Monday, December 28, 2009

Sens GM blasts officiating

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Sens GM blasts officiating

Lack of power plays irk Murray

PITTSBURGH — The guys in striped shirts have left the Senators seeing red.

GM Bryan Murray called the NHL’s director of officiating, Terry Gregson, Tuesday to voice his displeasure after the club again went without a power play in the 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Monday.

Some might call Murray a whiner, but the numbers back up his claims: Of the more than 540 games this season going into Wednesday night, there were eight in which one team didn’t receive a man advantage. It’s happened to the Senators three of those times.

“I asked the question: ‘How can we have this happen to us three times already and in another game we get one power play late in the game?’ ” said Murray.

“I don’t want the story to be that I’m a complainer. That’s not the case. This is the first time I’ve called the league in two years. I’m the least complainer in the league. (Gregson) told me he gets calls at midnight or 1 a.m. from some GMs. I’ll never do that.”

But Murray said he could no longer stay quiet after the Bruins game.

“It was just obvious it wasn’t a zero-penalty game,” said Murray. “It was very obvious. I’ve got four highlights of penalties, plus a too many men. I don’t even have to try to justify it. These are just factual things that should have been called.”

Coach Cory Clouston was at a loss over why referees Marc Joanette and Justin St. Pierre awarded the Bruins three power plays to zero for the Senators.

“I know our power play hasn’t been very effective of late, but it would have been nice to at least get an opportunity. If nothing else, we hopefully would have been able to generate some momentum and some opportunities,” said Clouston. “There wouldn’t have been a lot (of power plays for Ottawa). Probably four per team.


Clouston said he doesn’t like the club being taken advantage of.

“It’s a little disrespectful to our players,” he said. “They’re working extremely hard. They’re doing what they need to do to draw penalties. They come to the bench and they’re frustrated and they don’t know why that wasn’t a call ... We just tell them to keep working hard.”

The Senators have been accused of yapping too much to officials, but Clouston said there’s no evidence of that.

There’s also a theory the officials are out to get the Senators, but captain Daniel Alfredsson shot that down.

“Even if it was, and I’m not saying there is anything against us, I wouldn’t say it,” he said. “If that is the case, and I don’t think it is, we just have to do a better job to draw more penalties.

"I can’t see the referees conspiring against us. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mavericks Want a Do-Over With Rockets, File Protest

Mavericks Want a Do-Over With Rockets, File Protest

by Tom Ziller

The Mavericks lost a thriller to Houston last night, and owner Mark Cuban is not happy about it. But unlike most teams, who eventually accept defeat and perhaps rip a referee or two in the media, the Mavericks won't let this one die: ESPN's Marc Stein report the Mavericks will file a protest with the NBA to have a portion of the game replayed.

The call at the crux of this protest is ... an improper video review? Cuban tells Stein that when Rockets guard Aaron Brooks was called for a Flagrant 1 in overtime, the referees reviewed when league rules state that only Flagrant 2s are subject to review. The real issue is that when they reviewed the tape, the referees decided Dallas center Erick Dampier deserved a technical foul for a seemingly intentional elbow tossed Brooks's way. Dampier already had one tech, so he got booted with a minute left in overtime and the Mavericks down five. (The call also allowed the Rockets to choose a non-Dampier Maverick to shoot his free throws -- which might actually have been good for Dallas -- and Brooks did hit the free throw resulting from Damp's tech.)

Here's the play:

Cuban has two other, ahem, "misapplications of the rules," which is Stu Jackson for "bad calls." I sense an ulterior motive, though. Dirk Nowitzki, talisman of Dallas, left in the first quarter with an injury we will refer to as "Carl Landry's teeth in his elbow." Dirk didn't return. Presumably, however, in a replay of the final minute of overtime in, say, March, Nowitzki would be available for re-entry. A 4- or 5-point deficit with a minute, the ball and Dirk Nowitzki? That's a result that could change. Cuban knows what he's doing, though I doubt the league will grant a replay considering the referees -- no matter how they got there -- ended up making the appropriate call on Dampier.

The NBA had its first do-over in decades in the 2008 season, when Shaquille O'Neal (then with Miami) was wrongly disqualified on his fifth foul, which referees believed to be his sixth. The Heat and Hawks got together later in the season to replay 51.9 seconds, despite the fact Shaq had been traded to Phoenix and both teams had several new players. Hilariously, no points were scored in the replayed 51.9 seconds, and the Hawks won, as they did in the original game.

