Tuesday, October 9, 2012

8 comments MMQB Review: Kickers are People Too Edition

Peter King has followed up his power rankings debacle from last week with power rankings that seem to make a little more sense and Peter has us feeling uplifted by the exploits of NeckBeard and the rest of the Colts team. Peter also details Shahid Khan's attempts to grow the Jacksonville Jaguars base in other countries, where the citizenry are less prone to know the direction the Jaguars team seems to be trending. Apparently Khan wants to see a lot of Jacksonville Jaguars shirts in Ireland, but only fill the stadium to 60% capacity in Jacksonville. One piece of good news is that Peter has promised his editors he isn't providing any political commentary...then Peter gives political commentary in the very next sentence after stating he wouldn't be giving any.

There are a lot of stories in the naked city this morning -- 

Peter, are you lost and naked in the city again?

the Brees ascension over the great Unitas, 

"The Brees Ascension." It sounds like a faith-based movie about Drew Brees life and the hard times he endured during his free agency year in 2006 when he was desperately searching for an NFL team to give him the most guaranteed money in a contract. He could do better than the 5 year $50 million incentive-laden deal the Chargers were offering. Brees had to keep faith a team wouldn't pay him to perform and would give him guaranteed money. It's a very uplifting story of how one man went from really wealthy to really, really wealthy against the odds.

 the 49ers playing like the '66 Packers, the air being let out of the Buffalo Counterfeit Bills, Eric Winston in a rage, Wes Welker with a needle, Chicago playing piranha defense, Minnesota shocking the world, Atlanta off to the best start in its history -- but there is one story that stands above them all. The story is the game of the year.

At least until next week when there will be a completely different "game of the year." Games of the year tend to happen on a near-weekly basis sometimes.

Halftime score in Indianapolis: Packers 21, Colts 3.
Final score in Indianapolis: Chuck Pagano 30, Packers 27.

At least Peter isn't being overly-dramatic about this victory for the Colts. It's pretty hard to be snarky about a guy who has leukemia, even if this story isn't exactly about Chuck Pagano specifically. Still, writing "Chuck Pagano 30, Packers 27" is the type of thing even Hallmark movies wouldn't touch.

Indy, however, left Aaron Rodgers 35 seconds. And no matter how the crowd and the Colts sideline wished time, just this once, could fly, Green Bay got in position for a 51-yard field-goal try by Mason Crosby with eight seconds left. Crosby had plenty of leg to make the kick.

"I just thought, 'If there's a God in heaven, I pray he misses this,'' said Arians.

I am sure one of God's biggest priorities right now in regard to the 2012 Indianapolis Colts team is to ensure this kick by Mason Crosby missed.

Crosby seemed like he got a good kick on it. But something insane happened a millisecond later, inside a retractable-roof stadium with the dome closed this day. The ball veered left so fast and so far about 20 yards into the kick ... it was like an immense gust of wind showed up just then and pushed the kick impossibly left. 

Clearly this was the spirit of Chuck Pagano, despite the fact he is alive, pushing the ball to the left.

Yet there was no wind -- the ball just shot to the left for some very odd, somebody-up-there-likes-Chuck reason, a shankapotamus if there ever were one.

So I guess the same God that didn't give a shit whether Joe Philbin won a playoff game as the Packers offensive coordinator last year just days after his son's death, was the one who pushed this kick to the left? That's how God works, he takes time to meddle in the affairs of certain sporting events, but not other sporting events. Or does God just hate the Green Bay Packers?

1. Drew Brees did it again. First, two historic preambles: Devery Henderson caught the pass Brees threw to break John Unitas' 52-year-old record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Henderson wears No. 19. Unitas wore 19.

Again, God at work. Clearly. There is no such thing as a coincidence in situations like this.

And the only team in history to start 0-4 and make the playoffs was the 1992 Chargers.
And Johnny Unitas played for the Chargers. Coincidence? I think not.

The 2012 Chargers were in the house Sunday night, and the Saints -- formerly 0-4 -- scratched and clawed and Breesed their way to a 31-24 win, with the savvy QB throwing four touchdown passes in all, three to Marques Colston.

