Keep on , keeping on ….

Keep on , keeping on …

The Boston Red Sox seem to be well on their way to sealing the deal and winning the AL East , barring the team’s self-implosion as they close out their regular season schedule . This weekend the Red Sox will be in action as they face divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays . This series will be the final chance for Rays’ fans to see David Ortiz in action for the Red Sox as the future Hall of Fame bound player plays his last series of games against the Rays. This season Ortiz has been one of the most effective and productive players on the Red Sox staff. As always, the resilient veteran Dustin Pedroia has stepped up to the plate, but perhaps no other player on the team has personified the Red Sox way of doing things other than Hanley Ramirez . Over the past eighteen days it has been Ramirez who has been the premiere offense stalwart on the roster. He would very well end up being the AL Player of The Month for September , if there is any justice in the game. Boston has been on a tear as they seek to win another divisional title , having already clinched a postseason berth for 2016.

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The success of the Boston Red Sox has come about from the performances of several of the younger players on the roster , most notably from Rick Porcello , Xander Bogaerts , Jackie Bradley Jr as well as the seasoned veterans Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Red Sox manager John Farrell , his coaching staff and the team’s Head of Operations Dave Dombrowski have essentially assembled a competitive roster, which to be seen as one of the favorites for not only the ALCS (AL Pennant) , but also the World Series . Farrell for his part will be seeking to win his second World Series’ title as the manager of the Red Sox franchise. In doing so , he would join Terry Francona as one of the only managers in Red Sox history to have won two titles with the franchise. In 2013 John Farrell led the Boston Red Sox to their most recent World Series’ victory when they defeated the St Louis Cardinals , taking the series in six games. I fully expect David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox to get by the Tampa Bay Rays in this road series , given the lack of consistency shown by the home team throughout this season , be it on the road or at home !

Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays will be on the mound as the starting pitcher for the home team when he faces off against Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox. For the Tampa Bay Rays , they are now simply playing for pride after what will turn out to be another disappointing season for the franchise. Excuses will continue to be made for the continued poor play and the lack of real commitment shown by the managerial staff and front office executives .

Hard to fathom how the Los Angeles Angels will continue to tolerate the lack of real success by Mike Scioscia , his staff and in particular by the team over the past six seasons. Having won a World Series title in 2002 , the intermittent years have seen nothing but meager pieces of consolation for the ball-club and their fans. Having assembled a high-profiled team , the Angels continue come up short and the patience of team owner Arte Moreno is now running thin. Mike Trout continues to be the cornerstone of this ball-club and perhaps one of the few reasons to watch the Angels play. The Los Angeles Angels have been a very poor team in just about every aspect of their game and it is reflected in their record (67-86) this season . Mike Trout and his teammates will be in action this weekend in a series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas. This is part of a current four-game series between the two AL West divisional adversaries.

With very little to play for other than self esteem, the Los Angeles Angels could very well be on their way to saying goodbye to several members of this current roster as well as the entire managerial staff at the end of this season. High hopes and great expectations and the Los Angeles Angels have failed to meet any of those aspirations and the same could be said of > last season’s NCLS Pennant winner the New York Mets whose season appears to be on the brink of becoming ashes.

With nine games to play before the end of their regular season, the New York Mets find themselves in a three-horse race for two of the final wildcard spots in the NL , which begins the postseason with the wildcard round . Eight games behind the NL East division leaders the Washington Nationals , the Mets simply have to win out to make sure they are one of the two qualifiers for the wildcard round of this postseason . It is imperative for the Mets to start their weekend series with a win when they face the Philadelphia Phillies at home , with Gabriel Ynoa on the mound for the Mets and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies as the opposing pitcher. Mets’ manager Terry Collins has a great deal to prove if he and this team are to be seen as worthy favorites within the National League (NL) .

The New York Mets have an important series this weekend which will require an all-out effort from every player on the team. I have no doubt they will prevail over an ailing Philadelphia Phillies’ team which has simply been abysmal throughout much of the season.

There was a time when Joe Mauer was considered one of the best young players in the game , but those years have since past. Still considered something of a figurehead and face of the Minnesota Twins’ , Mauer is now considered a veteran of the ball-club guiding the next generation as manager Paul Molitor tries to take steps to reassert the success once seen under former manager Ron Gardenhire . The Twins’ owners have been seemingly unresponsive to the desires of the fans while resting on their laurels , barely eking out any type of success from a financial standpoint . Paul Molitor and his team face the Seattle Mariners this weekend at home with just about everything on the line for the ball-club this season.