Football referee beaten to death in his own home

A FOOTBALL referee murdered in his own home was beaten to death, sources have revealed.

Detectives hunting the killer of David Linning, 65, said yesterday that he suffered severe injuries to his head and body.

They said the attack was "a dreadful crime which has shocked the local community".

And they urged the people of David's home town of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, to give them the information they need to catch the murderer.

Amateur ref David, known as Wee Davie, was found dead by police in his home in Vancouver Drive,Westwood, at 10.20am last Saturday.

Officers forced open the door of his house after family and friends raised the alarm.

A post mortem revealed David had been murdered.

Forensics officers searched his bungalow for clues.

And yesterday, police made a fresh appeal for information. Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thomson said: "We are trying to establish if anyone saw David Linning on Thursday, Friday or Saturday of last week.

"It is vital that anyone who saw him or had contact with him on any of these days gets in touch.

"I suspect there may be people in East Kilbride who know important information. I would ask them not to presume that the police know what they know.

"Please come forward and tell us anything you have heard, no matter how insignificant it may seem. It might just be the vital piece of information we are looking for."

To read the rest of the story click here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Refs Must Maintain Order In The Courts

Refs Must Maintain Order In The Courts

By Dave Lomonico

By now everyone and their dog knows about Elizabeth Lambert, the University of New Mexico soccer player whose on-field shenanigans earned her YouTube fame, worldwide ridicule and an indefinite suspension. The video shows Lambert punching an opposing player in the back, diving at players’ shins and yanking an opponent down by her ponytail.

Lambert has been vilified enough, but one group has gotten a relative free pass in this debacle: the referees. Watching the video, there are at least four incidents warranting a yellow card and two that should have been red cards. What were the refs watching while Lambert dive-bombed players like Ty Cobb stealing second? Barring momentary blindness, their failure to control Lambert was perplexing.

Sure, referees can’t see everything. But failing to correct blatant, intended violence -- especially if it’s repeated -- is not only a sign of incompetence, it’s also unethical.

Games get physical. Referees shouldn’t stop play for every hit batter, questionable tackle or low hit. But when physicality turns to violence, referees have a responsibility to act. Their No. 1 job is to control the game and ensure player safety. Otherwise, the sports arena becomes a modern-day Roman Colosseum.

That being said, sport fans love violence. That’s why they drop big bucks for pay-per-view boxing matches and MMA fights, relish the inevitable hockey melee and replay the punch Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount threw after his football team lost to Boise State.

Therefore, it’s no surprise fans complain when boxing officials stop fights, when umpires warn benches and when refs call personal fouls on ticky-tack hits. Sports are violent -- don’t turn them into a ballet.

Wrong. Sports are controlled violence. There is no place in athletics for viciousness. Vilify officials for being too strict but realize they’re doing their jobs. Allow too many little incidents and eventually those minor skirmishes escalate into major outbursts.

Witness sports like ice hockey. Teams employ “enforcers” who wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for their fists. NHL refs routinely allow fights because it’s supposedly “part of the game.” That ho-hum attitude inevitably leads to brutality and even bloodshed.

Remember Todd Bertuzzi's infamous 2004 hit on Steve Moore? Bertuzzi came up behind Moore, threw a punch, pinned him to the ice and knocked him out. Moore suffered serious spinal damage and never played again.

That’s an extreme example. Most athletic fights are no more than minor tussles, but it’s better for officials to err on the side of caution. Their prudence could save a player’s career -- or life.

Of course, officials can’t be directly blamed for cruel on-field incidents. In extreme physical sports such as football and boxing, hostility is inevitable. But in an emotionally-charged, steroid-riddled world where athletes can crush a man’s skull with one hand, officials must limit extracurricular violence as much as possible.

Officials’ ineptitude is a major concern, especially in sports such as boxing and MMA. In the lower rungs of boxing, referees tend to be less experienced, less assertive and thus more prone to making major mistakes. There’s a reason there are numerous deaths in non-sanctioned boxing bouts and only a couple every year in professional fights. Simply put, the boxers and the ring officials are better at the top level.

There is already some apprehension about MMA officiating. There are more and more MMA bouts every year but the number of well-trained officials is not increasing as rapidly.

In a sport predicated on violence, it’s only a matter of time before a fighter goes berserk and an official fails to intervene. “Blood sports” are ethically questionable as it is. Using unprepared officials only compounds the problem.

