Saturday, July 30, 2011

Upon Further Review, Jerry Meals Calls Him Safe

After the Jim Joyce fiasco last year, fans could only hope that instant replay would follow. It didn't.

With every occurrence of a manager spending five minutes arguing a call that was blatantly missed, fans could only hope that instant replay would follow. It hasn't.

Will Jerry Meals calling Julio Lugo safe to end a 19 inning marathon (the longest game by time in Pirates' history) finally bring instant replay to the MLB? We can only hope.

Check out our analysis in our latest podcast below! Our vote: with technology available, use it. And the Little League World Series has set the table for bringing replay to the Majors!

FOR THE RECORD: Too many mistakes are being made in the game right now. That being said, umpires are human, and the human element is something that makes the game beautiful. It's easy to critique a call using slow motion, dvr, and 1080p HD.  Joyce and Meals both admitted their faults. They want to get the calls right. I, too, had great hostility toward Joyce immediately after Galarraga's "28 up, 28 down" last summer. I know that I was wrong. I realized it as soon as I took two seconds to relax and see that it's just a game and that human error will ALWAYS be a part of ALL sports in one way or another. So to those who have sent death threats, harassment, or have posted Meals' address and phone number on message boards, please grow up. It's only a game. That's something we all seem to forget more often than not.

(Oh, and to those who publicly try to claim from their "Armchair Umpire" status that they can call a game better...wake up. And to those other Armchair Umpires who think that Lugo was safe from the replays they've seen....first, Meals said he should've been called out, and I think the HD cameras straight from MLB, ROOT, and TBS are better than your home TV. Take a moment to think before you say you're better and smarter than the professionals.)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Free Agency Frenzy

I'm not going to make this long but I am starting to think that the NFL should open up free agency right before camp every year.  There has been so much excitement the past few days since the lockout ended and this has been the craziest free agency period in NFL history.  Teams do not have as much time to negotiate with players as they have in the past so deals are being done quickly and splashes have headlined all of ESPN past few days. 

Lets recap a few headlines:

Eagles trade Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals: I think he is a good fit for that offense and a good QB for Fitz but part of me wonders if they gave up to much for a guy that does not have many career starts. Cromartie and a 2nd round pick for Kolb? hmmmm idk. Like i said good fit but maybe the cards gave up to much.

Donovan Mcnabb becomes a viking: Mcnabb on the vikings is a decent fit. I thought the vikings would have went all out to resign Sidney Rice since Mcnabb has great arm strength and can throw it deep and Rice can stretch the field.  A great passing attack could have been born. I'm not saying it would have been the same as Culpepper to Moss in the early 2000's but it could have been great.

T-Jax and Rice land in Seattle: Pete Carrol was obviously one of the best at getting talent at USC. It looks like he hasn't lost any of that since he entered the NFL. I don't really have much to say about this except that its obvious that Sidney Rice liked the idea of playing with his old QB and Pete Carrol obviously new that.

Jets Target Moss: The jets resigned Santonio Holmes and that was to be expected but it doesn't look like Braylon Edwards will be back. Edwards is going to be too expensive to keep and now its being speculated that Randy Moss will be joining Gang Green. Adam Schefter has reported that Moss and Rex Ryan have made contact and there is mutual interest between the two. Ryan and Jets owner Woody Johnson have been raving about Moss for a while and after the disastrous season Moss had in 2010, he will likely come cheap, even though there are a few rumors he may actually be asking for too much. Rex Ryan can handle a brash personality like Moss and he loves the idea of having a former player of Bill Belicheat to help them game plan against the patriots.

Image: Ocho not 86'ed as No. 85
#85 is now a Patriot: I got a text message from a friend that said just that. Looking at my phone screen reading that gave me chills. I got more chills when i saw #85 catching passes from Tom Brady on the practice field this morning. Of course this is not going to be the same as it was in 2007 when Randy Moss graced a patriot jersey. That didn't give me chills that just struck fear in me. Ochocinco is 34 and Randy Moss was 30 when the pats acquired him. Moss at his best is just plain head and shoulders above Ochocinco, but a motivated Ochocinco at his best is one of the best receivers in the game.
 It was apparent that the Pats missed Randy's ability to stretch the field in the loss to the Jets in the playoffs. With that being said I expect #85 not to tweet as much and behave himself as he fits into the "patriot way".

As i am writing this i am noticing that Nnamdi Asomugha has signed a 5 year deal with the eagles.This is surprising since it was reported the two front runners for him were the cowboys and the Jets. I could only imagine the horror Asomugha and Revis could have unleashed in New York together. The eagles now have Samuel, Aomugha, and Rodgers-Cromartie in their secondary. Wow.   

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


USA Women's soccer/futbol has done it again! They got a big goal late in today's match off of Abby Wambach's head to lead them to victory over France. Combine this 3-1 victory with a shootout victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals on Sunday thanks to Hope Solo's great goalkeeping, and the United States are back in the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1999.

First, let me comment about women's soccer: I'm surprisingly enjoying it 10x more than men's. Many would argue that it's only because the US are actually good in women's soccer and not in men's...if so, then why did I end up watching many other matches, and my favorite match (besides USA/Brazil) was a group stage match between Norway and Equatorial Guinea?  Anonman is the best player at the 2011 World Cup Finals and nobody can convince me otherwise (sorry Abby).

Anonman (in red) was the only attacker for Equatorial Guinea, yet always had a good attempt on goal.

It was because of the fact that true goal-scoring opportunities appeared, unlike the men's game where every shot off of a foot ended up 20 yards over the crossbar. That may be part of FIFA's doing, but forgive me I like scoring and the average of 2.27 goals per game in the Men's 2010 World Cup (second lowest in history) is just unexciting. It was a miracle that the championship game didn't go to a shootout in my mind.

Also, and this may come out sounding very wrong, but here we go: The women are less girls than the men. There's no diving. There's no faking injuries, being taken off on a stretcher, then reappearing on the field 30 seconds later. There's no ignorant referees who allow great actors to buy free kicks by tripping himself.

 Oh no he got the ball away from me! I better fall down and make it look like I'm hurt!

This one is absolutely hilarious. A guy gets a free kick for punching himself in the face.....

So now let's get back to the current World Cup. Sweden and Japan are about to kick off their semi-final match, the winner to face the USA in the championship match. Japan knocked off host-nation Germany 2-1 and had a 4-0 win earlier in the tournament, but is inexperienced and playing with a lot of emotion.  Sweden defeated the US 2-1 in the group stage (two garbage goals on a penalty kick and a deflected free kick) and are playing better than Japan, but don't have the emotion that the Japanese have.

Here is the game tying goal for the US vs. Brazil in the 122nd minute...literally just 30 seconds or so from the match being over. Rapinoe (my favorite on this team) finds Wambach (who finally got out of her drought, knew it wouldn't last long!) who beats the keeper. She used her head well again today against France.

Either way, I like the red-white-and-blue in the finals. This team is ranked #1 in the world, yet was the last team to qualify for the 2011 World Cup in Germany. That doesn't matter, though. Hope Solo said it best following the France match: "We have the confidence because we know we're damn good." Come Sunday we might just see how "damn good" they are. USA! USA! USA!