Barely competitive within the AL Central it is easy to understand why the Minnesota Twins have fallen by the wayside so rapidly. There is an underlying feeling the Pohlad family are now disinterested in the franchise and quite possibly willing to sell the ball-club to the highest bidder .

So what will it take to get the Los Angeles Dodgers over the hump and to win their first World Series’ title in almost thirty years ? Having spent mercilessly since 2012 , after this ball-club was purchased for over $2.1 billion . The Dodgers’ organization , their seemingly apathetic fans and the incompetent local media are still at a loss to explain the lack of tangible success on the field . I guess when you can commit to spending over $1.3 billion on players’ salaries during that time-frame , you might not need to explain to anyone how incompetent you still remain ?

On their way to another divisional title the Los Angeles Dodgers are and will remain like a deer caught in headlights when it comes to the postseason as evidenced by their most recent appearances . Having been no further than the NLCS , it remains the stumbling block on their path to glory and with good reason. This ball-club has never been able to find consistency when it was needed the most , during the postseason . The Los Angeles Dodgers will be in action today as part of their current series , where they will be taking on the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles , California . On the mound will be Dodgers’ All Star pitcher Clayton Kershaw as he faces Chad Bettis of the Rockies .

Likely to end up with the worst record in baseball this season the Atlanta Braves will play their very last game at Fulton County Stadium , in Atlanta , Georgia when they face the Detroit Tigers on the 2nd October , the final day of the regular season. In 2017 , the Braves will ring in a new era , having moved to a new stadium , Suntrust Park , with the likelihood of a larger fan-base , though I am very skeptical of the predictions. For the time being the Braves still have to fulfill their obligations for the rest of September. This afternoon the team will be facing the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in Miami , Florida . Aaron Blair of the Braves will be on the mound as he faces off against Wei-Yin Chen of the Marlins in this Saturday evening contest .

From my own perspective I do not believe Brian Snitker can remain in his current position as the Atlanta Braves’ manager. GM John Coppolella and fellow front office executive , Team President John Scheuerholz made an extreme mistake in Snitker’s promotion from within the coaching staff. It would have been preferable had they made the decision to hire a more high-profiled manager with a proven track record or someone more widely known and closely associated with the organization. Within certain circles the name of former players John Smoltz , Chipper Jones and even Greg Maddux have been brought up as possible candidates to fill the role as the next manager of the ball-club. Clearly, something will have to be done during the off-season as the franchise prepares for the move to their new ballpark.

Picture gallery. Click on an image to view that picture alongside the accompanying narrative .

With the regular season now winding down within baseball what are you hoping to see over the final few games and heading into the postseason ? Which teams do you believe are in with the best chance to succeed the Kansas City Royals as this year’s World Series’ champions ? Also which ball-club do you believe has proven to be the biggest disappointment of the season ?

Tophatal ….. 2016/09/24

🙂

MLB news

MLB weekend schedule (includes probable starting pitchers)

MLB results 22nd September

MLB standings (divisional) and MLB wildcard standings

MLB schedule and important dates

MLB World Series and titles by clubs

This week in baseball history

On this day in MLB history

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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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19 Responses to Keep on , keeping on ….

  1. My viable contenders for this season’s World Series are within the AL , Boston Red Sox , Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers . Within the NL , clearly the Chicago Cubs to be followed by the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers . Team which could prove to be the biggest disappointment remains the Dodgers .

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………..

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  2. On their way to their first one-hundred win season in Chicago Cubs’ history. The question which now has to be asked of this team , are they good enough to go all the way and win the World Series ? Cubs’ fans seem to think so and there can be little doubt this has been the best club in baseball by far. Joe Maddon and the Chicago managerial staff will be preparing the Cubs to face the St Louis Cardinals as they seek their ninety-ninth win of the season .

    MLB news

    MLB standings and wildcard standings

    MLB results 24th September

    MLB schedule 25th September

    Tophatal ………….

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  3. Sunday’s results in Major League Baseball with a number of divisions having been decided and places clinched for the prospective postseason. Monday sets in motion the final week of the regular season for the month of September.

    At this stage last season things were beginning set up for an exciting finish to the regular season before the leading up to the playoffs .

    On a night filled with excitement there was tragic news in the world of baseball , when it was announced that Miami Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez was one of three young men to have lost their lives in a boating tragedy . The team’s game was cancelled due to this accident as the fans and organization mourns his death at the age of twenty-four.

    Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez , dead at the age of 24.

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………….