Which leads back to the Lambert incident. Compared to career-ending sucker punches, is pulling a ponytail really worth pouting about? Perhaps not. But by failing to recognize or reprimand the illegal actions, the referees indirectly encouraged Lambert’s behavior.

Violence begets violence. It’s contagious. Without intervention, the cycle will spiral out of control. And then it will be too late. Just ask Steve Moore.

Video Replay on table for new MLB committee

MLB Notebook: Replay on table for new MLB committee
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

With critics calling for expanded video review of umpires' calls and some players pushing to expand the first round of the playoffs, commissioner Bud Selig yesterday established a committee of managers and longtime executives.

Managers Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Joe Torre and Mike Scioscia were selected for the "special committee for on-field matters," which Selig will chair and will meet for the first time next month.

This past postseason was rife with TV replays showing umpires making incorrect calls. It was also filled with extra off-days that ultimately stretched the scheduled postseason into November for the first time.

"This is not a reaction to some of the things that happened during the playoffs," Selig said. "I'm not saying that it didn't keep moving me along in this direction because it did, but frankly I had this in mind for a long time."

The group will examine scheduling, umpiring, the strike zone and pace of game.

Selig repeatedly said "there are no sacred cows." While he has opposed expanding the use of instant replay, he said "I will be guided by what this committee comes up with."

No players or umpires were included. Among those who were: Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Indians general manager Mark Shapiro, Braves president John Schuerholz, political columnist and avid fan George Will and Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt.

Read more:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Second opinion infuriates Huskers

Pelini brothers upset by decision at end of game

By JEFFREY MARTIN Houston Chronicle

Dec. 6, 2009, 12:29AM

Jamie Squire Getty Images

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini yells at a referee during the third quarter of Saturday's 13-12 loss to Texas in the Big 12 title game.

Game statistics

And after a surreal final sequence Saturday night that turned an apparent Cornhuskers upset in the Big 12 Championship Game into a heart-wrenching 13-12 loss to Texas, there were plenty of questions that needed to be answered.

An enraged Bo Pelini demanded justice.

“I want to see Walt Anderson right now!” the Nebraska coach screamed to no one in particular, referring to the Big 12's coordinator of football officials.

BCS-inspired mess?

Then his brother, Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini, chimed in.

“It's the same footsteps with the trophy,” he said. “They ought to be ashamed to accept that trophy.”

He fell silent but then resumed his rant.

“That's what this conference is about,” he added. “The (expletive) BCS.”

In the distance, orange- and-white confetti dropped to the turf. The Longhorns were accepting their trophy, and coach Mack Brown was addressing the fans who remained .

“We didn't make some plays like we wanted to on offense, but that's a credit to Nebraska's defense,” Brown said. “They played their hearts out.”

Meanwhile, back in the tunnel, more chaos was unfolding.

Another Pelini brother, Vince, got in on the act — “They're sick,” he said, shaking his head and adding, “Zero-zero on the clock” — before the Cornhuskers coach resurfaced.

“Get Dan Beebe!” he shrieked, asking for the Big 12 commissioner.

Nebraska started to celebrate what it thought was a 12-10 win after Colt McCoy threw an incompletion and the clock ran down. But the officials ruled there should be one second on the clock. That allowed Texas' Hunter Lawrence to change the outcome with a 46-yard field goal.

Bo Pelini seemed to have calmed down by the time he arrived at his news conference. The first question posed to Pelini?

“Bo, do you think Texas got a little bit of home cooking there at the end?”

His response: “No comment.”

Then he was asked if the officials had provided any clarity on what transpired in those final seconds.

“I haven't gotten an explanation,” he said. “I'm not going to answer any more questions about officiating or about that call. Ask me about the football game – it was a hell of a football game.”

Corrections are allowed

Later, Anderson finally clarified what happened — “Any type of egregious clock error can be corrected,” he said — but by then, Pelini was long gone.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ireland appeal to be 33rd team at World Cup: Blatter

By Mike Collett


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Ireland have appealed to world governing body FIFA to be allowed to compete as a 33rd team in next year's World Cup finals, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Monday.

Ireland were eliminated from the competition earlier this month by France after Thierry Henry handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas's equalizer that gave France a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 aggregate playoff win.

