Okay, sure. There’s a Tampa Bay and Philadelphia in the way of this World Series matchup. But it’s a sports reporter’s dream, and the closer we come to living it, the more we have to grin and bear the cold reality that Manny Ramirez will probably return to Fenway Park, not in some dumpy Interleague series, but in the World freaking Series. The sooner you come to accept it, the less painful it will be to watch the myriad of sports columns be churned out surrounding Manny v. Boston, a Supreme Court case which will set dangerous precedent on how much one perplexing superstar can overshadow a baseball team. (Especially one with Nomar Garciaparra.)
The Los Angeles Dodgers got to sit on their laurels and watch the Boston Red Sox clinch their side of the ALDS with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, thanks to midseason call-up Jed Lowrie driving in midseason pick-up Jason Bay in the ninth inning on a seeing-eye ground ball. It could have been the play of the game. Or maybe Bay’s double two batters earlier was the play of the game. Or maybe…
…it was Jason Varitek tagging out Reggie Willits, then dropping the ball. Here’s what happened. Willits pinch ran for Kendry Morales, who smashed a leadoff double in the ninth. Willits then advanced to third as the potential go-ahead run. But Erick Aybar’s missed bunt resulted in Cpt. Varitek chasing down Willits, tagging him off the base, falling to his knees, falling to his side, and having the ball dislodged from that big glove of his. Poor Mike Scioscia. All the arguing in the world won’t solidify that guarantee.
Hmm. How can we smoothly transition from controversial calls in late games to this man?
It is guaranteed, unfortunately, that a certain referee and accentuator of abs and cloits will be scrutinized week-to-week. NFL whistleblower Ed Hochuli was at it again on Monday Night Football’s Vikings-Saints showdown. THE CRITICAL FANATIC notes that Hocks didn’t flag down a face mask penalty inflicted on Reggie Bush — a mask grab that resulted in a fumble and change of possession.
It’s really gotten to the point at which Hochuli & Co. will have all their calls sifted through with a very thin and thorough comb, while high school football referees run wild and free. By contrast, the nation probably hasn’t met Bill Carollo the way they’ve met Hochuli, but Carollo was the center of a controversial call, the BALTIMORE SUN reports, on the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs that partly led to the Titans’ 13-10 win over the Ravens. Carollo’s not getting much heat, but namely because he didn’t whistle dead Jay Cutler non-fumble fumble. (Even though Carollo’s call, like Hochuli’s, did help an unlikely undefeated team stay undefeated.)
So here’s another sentiment you can throw onto the pile to ensure that Hochuli is fairly and critically graded exactly like the rest of his peers. Meaning: they should ALL get beer bottles thrown at them.*
Hopefully Hochuli doesn’t get downgraded all the way down to officiating games in the Lingerie Football League. Actually, is that necessarily a bad thing?
- 1190 KEX reports on the LFL tryouts: things seem to be going … um … good?
- And now for an excitable report on the Washington Redskins from YOUTUBE and owner Daniel Snyder: “WE BEAT PHILLY! WE BEAT DALLAS!” They sure did, Mr. Snyder. They sure did.
- BASKETBAWFUL isn’t just about the Web. Oh no. They also scour the print edition of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES and found WNBA agate placed near massage parlors and strip clubs.
- Colombian soap opera star Elisa Sanchez was shot down by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, because she thought he was gay. Know what this means? You have a better chance at her than he does.
- Know what we haven’t had in a while? Lyrical poetry on Lawrence Phillips’s recent sentencing. Ah, there we go.
- Connecticut football might be out of the Top 25, but UConn lineman Rob Lunn is still ranked among hilarious college football bloggers, notes USA TODAY’s GAME ON.
- Mentioned in yesterday’s SBB SPEED READ, Regan Smith’s DQ in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race could be the straw that broke DEI’s back, reports SPORTSTICKER.
- THE EXAMINER talks with Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson’s wife Joy about October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- THE SCORES REPORT makes a good connection. 32 teams in the NFL, 32 reasons to love the season so far. One for each team? Well, sorta. The Lions, Rams, and Raiders share one spot, because combined, they are one hell of an NFL team.
- THE GREENVILLE NEWS leaves no fact out of the story. Two South Carolina high school football players were arrested after a Waffle House skirmish, but the lede is buried by sharing their season stats to date.