Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Giants look to end skid tonight in Miami; A’s jets are cooled drop second straight game after long win streak

Photo credit: @sfgiants_fanly

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 The San Francisco Giants have now lost six straight games. The latest loss was on Tuesday night in Miami where they were crushed by the hosts, the Miami Marlins, 11-3. The Marlins did most of their damage with four runs in the fifth and three runs in the sixth.

#2 The Oakland A’s gave it their all, but couldn’t get their 11th straight win as the LA Angles scored twice in the top of the ninth to get a two-run lead over the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum in a 6-4 Angels win. The A’s took another loss for the second straight loss to the Angels on Wednesday afternoon 12-7 in extra innings.

#3 The San Jose Earthquakes are 5-2-6. They have won three out of their last four games and are on the road to face the DC United. The Quakes have a confidence about them that you didn’t see before.

#4 The NBA Finals are coming on Thursday night. The Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors will battle in Toronto in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

#5 The Boston Bruins and St Louis Blues played some old fashion physical hockey in Game 1 on Monday night at TD Waterhouse Garden. The Blues were up by two goals until the Bruins’ Sean Kuraly scored a third period goal to snap a tie and assisted on another goal to help the B’s get a 4-2 win. The Blues and B’s battle again tonight in Boston for Game 2.

London does Headline Sports each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

THAT’S AMAURY: Sorry BoSox, umps made right call in Game 3


Pinch-hitting for Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back in the 1960s, when Curt Gowdy was calling the Game of the Week for NBC, he often remarked about how pundits would claim that the then-new gadget called instant replay would show how bad the umpires were.

Instead, Gowdy told us, it showed how good the umpires really were.

And, on a chilly night in St. Louis, the late, great Cowboy would have been in his glory, making his point again.

That thought came back while watching the exciting finish to Game 3 of the 2013 World Series, which ended with, of all things, a walk-off obstruction call. If you truly like baseball and it’s nuances, this is fun stuff.

To recap, here’s the scenario:
With runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals’ Allen Craig had just reached third base on Jon Jay’s grounder to second with the infield drawn in. The lead runner, Yadier Molina, was thrown out at the plate. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Boston catcher, noticed Craig – hobbled by a foot injury – lumbering toward third. Saltalamacchia’s throw sailed down the left field line. Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, in his attempt to catch the throw, found himself blocking Craig’s base path.

Third base umpire Jim Joyce was all over it, with the correct ruling. According to the rulebook, it doesn’t matter whether or not obstruction was intentional. It’s a judgment call that gets a little sticky.

Any action that impedes the baserunner from advancing is called if the umpires determine that the runner – now advancing at his own risk – would have reached the next base safely. In this case, that base was home plate, and Craig slid across with the winning run in a 5-4 St. Louis victory.

Please note – the runner is not awarded the next base automatically, and home plate umpire Dana DeMuth ruled that Craig would have scored if not for getting tangled up with Middlebrooks. Theoretically, if Craig were thrown out by a proverbial country mile, DeMuth could have called him out, basing his decision on whether or not the obstruction made a difference. Had that happened, in all likelihood, the inning would have ended and the game moves along to the 10th.

But it was a close enough play to cite the obstruction rule, which the umps correctly did

In a rare postgame interview involving umpires, Joyce explained to the media, “The baserunner has every right to go unobstructed to home plate, and unfortunately for Middlebrooks he was right there. And there was contact. So (Craig) could not advance to home plate, naturally.”

Then, Crew Chief John Hirschbeck, clearly annoyed by the inquisition, clarified, “There does not have to be intent, OK?”

Understandably, the Red Sox players and coaches were stunned, confused, and downright upset. No one wants to lose a World Series on a technicality, but the Red Sox did.

However, as upset as the Red Sox are, the rule is clear, and the umpires got it right. The replays proved it, and Joyce deserves credit for a solid call under fire. If anything, Red Sox fans should be more upset that Saltalamacchia made that wild throw to third in the first place. With your closer on the hill and Pete Kozma (.217) on deck, extra innings seemed to be right around the corner.

Tim McCarver, working his final World Series for FOX, said that in his 50-plus years in baseball, he’d never seen a game end like that. Which is, again, one of the great things about baseball – no two games are alike, and the chances of seeing this happen again are slim at best.