"We received a delegation from Ireland at FIFA and they were naturally absolutely unhappy at what has happened. They know the match cannot be replayed and the decision of the referee is final," Blatter told a keynote address at the Soccerex business conference.

click here for the whole story

Friday, November 27, 2009

NBA Referees - 13 Accused of Betting Scandal, Source Tells TV Station

By Josh Hart and Sophie Eager
Nov 27, 2009

NBA referee Tim Donaghy is out of jail, but the NBA is still taking heat and now 13 referees are accused by a "source" of being involved in a betting scandal. The New York Daily News reports, "Jimmy Battista, a former professional gambler who first met Donaghy when they attended the same Philadelphia-area high school," and claims it wasn't difficult to get him to participate, but where does this new number of a baker's dozen come into play?
NBA Referees - 13 Accused of Betting Scandal, Source Tells TV Station
NBA Referees - 13 Accused of Betting Scandal, Source Tells TV Station

The details are in a 7News Sports report from Boston and they cite a source that "says Battista showed him what the gambler claims are phone records and game notes confirming the names of all 13 referees involved." See here for the details.


More sports fix...David Beckham and other soccer stars (footballers) could lose millions of pounds after buying expensive apartments in Dubai. The 34-year-old is not the only footballer that has invested in the £1 million villas on the islands shaped like a palm tree.

Other Premier League players to have bought property include Michael Owen, David James, Joe Cole and Kieron Dyer. However, the developer Nakheel has now run out of money and said it is no longer able to pay its debts.

There are now fears that the Palm Jumeirah project may not get finished. The players' expensive pads could then be situated next to an unfinished construction site, which could see the price of their properties dropping.

McCabes Launch Effort to Prevent Referee Abuse

Rochester, N.Y. - Pete McCabe Jr. is on the road to recovery one month after he was slammed in the face with a football helmet after refereeing a semi-pro game in Rochester.

Helping McCabe recover are the get-well-wishes from hundreds of people, many of which hang in McCabe's living room.

McCabe Jr.’s son Pete McCabe III said, "Whether it's sitting here or laying down right here on the couch watching TV, just looking up, he's able to see the support he's got behind him. It's been phenomenal."

While the father recovers, the son is hard at work on changing the law.

Through facebook he has attracted nearly a thousand supporters of legislation aimed at stricter penalties for assaults on sports officials.

click here for the rest of the story

Detroit Red Wings: Another 'No Goal' Call Controversy at Joe Louis Arena

by Matt Hutter

Correspondent Written on November 28, 2009
VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 17:  NHL Referee Brad Meier makes a pointing gesture during the NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers at General Motors Place on December 17, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The Oilers defeated the Canucks 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

There were a lot of familiar things about Friday's game at Joe Louis Arena.

For the fifth time this season, the Detroit Red Wings gave up a goal less than one-minute into the game.

For the eighth time this season, the Detroit Red Wings out-shot their opponent but lost the game.

For the second game in a row, the Detroit Red Wings were shutout.

And, for the second time in as many weeks, the Detroit Red Wings had a perfectly good goal denied by an NHL on-ice official.

All of these trends are disturbing, and all of these have contributed to what is now, officially, the Red Wings' worst start in 20 years.

However, its that last one that is just a bit more troubling than the others.

Playing poorly and beating yourselves is one thing. That's actually something you can control.

But, the added pressure of having to not only score goals, but then hope that they count is something no team should have to endure.

Click here for the rest of the story

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Study: College Basketball Refs Suck, Too

Study: College Basketball Refs Suck, Too

A couple of professors watched a bunch of college basketball games and came to the very reasonable conclusion, in a peer-reviewed academic journal, that they were all being reffed by Dick Bavetta.

Or something like that. The study, authored by Kyle Anderson of Indiana University's business school and David Pierce of Ball State's sports administration program, turned up several examples of officiating bias:

* The probability of a foul being called on the visiting team was 7 percent higher than on the home team.
* When the home team is leading, the probability of the next foul being called on them is about 6.3 percentage points higher than when the home team is trailing.
* The larger the foul differential between two teams, the greater the likelihood that the next call will be made against the team with fewer fouls. For example, when a home team has three or more fouls than the visiting team, the probability that the next foul call is made against the visiting team is more than 60 percent. When the foul differential is as high as five, then that probability rises to 69 percent. The researchers also observed this trend when they looked at neutral-court games.

