Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was just one out away from history.  26 consecutive batters had been retired in order.  One more out and Galarraga would’ve been a part of a elite class of pitchers to toss a perfect game.  This feat has been accomplished only 20 times in MLB’s storied history and Galarraga would’ve been the third pitcher to toss a perfect game in this season alone.

So when Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald hit a soft grounder to first baseman Miguel Cabrera it seemed that Galarraga was now just a soft toss away from a perfect game.  Galarraga sprinted to the first base bag, caught the ball, and stepped on the base before Donald reached the bag.  Umpire Jim Joyce waited for a split second and then proceeded to call the runner SAFE!

 The Detroit Tigers stood around in disbelief.  Every single person on that field and sitting in that stadium couldn’t believe that the umpire called the runner safe.  What made matters worse was the fact that not only was Donald clearly out, but now TV replays showed that the umpire got the call wrong. This same replay would now be shown all over major new networks.

After the Tigers argued with the umpires they finally resumed play.  Galarraga stepped up to the mound and quickly retired the next batter to the end the game with a complete game shutout with only one hit allowed.  The perfect game was spoiled by umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly calling runner safe. 

I Couldn't Believe It Either Miguel.

 Umpire blown calls have been a controversial topic for the past few years in baseball. Many people have called for the extended use of instant replay to correct mistakes such as these.  MLB has already implemented the use of instant replays but only for disputed home run calls; however after several questionable calls during the playoffs last season this new incident only adds fuel to the instant replay fire. 

I understand that we are all human and we will make mistakes and Jim Joyce isn’t the only umpire that will miss a call this season. 

That is fine but is it me or does it seem like umpires are missing more calls now more than ever? Not necessarily.  Believe me umpires have been making gaffes for decades; however we now live in different times.  Technology has changed the landscape of sports.  There are many more cameras at stadiums now than there were in the 60s and 70s.  These cameras now have the capabilities to get various angles to show replays in high definition that viewers living in the 80s never had the opportunity see. 

If there is a questionable call now, networks have the technology to be able to show the replay at various levels and various speeds all in high definition television.  So umpires have been making incorrect calls for years, but it isn’t until recently that we can actually see their mistakes.  Technology has changed the way we watch our games so it should now be allowed change the way umpires officiate a game.

I can’t sit here a say that instant replay is going to solve baseball’s problems.  How MLB will incorporate instant replay into games is another discussion; however I do know that until MLB corrects this issue of incorrect calls that this topic of instant replay will not go away.

              When the Cavaliers were unexpectedly bounced out of the playoffs recently it prematurely started the “LeBron Watch.” What is the best fit for Lebron? Where will Lebron play next year?  Along with that come those annoying rumors from the anonymous sources who claim to be “close” to Lebron. All of these questions are interesting for all of about one day. After just one day all of  these talks become pointless and annoying because all of it is just pure speculation.  Lebron can’t sign with a new team until July 1st, but unfortunately we now live within a 24/7 news cycle so it will be hard to escape any news on him for the next six weeks or so.

            To make matters worse there is now speculation on who will be coaching Lebron.  John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Doc Rivers, and Phil Jackson have all been named as potential candidates to coach Lebron. Chicago and New Jersey have long been the rumored destinations for Lebron.  These teams along with his current team in Cleveland all have coaching vacancies at the moment and will be looking to fill these positions in the near future.  My question is why anyone would think that any of these four coaches would be serious candidates? How about candidates at all?

Does Lebron Have The Ability To Choose His Next Head Coach?

         First, all of these coaches are currently employed.  So they would have to quit their current job and then wait to see if one of previously mentioned teams will offer them the coaching position.  Is this taking place before or after Lebron signs a contract?

         Second, look at the names of all these candidates and their situations.  These coaches have big names, but unique circumstances. Calipari has been at Kentucky for one year and failed miserably in his past NBA coaching experiences.  Krzyzewski has a great resume in the college ranks, but has never been a coach in the NBA. Rivers is coaching one of the best teams in basketball with the Celtics and Jackson has arguably the best team in the NBA with a core nucleus of players that will be in LA for the next few years.  Why would Rivers and Jackson leave their championship contending teams to coach Lebron on an unproven team?  Who in their right mind thinks any of these guys will be the next coach for Lebron?

Why Would Phil Leave LA?

          The point is no one knows who will be coaching Lebron next year. He could very well sign with a team that already has an established coach.  All of these media outlets are trying to draw attention themselves by just saying anything with “Lebron James” attach to it. I’m sure for the next several weeks we will hear more coaches names attached to Lebron along with rumors as to where he might sign.

