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Selig Says He Likes The
Human Element In Baseball
IT'S A MISTAKE: In N.Y., Costello & Greenberg note "another botched call by the umpires" took place during Thursday's Phillies-Yankees Game Two when first base umpire Brian Gorman called Phillies 2B Chase Utley "out on an eighth-inning-ending double play." Replays "showed Utley was safe and the inning should have continued with runners on first and second base." Crew Chief Jerry Davis said it would bother him to have this call lumped with other missed calls "because (it was) very, very close" (N.Y. POST, 10/30). In Philadelphia, Matt Gelb writes two "controversial calls late in Game 2 marred" the Yankees' victory. Gelb also notes by the "end of the seventh, fans at Yankee Stadium were chanting, 'We want replay!'" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/30). ESPN's Mike Greenberg: "The game last night again is marred by two terrible calls, and this is a shame. ... For the umpiring to be as much a part of the story as it is this morning is a shame." ESPN's Buster Olney: "I thought last night was a classic example of why you absolutely need and want instant replay in the game" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN, 10/29). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan wrote it is "confounding to see players and managers and executives pooh-pooh the idea of instant replay when MLB is approaching a dozen missed calls in its most important month of the season." Passan: "It's laughable at this point. It really is" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/30).
Selig Admits He Hates Playing
World Series Into November
OTHER TOPICS: Selig was enthused at Thursday’s news of an 11.9 fast national rating for Game One, the best Series-opening mark since '04. “It’s remarkable. But our ratings have been good throughout the postseason.” Selig also reiterated his desire to see daytime World Series games, but added he did not know how or when that could be done. He did praise Fox, however, for agreeing to roll back most of the game start times to 7:57pm ET. Meanwhile, the return of Mark McGwire to the Cardinals as hitting coach brought more plaudits from Selig for the embattled slugger, with whom he has held a long friendship. When questioned about McGwire, Selig took the opportunity to reiterate the game’s ongoing work in drug testing and steroid-use prevention. “When he comes back, you will all have a lot of opportunities to talk to him. The fact that he’s coming back gives you an opportunity you wouldn’t have had. Think about that" (Fisher).
Parity Not On Display This NFL Season
GROWING CONCERN? CBS' Phil Simms said the lack of parity in the NFL is a "cause for concern." He added of the disparity between teams, "You've got to pick the right coach, it's about making the right personnel decisions and more now than ever: money." NBC's Cris Collinsworth said stadium deals are "starting to create a little bit of a gap between the haves and the have nots in the league." Collinsworth: "The reason I think it's a concern is going into next year … because if you start thinking about this in terms of no salary cap, now will we begin to see potentially baseball happening to football." CBS' James Brown said the "cumulative effect of all this is having an adverse impact on the product on the field" ("Inside the NFL," Showtime, 10/28). L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said the NFL is "our national pastime, and it's based on everyone in the country has a chance. Right now, they don't." Plaschke added NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "needs to look at this and some of these awful franchises and if they need his help or guidance, they need to give it to them," as the "lack of parity is just killing the NFL" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/28).
NBA Will Forward Donaghy's Allegations
To Investigator "For A Complete Review"
PUT ON PROBATION: In Charlotte, Jim Utter reported NASCAR Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger “will compete in Sunday’s Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway” despite being arrested early Thursday morning for DWI. Richard Petty Motorsports in an internal e-mail said that Allmendinger’s “status with the team had not changed.” NASCAR Thursday “penalized -- but did not suspend -- Allmendinger, placing him on probation until Dec. 31.” Allmendinger in a statement said, “I went out to dinner and I had a couple of drinks. I honestly felt fine, but I obviously should have erred more on the side of caution, particularly given what I do for a living” (THATSRACIN.com, 10/29).
MAKING A COMEBACK: USA TODAY's Douglas Robson writes, "After one year of implementation, there are signs the WTA's restructuring to reduce athlete wear and tear and delivering a more consistent stable of stars to tournaments is doing what it intended. Overall player withdrawals are down by a third in 2009 from 2008, and the most sought-after names are meeting tournament commitments 90% of the time, up from 78% last year." ESPN's Pam Shriver said that it is "probably premature to call the changes resoundingly successful." Shriver: "But those numbers are encouraging in the first year" (USA TODAY, 10/30).
ON THE FIRST TEE: In Palm Springs, Larry Bohannan offers ideas for what new LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan's priorities should be when he assumes the role in January. Bohannan suggests Whan should "make up with the sponsors, tournament officials ... be realistically positive about the product," and "market, market, market" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 10/30).