The authors go on to draw some weird conclusions — namely that referee bias offers an untoward incentive for "aggressive play," which is probably true but so what? And because this is the age of Gladwell, everything, even an otherwise compelling study about referee bias, has to be reduced to an insipid management-consulting parable. "In terms of a management setting," Anderson explains, "it might be the slacker who benefits from the situation involving a manager who might not want to appear biased." (What?)

But this is valuable work anyway, if only because it further corrodes the wishful notion that referees can operate on some sort of frictionless plane where the normal human weaknesses don't apply. Tim Donaghy was saying roughly the same thing, only with fewer footnotes.

Study looks at officiating in college basketball, finds patterns that reward aggressive play [IU News Room]

Send an email to Tommy Craggs, the author of this post, at

Monday, November 16, 2009

NFL Referee Corrente Explains Controversial Instant Replay Call

from Pewter Report

NFL referee Tony Corrente was asked about the controversial
interception call that occurred on a Josh Freeman-to-Michael Clayton
catch that resulted in an interception at the Tampa Bay 15-yard line
instead of a first down:

(On why the play which was ultimately ruled an interception by Jason Taylor was initially ruled an incomplete pass) – “One of the officials on the field felt the ball had touched the ground after it left the possession of the receiver.”

(On why was the play not ruled a completion upon review)
– “Because the player in question, the player who was possessing the
ball in the air, as he started to come down, was hit. As he is coming
down, he is now going to the ground to complete a catch and by rule, if
he’s going to the ground to complete a catch, he has to maintain
possession of the ball completely through the entire process of hitting
the ground and thereafter showing control. As he went to the ground,
basically right when he went to the ground, the ball popped out, and
went right into the arms of the Miami player. The ball had never
touched the ground.”

(On if the play was ever whistled dead) – “The play was never whistled dead, not until the player [Taylor] got into the end zone.”

(On why Taylor was unable to advance the ball) – “Because by rule, in the replay rules we can give the ball to the team, but we can’t allow the advance thereafter.”

(On if they are unable to allow an advance even if the ball is not whistled dead) – “Unfortunately, that’s just the replay rule because it was ruled as an incomplete pass.”

(On when the play was ruled an incomplete pass)
– “It wasn’t ruled incomplete until there was a discussion in the end
zone well after the touchdown was ‘scored.’ And so at that point, the
officials got together and one said ‘I felt the ball hit the ground,’
and of course any doubt, it’s incomplete.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ref, You Suck

Chatham Daily News Post

Instant Replay – By Ian Kennedy

American Hockey League referee Dean Morron - Rick Dikeman Photo

In the sporting world, we often want to yell three powerful words. Words that no coach or player can utter without fear of suspension. Words, however, that fans can say with freedom: Ref, You Suck.

Being one of the blind mice on the ice or field is never an easy job. I’m sure every referee has heard their fair share of taunts and insults. I myself was once suspended three games while coaching for a few choice words with a referee. For the record, that ref really did suck.

Sometimes, fans will terrorize referees just for calling a good game, other times; the booing and name calling is well deserved. Remember Phil Luckett? No, well he’s the ref that couldn’t tell “heads” from “tails” in a coin flip during a Thanksgiving Day NFL game.

How about that goal Brett Hull scored while in the crease to win the Stanley Cup? The entire city of Buffalo let out one long profanity after that obviously missed call. Some referee’s really must be blind to make (or miss) the calls they do.

Remember when the New York Yankees’ Chuck Knoblauch supposedly tagged Boston Red Sox runner Jose Offerman in the 1999 ALCS? Wow. I think every 80-old-grandmother in the last row of Fenway Park knew Offerman was safe.

My list could go on of infamous blown calls. Being a referee in sports is one of the toughest jobs on the planets. These men and women are forced to make split second decisions and live with the consequences. That doesn’t however; give them a free pass to make the wrong call.

Fans, media, and league officials should be vocal when a call is wrong. In minor sports, when the referee is often only a teenager, we need to cut them some slack. In professional sports though, when this is your role, your employment, and your profession, there needs to be consequences for making bad calls.

Referees and umpires should be fined, suspended, or flat out fired for consistently bad calls. Crowds can be merciless and rightfully so. If I pay good money to watch a professional game, I’m going to yell and scream when some bozo can’t get a coin flip right or can’t follow the rules they’re paid to enforce.