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  4. So Monday’s games in Major League Baseball has brought us to this point in the season where things appear to be self-explanatory . We are likely to see several managerial changes during the off-season as well as a number of players seeing their year come to an abrupt , not being resigned for the 2017 MLB season .

    MLB news

    Tophatal ……….

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  5. So what now for the New York Yankees as they round out one of the worst years in recent franchise history . Not one player on the roster has stood out consistently over the course of the season. Now with the recent announcements , both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera will be retiring from the game. It leaves not only the fans wondering what is likely to happen in the foreseeable future , but also what steps will be taken by GM Brian Cashman and the front office to bolster the current roster. Granted, there have been one or two surprises with the call-ups of certain players from Yankees’ farm system. Yet this is by no means a guarantee of success for the future. Meanwhile , I have to wonder if the futures of CC Sabathia and Jacoby Ellsbury are not now in jeopardy ? Clearly , neither of the two players have provided any type of leadership , much less productivity for the franchise since being acquired.

    Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz (right)

    Joe Girardi and his Yankees’ managerial staff will be preparing the team for their game against their old adversaries the Boston Red Sox , who have booked themselves a postseason berth. The series will also provide David Ortiz will the final time he will face the New York Yankees over the course of his career .

    Alex Rodriguez will accept a position within the New York Yankees’ front office as a special consultant and advisor. In what capacity this role would take , be it as an advisor to Brian Cashman or as a special assistant to Joe Girardi and the managerial staff , has not been made public by anyone within the organization.

    New York Yankees news

    Tophatal ………

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  6. This season the Washington Nationals won the NL East with a great deal of ease , taking care of their divisional opponents with a great deal of ease. The Nationals’ All Star players Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper have not always been the main force behind the team’s success this season , but they have been an integral part of what has been an all round team effort.

    Dusty Baker has been able to succeed where his most recent predecessors (managers) of the Washington Nationals have failed to do and that is to find a consistency the players , with there being accountability and leadership. Granted , Bryce Harper , while being a formidable talent , his exuberance and temperament has often gotten the better of him. Harper has multiple ejections from games this season , something which cannot be afforded once the postseason gets underway. Harper and his teammates will be in action today when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Ballpark in Washington , DC.

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  7. I’ll say it repeatedly , Sabermetrics is not an assurance of anything . Granted last season the Kansas City Royals won the World Series through sheer will and great performances during the postseason. Yet at the end of the day the team’s roster and payroll at the time was above what one would deem being at the bottom-rung of baseball in 2015. Dayton Moore the Royals’ general manager , through the development of the farm system and shrewd acquisitions built a competitive roster good enough to win. This season however, the Royals are likely to miss the playoffs, after what has to be seen as a very good two-year stretch where they took advantage of the opportunities which came their way.

    Failure to compete with the likes of this year’s AL Central division winners the Cleveland Indians will leave the Kansas City Royals in a place of uncertainty , as they seek to retain a number of their top players . In action today the Royals will be taking on the Minnesota Twins in a game being played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri .

    Kansas City Royals news

    MLB wildcard standings

    Tophatal …..

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  8. SportsChump (Chris Humpherys)

    Let me know what you think of the following .

    Tophatal ………….

    Like

  9. In certain cases , divisions have been clinched or teams have gained their way into the postseason by way of a berth , but there are one or two pieces yet to have bear a result. Worst record in all of baseball . At this point last season things were proving to be very interesting for the teams thought to be in contention.

    MLB news

    MLB results 28th September

    MLB probable pitchers 29th September

    MLB important dates

    Tophataal …………………..

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  10. His final year and there would be nothing better than for David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox to end the year in a blaze of glory having won this season’s World Series . The future Hall of Fame inductee has won three titles with the fabled franchise and nothing more would give this player even greater pleasure than to retire with his fourth World Series’ ring.

    Red Sox manager John Farrell and the managerial staff have the team playing consistent baseball and it is a testament to what the players have been able of achieve , young and old. David Ortiz has provided the veteran leadership along with teammates Dustin Pedroia and David Price . Boston will be in action today when they face the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park , in Boston , Massachusetts on Saturday , 1st October , 2016

    Boston Red Sox news

    MLB scoreboard 1st October

    This week in baseball history

    On this day MLB history

    Tophatal ……….

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  11. The New York Mets needed to do what they had to in order to gain themselves a postseason berth this season. . Terry Collins’ playing staff will be host to an NL wildcard game during the week as against a yet to be named opponent.

