Sunday, November 1, 2009

Advantage Yankees...

Nick Swisher? The same Nick Swisher the White Sox got rid of? The Nick Swisher that was benched by manager Joe Girardi in game 2? Yes, it was that Nick Swisher who came back to help the Yankees, win game 3 and take a 2-1 lead in the World Series. A crushing blow to the Phillies, who give up a game at home, and now will have to hope they can force the series back to New York. Cole Hamels last year's MVP has looked like anything but that this post-season, while Andy Pettitte looked like the solid veteran pitcher he is, in helping his team to a win.

It wasn't only Swisher (2-4, HR, RBI), it was replay to the rescue in a critical part of the game. The Phillies had a 3-0 lead, as the top of the 4th began. Mark Teixeira drew a walk, and then Alex Rodriguez drove a ball to the right field corner, it looked to have hit off the wall, for what was ruled a double. But after further review...the ball hit the TV camera down the line and over the wall, and was ruled a 2 run homer, and the Yankees were rolling after that.

Tonight, the Yankees and Phillies go in game 4...Joe Blanton will take the ball for Philadelphia and CC Sabathia will throw for the Yankees, on 3 days rest.

After further thoughts on replay...
REPLAY. It's the dreaded "R" word for baseball and its umpires. This was the first time the video was used in a world series game, EVER. Is it a sign of things to come in the regular season? It very well could be. To me, you can't slow the game of baseball down anymore than it already is (not a bad thing to me, love the drama and no clock), but something needs to be done. I realize the human element has been in place since the game began, but these humans make critical mistakes and cost teams games. Something like the NFL plan can be put into place. Allow team's managers to "challenge" 2 plays a game. Here's the way to regulate it though. If you lose your first challenge, you lose your second challenge as well. This way, team's will have to be absolutely certain of their challenge or they could lose both.

Balls and strikes would not be a situation allowed to be challenged. Fair/Foul, HR/no HR, catch/no catch, and perhaps those bang-bang plays on the bases would be challengeable. Wonder if baseball will agree with me? Wonder if you agree with me? Comment!

Random musings on a Sunday...
I still don't get this daylight savings time thing. Why do we insist on being miserable in the winter time with less light? I know that there were reasons for it way back when, farmers and the like needed earlier sunrise in the fall/winter to harvest crops, but now we have portable lighting systems and other technology. Hmmm.

Just in case you didn't know. Brett Favre is returning to Lambeau Field as a Viking today to play his former team the Packers. Not sure if you heard that enough.

I predict that the Chargers will roll over the Raiders today at the Q. The Raiders are playing better lately, but their QB JaMarcus Russell looks lost at times. Ron Rivera will have to get his troops to the QB, not just to sack him, but to hit him, make him uncomfortable and he'll throw picks a plenty.

Personal Note...
It was 10 years ago today that a childhood hero of mine passed away, much too soon. Walter Payton, the man they called "Sweetness" died of complications due to liver cancer on this date in 1999. Two of the toughest things I've ever covered in my career as a sportscaster were Payton's announcement that he had the disease. He broke down on the podium and it was a surreal feeling to be there. Payton passed just before a Bears/Packers game at Lambeau Field. I covered his funeral from a distance, and then the game in Green Bay. The Bears had a 14-13 lead with :05 left in the 4th quarter. Ryan Longwell was setting up for a chip shot field goal to win the game. Somehow, Bears lineman Mike Wells, reached up and blocked the kick. It was an amazing scene on the field. Everybody knew that #34 had something to do with it and who am I to disagree. Rest in peace Sweetness.

That's it for me...enjoy the game tonight and football today....


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