Yankees on Verge,Bad Umpiring, Old Man returns to the Windy City

Good Morning Sports Fans!

When playing the New York Yankees, it’s very rare that this 2009 Yankees team stays down for long and that was proven to be a fact last night. After losing in extra innings the night before, the Yankees slaughtered the Angels 10-1 in a game that was masterfully pitched by Yankees ace CC Sabathia. The Yankees are now one game away from going to the World Series.

After the Yankees started scoring in the fourth inning, they continued to control the rest of the game. Angels starter Scott Kazmir was knocked out in the fifth inning and the Angels had to use a string of relievers from the bullpen for the rest of the game. The Angels could not bring back the magic they had the previous night and the Yankees had the momentum the entire game.

While watching this game, there were a couple of blatant instances in which the umpiring was poor. In the fourth inning, Nick Swisher was clearly picked off second base and was called…..safe? Numerous replays and analysis by Fox Commentators Joe Buck and Tim McCarver clearly showed Swisher’s hand did not touch the base in time and he should have been called out. It was really blatant and the second base umpire made a poor call.

Swisher was involved in another bizarre incident a couple plays later when he was called “out” for leaving too early on a sacrifice fly. Video proved not to lie again as replays showed Swisher stated on the bag long enough to tag up and properly score. It’s questionable whether or not Tim McLelland really was looking at Swisher during the play (as Joe Buck and Tim McCarver pointed out).

Mclelland’s night of bizarre calls was not over when Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano were clearly off the back when tagged by Angels catcher Mike Napoli in the fifth inning. Only Posada was tagged out when it was blatant that Cano was off the bag when tagged by Napoli. Being a former umpire, I cannot think of any possible explanation as to why Cano was safe in that situation. Both runners were off the bag when tagged and both should have been called out. I’m sure Angels manager Mike Sciocia is curious to hear that explanation from the MLB Offices as well. It was poor judgement by Mclelland in that instance and the wrong call. MLB has never really graded the umpires like NBA, NHL and NFL do and this game proved to be another example as to why they need to start.

Moving from baseball to hockey, an old time Chicago native is coming back to the Windy City. Chris Chelios, who has spent the past several seasons playing for the Detroit Red Wings, signed a minor league deal with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves yesterday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it shows that the 47-year-old Chelios will not quit his hockey dreams easily.

Throughout his career with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings, Chelios has proven to be a leader and a popular figure in the community. He was very active in both the Chicago and Detroit communities, has owned a couple of chili bars and is a great leader on the ice as well. It’s apparent that Chelios still has a passion for the game and deserves the right to keep on playing.

Chelios, who is a Chicago native, still has a passion for the city and it showed during last year’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Chelios was playing for the rival Red Wings but still took time to sign autographs for ‘Hawks fans behind the dugout. Chelios signing autographs showed class and nature towards all hockey fans and it’s apparent that no matter how far he has gone in his career, Chelios has not forgotten where he came from.

When looking back at my experience going to NHL games, it’s incredible when I think of the first time I saw Chelios play. If believe it was in 1995 at Maple Leaf Gardens as the Blackhawks (you know this is a while back if Jeremy Roenick and Ed Belfour were on the ‘Hawks and Felix Potvin was the starting goaltender for the Leafs) took on the Toronto Maple Leafs in a battle between two of the NHL’s Original Six. It’s amazing to believe that game was almost 15 years ago and I’ve also had the opportunity to watch Chelios play for the Red Wings on and off since that time. Even when I saw Chelios play for Detroit a couple years ago when the Red Wings were in Columbus playing the Blue Jackets, I couldn’t help but remember seeing him play for the first time in 1995 with the Blackhawks. No matter when I saw him play, Chelios played hard and was clearly a leader on the team.

That’s it for now. Keep it real.

Jeff

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~ by jeffrsabo on October 21, 2009.

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