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  12. Sunday the 2nd October was the final day of the regular season . The wildcard entrants are now known and the first of the two games , one from each league will be played as of Tuesday 4th October . In the AL wildcard contest , this game will feature the Toronto Blue Jays playing host to the Baltimore Orioles . The NL wildcard game will see the New York Mets playing host to the San Francisco Giants .

    MLB news

    MLB postseason schedule

    This week in MLB history

    On this day baseball.

    Tophatal …………..

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  13. Congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays and their emphatic 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game . Toronto will now go on to meet the Texas Rangers in the ALDS , a series which I believe will be very competitive and entertaining .

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  14. In what has to be seen as the franchise’s best year in recent history , Cleveland Indians’ manager Terry Francona was able to lead the team to the AL Central divisional title as well as a playoff berth this season. Reigning World Series champions the Kansas City Royals’ failure to make the postseason as well as challenge within the AL Central might well have been the biggest shock of the regular season. Royals’ GM Dayton Moore has even gone as far as to suggest the team’s be payroll will be cut for the upcoming season alongside several potential roster moves are likely to be made.

    The Cleveland Indians have been a well-balanced team throughout much of the regular season and they could prove to be the surprise team within the AL this postseason. Francona and his players will meet the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS , which begins on the 6th October , with the first game being played at Fenway Park , in Boston, Massachusetts,. Regular season series’ meetings between the two teams this season have been very entertaining . In the other ALDS game the Toronto Blue Jays will be the guests of the Texas Rangers .

    Cleveland Indians news

    Tophatal ………

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  15. What does it say about the game of baseball when two of the most successful clubs this season now find themselves on the brink of elimination at this stage of the postseason. The Boston Red Sox (0-2) and the Texas Rangers (0-2) now are facing an uphill task to play themselves back into contention in their respective ALDS (divisional series) .

    David Price of the Red Sox is having a postseason to forget , having now posted an 0-9 record in postseason starts . Not the sort of return which was expected of a player being paid in excess of $21 million this season. Boston has fallen apart at the seams in their two games played against an inspired Cleveland Indians’ team managed by former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona . Francona starts with the distinct advantage of knowing a great deal about the core of the Red Sox roster as well as the mindset of the opposition being faced. This Indians’ roster has simply risen to the occasion while making light work of their ALDS opponents.

    It is hard to see how the Texas Rangers can now overcome their series against the offense-minded onslaught of the Toronto Blue Jays . Texas’ chances are diminishing with each passing second and in game-three they will need to be firing on all cylinders when they take to the field at the Rogers Center in Toronto , Ontario on Sunday evening.

    John Farrell , manager of the Boston Red Sox will be under increasing pressure for his team to deliver when they face the Cleveland Indians in a home game for game-three at Fenway Park , in Boston Massachusetts on the 9th October .

    MLB news

    Tophatal ………………

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  16. If the Boston Red Sox should fail to play themselves back into contention in their series (ALDS) against the Cleveland Indians , then they will only have themselves to blame. The team’s pitching in the series has been extremely poor . In a pivotal game three the Red Sox in an 0-2 deficit will have to get the very best out of Clay Buchholz if they are have any chance of derailing the Indians’ hope this postseason . Buccholz’s opponent in this game will be Josh Tomlin .

    Boston Red Sox news

    Cleveland Indians news

    Tophatal ……………

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  17. Another disastrous postseason for the Texas Rangers (0-3) . as they fall to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS for this season . This has to be seen as a tremendous disappointment by the Rangers’ front office as well as the managerial staff . For the players themselves , contributions were at the minimal to say the very least . At no point during the series were they ever the equal of the Blue Jays , succumbing to a 3-0 whitewash .

    John Gibbons and his Toronto Blue Jays’ managerial staff , along with the players now await the victor of the other divisional contest within the AL, as they prepare for the ALCS which will begin on Friday, 14th October , 2016. Game three of the current series between the Boston Red Sox (0-2) and the Cleveland Indians (2-0) was postponed and will likely made up on Monday evening .

    The Toronto Blue Jays’ 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers was very much a team effort with their being contributions all-round . Josh Donaldson was the ‘hero of the hour’ for the Blue Jays , driving in the winning run for the victorious team.

    MLB news

    MLB results scoreboard (10/09/2016)

    2016 Postseason schedule

    MLB probable pitchers 10th October

    This week in baseball postseason history

    On this day in Major League Baseball

    Tophatal …………..

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  18. masterchefjakob

    Thanks for the liking of the post.

    Tophatal …..

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