Marques Colston is constantly scoring touchdowns and Johnny Unitas' middle name? You guessed it. Constantine. There are so many coincidences I have created here I would be shocked if there isn't a higher power at work.

Understand something about Brees: He feels inextricably tied to Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis, because in 2006, when Nick Saban's Dolphins were skeptical about Brees' preparedness for the season due to major shoulder surgery, they stuck their necks out and committed $60 million over six years to sign him in New Orleans. That's why Brees emailed Commissioner Roger Goodell eight days ago, asking for papal dispensation so Payton and Loomis and the also-suspended Joe Vitt could attend this game.

This is also why Drew Brees was so quick to sign a contract extension with the Saints this offseason, so he could continue to play for Sean Payton. The contract extension this offseason got done quickly, right?

2. The 49ers are some scary dudes. Until San Francisco's 45-3 rout of the Bills, no team in NFL history had ever rushed for more than 300 yards and passed for more than 300 yards in the same game. The Niners rushed for 311 and passed for 310. Watching bits and pieces of this game, the one thing you can tell is how varied Alex Smith's weapons are. He's so much more equipped to run a diverse offense than he was last year.

I've been wrong about one or two things in my life, but so far it looks like I was very wrong about Jim Harbaugh. I was quick to criticize media members who proclaimed him the next great head coach in the NFL. Now while I still think they were quick to say what a great coach he was going to be before he coached one game (see: Schiano, Greg), I underestimated how good he was at straightening out quarterbacks and how the 49ers were a competent quarterback away from being a really good team.

3. The best division in football? Don't laugh. Every team in the NFC West is above .500, and the composite record of the division is 14-6. No other division is close. I thought the NFC South could be a powerhouse. Nope; 8-11. Now that the Rams have a defense, all four teams out west can hold teams down. Good defense travels. I can see the West keeping it up the entire year.

I'm pretty sure the NFC West can't keep up a 70% winning percentage all year, especially since those NFC West teams still have to play each other multiple times before the season is over.

4. Welker slams Belichick ... or did he? Really: You be the judge. Watch this clip on Comcast SportsNet New England and see Wes Welker, prodded by host Mike Felger, answer how it felt catching 13 balls Sunday against Denver, versus the three he caught when it looked like the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were featuring others in Week 1. "It's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face every once in a while,'' Welker said. "So this is definitely a good one." You see Welker wink at the camera slightly.

I'm inclined to think he definitely has some hurt feelings over how he was used in Week 1 (five targets, three catches, 14 yards) and as one Patriot press box wag suggested: "The truth is often spoken in jest. Not sure Belichick will find it as funny.''

Two days from now we will find Wes Welker's bruised and battered body in a dumpster about a mile from Gillette Stadium. The only evidence found at the scene of the crime was two fibers that appear to have come from a gray hoodie and a Patriots playbook with Welker's routes all diagrammed in blood.

7. The NFC North is not exactly what we expected. The Bears are not a big surprise, particularly when you consider they have the most opportunistic defense in football -- as many touchdowns on interception returns (five) as their backs have rushing touchdowns. Wait until Jay Cutler gets hot.

By "hot" does Peter mean wait until Jay Cutler punches an offensive lineman in the face instead of merely pushing him? Or by "hot" does Peter mean Cutler is able to stay warm during the cold Chicago games by using the thin layer of baby fat around his body to keep warm?

All you who thought the Vikings would be two games up on the Packers after five weeks, raise your hand. (Wilfs, you don't count.) Minnesota has a tolerable schedule too. That division is going to have a riotous pennant race.

It will be a raucous pennant race. The turbulence of this pennant race will be shocking to the everyday person. Also, why is Peter calling it a "pennant race" when it refers to football? I'm pretty sure this phrase usually applies only to baseball.

9. The Danny Amendola story made Kevin Demoff faint. You probably heard the story that Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff fainted during a staff meeting Friday. He was hospitalized and found to be in fine health. A fluky thing.

Demoff probably fainted because he heard the Rams top two receivers are Brandon Gibson and Austin Pettis or because he found out Sam Bradford is still throwing them the football.

The owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, flies to London this week to begin the serious business of promoting his team to a British audience.

It makes sense. Now that the Jags are alienating their Jacksonville fan base, someone has to buy tickets to Jaguars games. Why not have a bunch of unsuspecting foreigners be the easy bait?

More importantly, is this some sort of outsourcing to find a fan base? First, foreigners take all of our American jobs overseas and now foreigners are stealing the joy we derive from our sports teams. You can't outsource joy, Mr. Khan!

Khan is determined that the Jaguars become England's NFL team, and perhaps Europe's, over the next few years, and he sees it as part of the plan of the Jaguars' long-term future in Jacksonville.

All joking aside, this isn't a terrible idea, though I do wonder why Khan is so intent on expanding the Jags fan base overseas while the Jacksonville fan base seems to be the one Khan should be courting heavily.

It seems outlandish to think of Londoners taking road trips to Jacksonville to see an American football game. But what if it's a Jacksonville-golf-Disney World-South Beach combo platter week of fun? Who knows if the Jaguars can dent the English sports scene, or the European one. But the Pakistani-born Khan's going to try.

Again, I get the idea. I don't know how I would feel if my favorite NFL team's owner decided he wanted to own the official team of England while expecting the fan base in America to support the team when he sends one home game per year over the next four seasons to England. Maybe it's just me, but I would feel a little betrayed. NFL teams only get eight home games in a year, not counting preseason games, and Khan wants to take one of those home games away to grow the team overseas? I wouldn't be too happy about this as a Jags fan.

Khan is so bullish on the prospect of the team's reach into Europe that he told me it's "highly likely'' Jacksonville may eventually play two home games a year in Europe. 

This would make me even more angry. Why should I as a fan of the Jags support the team and buy tickets to games when it is clear we aren't a priority in Jacksonville? Sure, it is great to grow the fan base, but the Jags fans have supported the team since 1995. Maybe Khan should work hard to draw a good Jacksonville-based crowd to games.

Now, if you're a Jaguars fan, before getting apoplectic over the prospect of losing a second home game per season, understand that this is all about fanbase-building, revenue generation and, eventually, free agent and guaranteed-money competition with the league's haves.

I get it, but there is a salary cap in the NFL. Maybe Quarterback X will want to sign with the Jaguars because they are a more global brand, but I have a hard time believing English fans are going to make the trip over to America to watch Jaguars games to the point this is part of what keeps the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

His home market won't take kindly to losing a second home game, and he's going to have to find a way to finesse that to his fans. But I look at it like I look at the market closest to Jacksonville (TV market size: 47), which is 51st-rated Buffalo. Bills fans have to accept that to have a chance to keep the franchise in Buffalo long-term, cultivating the Toronto market is vital.

Other than the fact these are two different things of course and probably aren't very comparable situations, this is a great comparison.

The Jacksonville dalliance with London is totally different, obviously;

Apparently this isn't so obvious since Peter just compared these two situations to each other.

Khan's outside-the-box thinking is a double-edged sword. But I'm not sure the Jags are in Jacksonville in 15 years with conventional thinking.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding the issue. The issue with the Jaguars staying in Jacksonville is there isn't enough support (revenue) coming from the franchise to justify keeping them in Jacksonville. Is Khan trying to move the Jags overseas or is he trying to get overseas support in America for the Jags? I get the idea of using a world market to ramp up interest in a sport, but because fans in the United States like the Premier League does that mean these fans are going to travel to the city of their favorite NFL team often enough to support the team staying in that city? It seems to me like expanding overseas is a great idea overall for the NFL, but not specifically to solve any woes an NFL team has from playing in a specific city.

Fine Fifteen

14. Arizona (4-1). I can't see how this team makes the playoffs with that offensive line.

What a fall for the Cardinals. They lost to the #13 team in Peter's Fine Fifteen and then got knocked down to #14 from #5 last week.

The Colts have gotten very lucky with this Luck guy.

Remember, you have to be a very experienced sportswriter to write things like this and get paid six figures for doing so.

"If I were you, I would learn how to be a little bit nicer. I know you don't care and nor do I care if I ever sit down and do an interview with you -- which I have yet to do. Maybe there's a reason for that. I like everybody. I'd like to like you but right now I don't like you. Grow up, young man."

