and milquetoast in the level of play and hype created by the media !

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What have been your thoughts on the weekend stories emanating from the world of sports ?

😛

Tophatal …

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About tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal
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7 Responses to Taking it all with a pinch of salt …

  1. Jordan Spieth came within three shots of winning The Open , but he simply fell apart during the fourth and final round . With the last Major of the season on the PGA Tour schedule taking place with the PGA Championship at Whispering Straits , Sheboygan , WI , from 13th August until 16th August ,

    The NBA is a fu#king corrupt organization and @ssholes who believe David Stern has been good for the league are nothing but a bunch closeted morons without an ounce of common sense.

    Stern has simply been a joke as a league executive , simply pointing to the fact of ever increasing revenues and value .

    The NBA hierarchy has done little to curb the morose behavior players much less owners such as Donald Sterling , Rich DeVos or even the blatantly outspoken Mark Cuban , who himself seems to be a closeted racist with his stereotypical statements concerning minorities. Is it any wonder this country still lives with the fallacy that racism is all but gone? Fuc#ing as$holes would rather gloss over the crimes perpetrated by morons such as Dylan Roof and overlook the bigotry and profiling shown by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who is said to uphold the law, but actually stomps on the rights of an individual’s civil liberties, even when there is no cause.

    ” I’ve groomed Adam to carry on my legacy of being of being a conceited #sshole, while the likes of Chris Broussard , Tim Legler and Stephen A Smith continue to suck my di#k ”

    David Stern and his successor Adam Silver .

    A number of these NBA owners are simply no different from that bigoted fu@king as$hole Donald Trump whose recent statements show him to a real fu#king moron, If Trump is the best that Wharton Business School has to offer the world by way of their graduates, then it clearly indicates that educational establishment is a goddamn joke .

    Zack Greinke may well be having a tremendous season , but having a great season is nothing special when your postseason simply implodes as it has done in 2013 and 2014 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Don Mattingly is not someone who knows how to manage under pressure when his teams face real adversity . The Dodgers’ losses are so indicative of an organization who cannot develop talent in depth and have to be overly reliant on acquiring big money players from other teams.

    Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are the two best offensive weapons on an otherwise average Dallas Cowboys’ team . Dallas shot themselves in the foot as they have done so often by allowing DeMarco Murray to leave as a free agent.

    “Dez I love the smell of my wife’s panties in the morning , especially once I take them off and smell the crotch ” !

    Romo and Dez Bryant .

    Tony Romo is a selfish bastard and if he were any type of real team leader , he would have approached Jerry Jones and renegotiated his contract to free up money to have at least retained Murray for another season. Cowboys’ fans like their owner are a bunch of dumb frigging morons .

    Like

  2. That putt that Zach Johnson made on 18 to qualify for the four-hole playoff was insane.

    The two putts he made for birdie in OT were ridiculous.

    Well-deserved crown for sure.

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  3. Chris Humpherys

    History was going to be made during The Open had either Zach Johnson won or Jordan Speith . There was some phenomenal golf being played during the final round of the tournament that was for sure.

    Now it’s on to Whispering Straits on Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where the PGA Championship will be played in mid August. The world rankings will also change, as Rory McIlroy might not be competing and Speith can leap ahead of him should he amass enough points between now and the time of the final Grand Slam Major of the season .

    Another day in paradise and it appears there are several teams in baseball who cannot get out of the way of their own stupidity. The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be a major factor in the AL East divisional race , much less the wildcard as they are not playing consistent baseball with their pitching being wayward and the offense being so inconsistent.

    Kevin Cash can manage but I cannot see him being in the hunt for the AL Manager of The Year Award. The organization will likely be a ‘ player’ in trade market once again, come the trade deadline with perhaps one or two peripheral players being traded to try and save money as they begin to look towards next season and what they have by way of talent within their farm system.

    Playing . 500 baseball is not going to cut it for the Rays and it being looked at as a successful season is simply more apathy and stupidity among their ever decreasing fan-base.

    Tuesday and it’s back to the drawing board for the Rays as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Ballpark, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . On the mound will be Nate Karns against the Phillies’ Aaron Nola.

    The Rays’ 9-3 loss to Philadelphia has pretty much summed up Tampa’s season in so many ways.

    🙂

    PGA Tour news

    MLB news

    Results 20th July

    Probable pitchers 21st July

    Tophatal ………….

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  4. John W Henry and Tom Werner as the two senior lead partners in the ownership group which controls the Boston Red Sox have to be displeased with the way things have gone this season for the Red Sox. Boston’s managerial staff led by John Farrell having won the World Series in 2013 , have been been in complete disarray this year.

    Red Sox and , Liverpool FC owners , John Henry ,left and Tom Werner .

    Big money signings such as Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez have performed poorly as have their teammates , with the pitching being so horrendous alongside a very mediocre offense.

    With the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the AL East , there is every reason to believe Red Sox GM Ben Cherington will likely gut this roster of several high priced players , down to almost its bare bones and simply make do with players from the farm system for the remainder of the season.

    Boston Red Sox news

    Tophatal ………….

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  5. If the rumors are to be believed as being reported within the sports’ pages of USA Today , then Dave Dombrowski will likely shop starting pitcher and AL Cy Young winner David Price and big-hitting offensive outfielder Yoenis Cespedes as the Detroit Tigers’ season continues to falter.

    Michael Ilitch and GM Dave Dombrowski (right)

    The Tigers are struggling to keep abreast with the Kansas City Royals within the AL Central who have been playing relentless baseball all season long.

    Brad Ausmus and his managerial staff have simply struggled . Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander seem to be having rather indifferent seasons. This could all lead to Detroit seeking to make some drastic moves to resurrect the ball-club’s season.

    David Price

    Yoenis Cespedes

    Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch has always been willing to spend money , but it now appears beyond the organization’s financial issues there remains the fact , is it still wise to overspend on talent that doesn’t meet the front office’s expectations.

    Detroit is now playing .500 baseball at 46-46 , lying third behind the Minnesota Twins and divisional leaders the Kansas City Royals . The division lead places the Tigers 9 1/2 games out of first place and four games out of a wildcard berth .

    Detroit Tigers news

    🙂

    Tophatal

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  6. With the trade deadline imminent, things will now begin to shake out for the teams seeking to make that one last push into the postseason.

    As of this point last season the standings were as such , with the trades made having teams would then go on to round out the year in extraordinary fashion.

    With this weekend being the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Craig Biggio , Randy Johnson , Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz . It will be a tremendous honor for the quartet of recipients receiving the accolade.

    Thankfully. and hopefully that thoughtless piece of sh#t Curt Schilling won’t be anywhere near in site of Cooperstown , New York. His bitching and whining as to why wasn’t one of the final participants explains a lot about the selfish bastard he was known to be , never mind he was never a great teammate to be around as some have claimed , For all of the alleged heroics as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Schilling bilked and milked the postseason for all it was worth , never once acknowledging the efforts of his teammates during that postseason. ,

    MLB news

    MLB results 24th July

    MLB schedule and probable pitchers

    Tophatal ……

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