For example, in September 1987 I was at the Metrodome in Minneapolis watching the Twins face Kansas City. In the first inning, the Twins turned a 5-4-2 doubled play (third-to-second-to-home for those who don’t know how to score a game) to kill a Royals rally, and left George Brett with the odd scoring of hitting into a DP while reaching safely on a fielder’s choice. I hadn’t seen a 5-4-2 DP before, and I haven’t seen one since. It’s part of the wonderful unpredictability of baseball, like a wild pitch on an intentional walk (which I’ve seen).

The ending of Game 3 is yet another reason why baseball is better. You can’t take a knee or dribble the ball at mid-court to run out a clock. The pitches must be thrown until that third out is recorded. Or, in this case, the winning run is scored.

Thankfully, instant replay isn’t a required part of baseball just quite yet. A 10-minute huddle in front of a monitor under a hood would have killed the moment, reducing it to the level of, say, the NFL – a model of micromanagement.

Let’s hear it for the human element in sports officiating, while we still have a chance to do so.

I’d like to thank Amaury for the opportunity to fill some space while he enjoys some well-deserved time off. Rock on! DD

Larry Levitt on Sharks and Bulls hockey


by Larry Levitt

SAN JOSE–The Sharks who brought a winning streak into Dallas on Thursday night lost a tough one in overtime during a shootout 4-3. The Sharks didn’t play their brand of hockey. They got a little sloppy and they really didn’t recover in this one. In the past when you saw them making a mistake they would clean it up between periods and they would come out fresh.

However on Thursday in Dallas they weren’t really clean and the puck wasn’t bouncing their way they had a lot of bad bounces. They also lost their captain Dan Boyle on a brutal head injury on Tuesday night in St. Louis and it’s not so much the hit that happened it’s the visual of seeing him laying there knocked out like a prize fighter on the ice.

Boyle had his jaw popped and it knocked him out which is kind of scary and we’ve learned that Boyle is doing well, he left St. Louis on Wednesday and flew back to the Bay Area and was looked at by doctors on Thursday in San Jose. Boyle’s prognosis is going to be alright but to see the injury face to face that has a weight on you and that’s the lasting impression the team had as he was carted off the ice on Tuesday night.

The hit on Boyle wasn’t a dirty hit but it was a bad penalty and it was a boarding call and it wasn’t an intentional dirty hit. The fact that the actual boards where a piece of the glass it bounced and he got pushed into the dashboards which was a penalty. It wasn’t a bad illegal hit but it just hit him the right way where his jaw hit the dashboard where it sticks out.

Blues forward Maxim Lapierre didn’t even know that Boyle was laying there and he was knocked out and as you see the replay he was skating off watching the puck and finishing the check, yeah it was illegal check there’s no if, ands and buts about it and Lapierre has to take responsibility for what he did but it could have been much, much worse.

Bulls talk about home opener on Nov 8th: The San Francisco Bulls the minor league affiliate of the Sharks start their regular season home schedule on November 8th at the Cow Palace after an eight game road trip starting tonight (Friday) and it’s should be an exciting second season. The Bulls actually start on the road because of the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace.

The Bulls open their season against the Alaska Aces for the first of two game series. It’s interesting because it’s a 7PM game time but because it’s in Alaska it’s really 8PM there because of the time difference. The Park 77 in San Francisco is hosting a viewing party for Bulls fans and their going to be doing that all weekend.

A lot of the Bulls players stay in that location and it will be an interesting season and their coming up for their second year and head coach Pat Curcio is in his second year with the Bulls. There are eight players returning from last year so he’s got some people who know Curcio’s system and his terminology already it’s not going to be just two guys starting a new thing.

Hockey is a great sport and the more you play together the easier it is to play as a team. The Aces knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs to end their season last year and opening up in Alaska this year it’s going to be interesting at first and like I said it’s a new team and there are some returning players but Alaska has got a new team too.

The benefit for the Bulls on this road trip they go in October before the snow hits Alaska and it will allow the Bulls to get accumulated to the weather easier and get comfortable with what’s going on and starting a road trip can be a plus and it could be a good bonding thing for the guys. It’s not like their going to have a lot of time on their hands to go sightseeing and do other things their going to have their minds strictly on hockey.

Larry Levitt does weekly commentary on San Jose Sharks and San Francisco Bulls each week