-- Terry Bradshaw on Jay Cutler, on the FOX pregame show Sunday.

Oh yeah, tough talk from Terry Bradshaw to Jay Cutler through the television set on a pregame show there is a 0% chance Cutler was watching. While I do think Jay Cutler is a dipshit, I like how Terry Bradshaw tells Cutler he needs to be nicer, and then tells Cutler he doesn't care if ever does an interview with him despite not knowing him at all. Basically the moral of this lesson from Terry Bradshaw is he doesn't like Jay Cutler despite not knowing him, he doesn't care to know him, and this is supposed to be some sort of message that Jay Cutler will heed. There is a reason I don't watch pregame shows and crap like this is one of those reasons. The whole "tough talk to an NFL player through the television" schtick got old 15 years ago.

1. I think this is what I liked about Week 5:

b. Chris Long, rushing the passer like the second pick in the draft.

Longtime readers of this blog probably remember how much Peter King liked Chris Long back when he was drafted by the Rams. I thought Chris Long was going to have to get a restraining order against Peter.

m. Well, I'll be darned: Sunday was the third time in Alex Smith's eight-year career that he had a 300-yard passing game. Regardless of what you think of Smith, it's amazing in this age that any quarterback who's played a lot in eight years has only three of those.

I'm not sure "amazing" is the word that I would look to use in this situation, especially coming from the #1 pick in a draft. What is amazing to me is that Smith is only 28 years old. I feel like he has been in the NFL for 15 years.

2. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 5:

a. Percy Harvin the special teams player of the month for September? Way off the mark. Nine players returned kicks for touchdowns in the month. Harvin was one of them. Greg Zuerlein (12 of 12 in field goals, seven from beyond 45 yards in the month) had one of the best months a kicker has ever had. Harvin shouldn't be penalized for being Harvin and being taken for granted, but he didn't have nearly as impactful a month as Zuerlein did.

Last week Peter named Greg Zuerlein his Offensive Rookie of the Year and this week he is livid, livid I tell you, that nine players returned kicks for touchdowns in September and one of these players was named special teams player of the month for September. I wonder if Peter realizes 31 other kickers made field goals during the month of September?

I know, I know, Zuerlein's accuracy is impressive, but Harvin is #1 in the NFL in kick return average at 38.3 yards on nine returns. Peter is telling me 38 yards per kick return isn't impactful when it comes to Minnesota being 4-1? It's nearly impossible to say which player was more impactful, but Harvin has been the best kick returner in the NFL for the month of September and has consistently given the Vikings great field position. He is a big reason the Vikings are 4-1.

g. Ray Lewis, who really got pushed around by the Chiefs. That weight loss looks like it's hurting him a lot. He just isn't a factor against the run the way he used to be.

Or it could be that time is just catching up with him. That's not it though because the obvious answer couldn't be the correct answer. Lewis is 37 years old. I know he lost weight, but maybe it is a combination of the weight loss and age that causes him not be a factor against the run.

3. I think Andy Reid, after watching Mike Vick lose two more fumbles in the first quarter at Pittsburgh, has to be thinking about benching Vick. Not today, but soon, if Vick can't hold onto it. That's 11 turnovers in the first 17 quarters of the season.

For who? Which quarterback on the Eagles roster is a better option right now than Mike Vick? Vick fumbles way too often, but I'm not sure there is a quarterback on the Eagles roster that gives them a better chance to win a game. Nick Foles or Trent Edwards? I'm not sure either is the answer.

5. I think this will be my last dispatch from the Replacement Officials Front: I had a conversation with Jim Core, the NAIA ref, World Geography teacher and public school activities director from Meridian, Idaho, and came away thinking: The NFL's lucky the first three weeks of this season weren't more of a debacle.

Three other observations from Core: He didn't like how hard and how intensely Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano worked the crew during the Giants-Bucs game in Week 2 and called the crashing of the Victory Formation "something you'd see at a high school level.''

Which as an official during NAIA games he would know something about officiating football at the high school level.