         What is unfortunate is that until Lebron signs a contract on July 1st all of the speculation will continue. It’s going to be a long summer.

Doing the John Wall..

Posted: May 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

After years of turmoil, the Washington Wizards have to reason dance and flex their guns, but not you Gilbert, as all signs point to John Wall being the Number 1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft

The NFL Draft was held this past weekend New York.  Lifelong goals and dreams of playing NFL was fulfilled. The NFL teams that selected these players are confident that the player will become caliber of players at their respective positions. 

As much hype as the draft receives it is very instrumental in the success of a team.  The draft allows teams to draft college football players to fulfill the needs of necessary positions.  This process however can be a gift and a curse.  Teams can be rewarded by selecting a player like Peyton Manning. The former first overall pick has become one of the best quarterbacks in league history by winning many games, setting numerous passing records, and winning a Super Bowl for his organization. On the other hand, failed first round selections can be the curse of any organization.  Look at Kentucky Wildcat alum Tim Couch.  In 1999,” Couch signed a 7 year contract for $48 million” (King, 1999). He rewarded the team by going out and becoming one of the biggest busts in NFL history.  He was cut after just four seasons in Cleveland.

Tim Couch had the potential to be great. He never lived up to the expectations

The draft can be an enigma.  Players that are projected to be selected in the first round are supposed to be destined for stardom. Sometimes this happens, but other times they fail miserably and become punch lines to jokes. Then there are players selected in the later rounds with no expectations and then they become superstars.

The 1st round draft picks can be the most intriguing.  These are the players that generate the most notoriety and the most hype.  Along with this they command millions of dollars.  They all were college All- Americans and they dominated their opponents and now they will take their skills and attempt to prove themselves on the professional level.   With their attributes and intangibles these players have the potential to flourish in the league and earn numerous accolades and awards right? Not necessarily.

First, I don’t care for the word potential.  Scratch that I don’t like the word potential at all! To me potential is an excuse as to why a player isn’t where he needs to be right now.  People use the word to try and sell a person on a particular player and make them sound even better.  It’s come to a point now where potential is being used along with other abilities. For example, “This wide receiver is great I’m telling you! He has great hands, great speed, and he has potential!  The last time I checked potential doesn’t score touchdowns and doesn’t win football games.  Tangible talent that people can see is what makes fans buy tickets and wins football games.

Potential is just a better word for hope.  Think about it.

 Look I hope to be a millionaire one day. I hope to have mansion next to the beach with chefs preparing all of the meals for my family.  That sounds nice but there is no guarantee that those situations will ever happen for me. Hope or potential is what these NFL teams are banking on for these college athletes.  Look I understand that almost of these players will need time to develop.  A team can’t expect a college player to step in and dominate like they did in college.  They need to adjust to the speed of the game and learn the perspective playbooks of their side of the ball. I completely understand this, however if I am NFL team and I’m selecting a player in the first round I am going to select the player that I am confident will excel at his position once he adjusts to playing at the professional level.

Look the at the 2005 NFL draft.  The top two project players in that draft were quarterbacks Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers.  There wasn’t a huge difference in talent between them.  Some people liked Smith better and others liked Rodgers.  One small element that people saw in Smith was potential.  Smith was a couple years younger than Rodgers and felt that in the long run Smith would be the better quarterback.  The same people that felt this way thought that Rodgers had already peaked in his career and didn’t think that he would develop into much better quarter back then he already was in college.  Ultimately Smith was selected with the first overall pick to San Francisco and Rodgers was selected later in the first round by the Green Bay Packers.  Potential wasn’t the main reason why Smith was chosen over Rodgers, however it was element that discussed by experts and other teams. 

Currently, Alex Smith is viewed by many as a bust and Aaron Rodgers has developed into a top tier quarterback in the league by already participating in the Pro Bowl and leading his team into the playoffs. Potential is a dangerous word.

49ers fans are would love to Rodgers in San Francisco.

These first round selections costs too much money have to the word “potential” attach to it.  If these picks don’t live up to their potential then the organization will be out of a lot of money and a few members within the organization can potentially lose their jobs.  In order for teams to have success in the draft they need to eliminate any thoughts of potential and rely on confidence in selecting players.

King, P. (1999, April 17). Inside Game. Retrieved April 24, 2010, from Sports Illustrated : http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_game/peter_king/news/1999/04/17/king_insider/

Hello world!

Posted: May 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

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