Core's crew had the Chargers twice, and he said Philip Rivers "was pretty much a jerk''

That can't be true because the mainstream sports media tells me the only jerk quarterback in the NFL is Jay Cutler.

7. I think this is another example of the absolute folly of the NFL even thinking about an 18-game schedule: The Jets play Houston tonight. Mark Sanchez will likely be without his top two wideouts (Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill) and his starting tight end (Dustin Keller.) Moreover, four of his eligible pass catchers were picked up off the street by the Jets. This is Week 5. You can't in good conscience think about expanding the regular season. You just can't.

I thought the NFL had dropped all ideas of an 18 game season? They just won't let that go, will they? I don't see how the NFL can claim to be concerned about the long-term health of the players and want to extend the season by two games. I don't care if they want to eliminate two preseason games. The intensity in a preseason game and a regular season game is completely different. For me, claiming to care about player safety and then increasing the regular season by two games (absent a rule saying players can only play in 16 games during a season) are mutually exclusive.

b. Bobby V whacked. Now there's a stunner.

The Red Sox are so cursed. They experienced their first below .500 season since 1997. It's all Bobby Valentine's fault naturally.

d. Quote of the Week, and the quote for all weeks, comes from Adam Greenberg, after his strikeout against R.A. Dickey of the Mets, in his celebrated at-bat for the Marlins the other night, the at-bat that took seven years to materialize. "I don't care what's gone on the last seven years. It's all worth it for this moment. It's going to last for an eternity for me.''

My only issue with this at-bat, and this is typical Marlins behavior, is they had Greenberg not only bat against one of the best pitchers in the National League, but one of the best pitchers in the National League who throws a knuckleball. Give the guy a fighting chance at the plate, won't you?

e. Runner-up for baseball quote of the week goes to the departing Chipper Jones, after he made an important error in the Braves' Wild Card loss to St. Louis Friday: "My heart is broken. Not for me, but for my teammates, my coaching staff and these fans who have been so great to us this year.''

f. There's a guy baseball will miss.

Yep. I had ignored it all year, but it is going to be very weird not seeing #10 standing at third base (or on the bench nursing an injury) squinting and talking out the side of his mouth. I think he was out in his final at-bat because Aaron Craig had stepped on the bag at first before Chipper did, but no way the umpire was calling Chipper out to end the game and his career, especially after that infield fly rule was called.

Talk about a tough situation for an umpire. On a bang-bang play is he really calling Chipper Jones out at first base to end Chipper's career, eliminate the Braves from the playoffs, and there be a 5% chance Chipper was safe? No way. He was out and I'm glad the Braves complete ineffectiveness with runners in scoring position meant this call didn't change the game.

h. He makes a good case. I would still probably vote for Cabrera, whose team made the playoffs while Trout's did not, and who volunteered to move from first to third so the Tigers could sign Prince Fielder, meaning that I think there should be an asterisk next to his fielding statistics. But it's very close, and I see the Trout side more clearly because of Pete's explanation.

Let's not act like Miguel Cabrera was an excellent first baseman either. There is no need for an asterisk because even if Cabrera was playing first base he wouldn't have nearly been the fielder that Trout is.

i. So what was a worse call -- the Golden Tate touchdown by the replacement side judge in Seattle two weeks ago, or the infield-fly rule call Friday night in Atlanta? I say Golden Tate. In the baseball call, by the wording of the rule, the shortstop could have caught the ball by making "ordinary effort,'' as the baseball rule states. We see shortstops making that sort of play nightly in baseball. Maybe three times a night. Does the left fielder call him off sometimes? Yes. But that play is an ordinary baseball play, even if it's 50 feet behind where the shortstop might normally play.

One major issue with Peter's line of thought...if this type of play happens three times in a night, then how come there is rarely an infield-fly rule called? I've never seen an infield-fly rule called at that spot in the outfield. I say this as a fan of baseball, not a Braves fan. So even if Peter is right it was an ordinary effort, I still don't think the infield-fly rule was the correct call. The purpose of the infield-fly rule was betrayed by the lateness of the call and depth of the fly ball. Even if the umpire made the infield-fly rule call as soon as he believed it qualified, the ball was already on the way down. Once the ball is on the way down, the umpire should not make a call because it is unfair to the fielder and the runners. The infield-fly rule is intended to protect the defense from getting an easy double play. In that situation if Holliday or Pete Kozma had caught the ball, there was very little chance of a double play in that situation. In fact, I would submit it would have taken "ordinary effort" (see what I did there) to even get one out in that situation since the Braves runners were already part of the way to their next base and the ball was so deep in the outfield.

So even if the call was correct in regard to "ordinary effort," which I don't believe it was, the infield-field fly was called too late and there was no chance of the Cardinals dropping the ball and getting a double play. Infield-fly rule is never called in that situation. Just so Peter knows, since he apparently fashions himself a baseball expert, in certain baseball parks like Fenway Park that ball is a lazy fly to left field. So his whole explanation doesn't make sense to me because whether it is an "ordinary effort" play or not depends on the park the game is being played in as well. I think infield-fly rule needs to be called in the infield or near the edge of the infield. Obviously there is no rule saying this has to be done, but I would hope common sense tells us what is a lazy fly ball in one stadium can be a Texas Leaguer in another stadium. For me, that ball was too deep in the outfield and the very purpose of the rule (to protect the runners) was betrayed by the depth of the fly ball and the timing of the umpire's call.

This call wasn't what lost the game for the Braves. It didn't help of course, but they lost the game with their errors and terrible situational hitting.

I wouldn't have blamed the ump if he didn't make the call, but I don't think -- as the rule is written -- that it was a bad call.

If it wasn't a bad call, then it was a call that is never made at that point in the outfield.

m. Of course I watched the presidential debate. But I've told my editors I wouldn't be throwing out any partisan or non-partisan opinions on the race. Sorry. I know how many of you look forward to my well-informed take on politics.

We all know, now that Peter has said he won't give an opinion on politics, Peter is immediately going to give his opinion on politics.

n. So would I be allowed to say that the annual cost to every man, woman and child in the United States for PBS is $1.35, or should I keep that to myself?

I get it! Peter is asking a question as to whether he should ask a question, but by asking the question on whether he should ask the question he is really asking the question he wants to ask. Creative!

s. No desire to see the final days of The Office. Not even DVRing it. Am I wrong?

Wrong? Yes, you are wrong about quite a few things. Wrong about not DVRing "The Office?" That's up to you.

The Adieu Haiku

Hoosierville drama:
Legend grows for Mr. Luck.
He won one for Chuck.

Who requested Peter end each MMQB with a haiku? This person needs to be hanged. 


Anonymous said...

Agree 100% on the infield fly call. Betrayed the whole point of the rule, which is to avoid an infielder allowing the ball to drop to easily double up the runners. Very likely that he doesn't get anyone if that one falls in.

I'm thinking that watching MNF last night was like softcore porn for Peter with the amount of JJ Watt body references they made.

Murray said...

Welker fucking WINKED when doing it of course the local media turns it into a shit storm. Felger had a cheshire smile

I hate the Boston Media

jacktotherack said...

"Crosby seemed like he got a good kick on it. But something insane happened a millisecond later, inside a retractable-roof stadium with the dome closed this day. The ball veered left so fast and so far about 20 yards into the kick ... it was like an immense gust of wind showed up just then and pushed the kick impossibly left.

Yet there was no wind -- the ball just shot to the left for some very odd, somebody-up-there-likes-Chuck reason, a shankapotamus if there ever were one."

Anyone who has ever been golfing knows exactly what Crosby did. He duck-hooked it. It's as simple as that. The kick started left and kept turning left. It wasn't some mystical bullshit that caused the ball to miss 20 yards left, it was the fact that Crosby pulled the hell out of it and missed the kick. It would be a "yankapotomus", not a "shankapotomus."

Fuck Peter King for even hinting that a higher power was at work causing Mason Crosby to miss. That's some hacky shit, even for him, but somehow its made worse by the fact that Pagano is still alive. Every time one of these asshole sportswriters hints that God or whatever intervenes in one of these games it makes me want to scream. I bet Chuck Pagano would take never getting leukemia in the first place over God causing a Mason Crosby kick to hook and secure a win for the Colts. Seems like Pagano is still getting a shitty deal in this case.

rich said...

Nick Saban's Dolphins were skeptical about Brees' preparedness for the season due to major shoulder surgery, they stuck their necks out and committed $60 million over six years to sign him in New Orleans.

Yes, it's not at all Brees didn't have an offer on the table from the Chargers either. The Dolphins also had such reservations that they OFFERED BREES A FUCKING CONTRACT. Drew, being Drew, kept dicking around trying to squeeze every penny from the teams and the Dolphins said fuck it and traded for Culpepper.

So at one point, Brees had three contracts worth 50-60M... poor bastard was so unwanted.

JimA said...

Sorry, but I have seen that infield fly call for popups to the same place in left field. The shortstop could drop the ball and force the runner at third, if he knew the runner already at second was the faster runner than the guy at first, or get the runner at second in order to get a slower hitter to be the runner on first, thus using the situation to his advantage.
I do think the umpire being in left field had an effect on his call, though. It's a different angle for him. I also wonder if he was waiting for one of the other umps to call it, making it appear to be a late call.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, if I had to pick a major issue with the call, that was it. I thought it betrayed the very intent of the rule. I don't believe either Holliday or the Cards SS could have thrown out either runner if the ball dropped. It's an opinion and I could be wrong, especially since we will never know.

I can't watch JJ Watt play without thinking about how much PK likes him.

Murray, Welker had to come out and say he was kidding. Was that really not clear to the fucktards in the media? It was completely clear that Welker was just messing with Belichick.

Jack, when Mason Crosby hit the ball it looked like one of my golf drives, so that's probably a good theory. That is some pretty bad shit to talk about. I don't know if Peter really thinks a higher power was at work, but it's kind of silly to believe one is...especially since Chuck Pagano is still alive and all. It's sad Pagano has leukemia and I know the Colts probably were inspired by him, but writing any type of "being" had anything to do with Crosby's kick going left is silly. Where was this "being" when the Packers were trounced by the Giants in the playoffs last year when Joe Philbin's son died?

Rich, I need to stop harping on the Brees contract, but I just can't. I loved Drew Brees coming out of college. Loved him. I told my friends the Chargers got a great deal in getting LT and Brees for Vick, but once he became a FA I completely got why the Chargers wouldn't give him a guaranteed contract. Then it all of a sudden became an issue where he wanted to go to New Orleans to help rebuild the city and no other teams offered him a contract. The Chargers offered 5 years $50 million with little guaranteed money and performance bonuses. They already had Rivers on the roster. Brees wasn't known for having the strongest arm in the first place and he was coming off major shoulder surgery. It was smart for teams to be hesitant in my opinion.

Jim, I haven't seen a situation where an infield fly rule is called with the infielder's back still to the infield at that point in the outfield. I don't think in this case either player (maybe the runner going to 2nd) could have been forced out when the ball was dropped though. The infielder still had his back to the infield (if I remember correctly) and the runners were already halfway down the line in case the ball fell. Maybe Ross could have been forced at second base, but I'm not sure of it.

I don't know why the ump would be waiting for another ump to call the infield-fly rule. The ball was in the outfield and he is the LF line umpire. I feel like it is his call. Either way, it's over and we will never know.

I still think the intent of the rule was betrayed because the point of the infield fly rule is to prevent the team on defense from getting an easy double play. In that case, the Cards could only have gotten one out, and since it was an "ordinary effort" play he may as well catch the ball if he is only getting one out. So there was no need to call infield fly rule since there was no concern about the Cards getting a double play. Why make the call if the defense can only get one out and why would the infielder let the ball drop if he could only get one out. May as well catch the ball, which we all know it was "ordinary effort" on the part of the infielder, right?

Bengoodfella said...

I just think the call was bad. It betrayed the intent of the infield fly rule call in that the Cards couldn't have gained an advantage in dropping the ball.

Either way, if the ball had dropped w/o the infield fly rule call there is no guarantee how the game would have changed. Atlanta had fucked themselves with poor hitting and poor fielding so they would have probably found another way to lose the game.

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