Fans should be allowed to make their feelings known (within reason). Recently, some faithful Anaheim Ducks fans held a referee protest. Why? They felt that their experience was cheapened by the bad calls during the Ducks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game the week before. They had had enough of bad calls, in this case, bad calls that cost the Ducks the game and helped the Maple Leafs to their first win of the season.

What was the response? The Honda Center banned the group of protesters, all wearing “Ref You Suck” t-shirts, from the arena; most of whom were season’s tickets holders. In fact, entire websites, such as the one they purchased their shirts from, have popped up devoted to this topic. According to the arena, it wasn’t the fact they protested, but the fact they were wearing “Ref you suck” t-shirts that caused the ban. Check out the shirts at They’re neither crude, nor offensive in any way. Unless you take offense to the word “suck.” And if you do, you’re probably rather offended by this column.

I’m not telling everyone to start a protest, I’m not saying to curse or throw things onto the ice or field. I’m saying, without fans, there would be no professional sports. Just as players are penalized for not following the rules, referees should face similar penalties when they fail to enforce the rules. It’s about integrity in the game, and upholding that integrity for the fans.

As paying spectators, it’s our right to boo, or yell during a game. It’s definitely our right to wear a t-shirt to a game that says “Ref you suck;” because frankly, quite often, a referee does stink up the place. No umpire or referee will ever make all the right calls, but when they mess up, there needs to be consequences.

Until then, feel free to scream at the TV and from the stands. Not that the referees will hear you. Remember, they often can’t hear buzzers, rational explanations, or their own whistles.

Let the games begin.

NFL Fines Ochocinco $20K For His 'Bribe'


Chad Ochocinco has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for flashing a dollar bill at an official during a replay challenge -- a joking attempt at what the Bengals receiver referred to as a "bribe" -- in last Sunday's Cincinnati-Baltimore game.

In the third quarter of the Bengals' eventual victory, Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer

completed a 15-yard pass to Ochocinco. Baltimore challenged the call, contending that he was out of bounds, and the Ravens won the challenge.

While the play was under review, Ochocinco held a $1 bill at his side. The official appeared aware of his antic and waved him off.

"I was just being me," Ochocinco told the NFL Network after the game. "I wasn't going to do it for real."

click here for the rest of the story

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ferguson 'losing faith' in referees

Alex Ferguson said he is losing faith in referees after Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the English Premier League.

(CNN) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson admitted he is losing faith in referees after he disputed the decision which led to the decisive goal in his side's English Premier League defeat to Chelsea.

The match at Stamford Bridge was decided by a 76th minute freekick awarded to Chelsea by referee Martin Atkinson who judged that Darren Fletcher had fouled Ashley Cole close to the touchline.

Frank Lampard's took the resulting set piece and his inswinging delivery was glanced into the net by Chelsea captain John Terry.

"Clearly, Darren Fletcher's won the ball, Ashley Cole's never touched and has jumped up in the air, and then (Didier) Drogba's pulled Brown to the ground for the goal," Ferguson told reporters.

"The referee's position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous, he can't see anything. He's got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him and he doesn't even move.

"That goal shouldn't have been allowed. It was a bad decision, but there's nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one."

Ferguson is already facing the possibility of a fine or touchline ban after he admitted a Football Association charge of improper conduct for questioning the fitness of referee Alan Wiley.

But the Scot will not face any action from the FA for his latest outburst as the United boss did not question the referee's integrity or claim there was any bias.

You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one.
--Alex Ferguson

The FA could, though, investigate comments made by Wayne Rooney after he appeared to mouth the words "12 men" into a TV camera as he left the field.

United had dominated the game and Ferguson was frustrated that his could not convert possession and chances into goals.

He added: "We had great opportunities to get to the edge of the box and some really good chances in and around the box, but we should be finishing it off.

"We've only ourselves to blame in that respect. But you do need a break - and we never got that break.

"The fact is Chelsea go five points clear of us - the defeat to Liverpool didn't affect our position in the league, this affects our position in the sense that if we'd have won we'd have gone top."

Ocho Cinco bribe of referee explained-iphone ap promo

Ocho Cinco (85) - (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

November 9, 12:17 AMSports Twitter Examiner

by Andrew Yates

Chad Ocho Cinco was up to his usual nonconformist ways during Sunday's 17-7 victory over the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

At one point in the third quarter, the officials reviewed a questionable catch in which Ocho Cinco stepped out of bounds before getting both feet down. During the review, he convinced an assistant coach to give him a dollar. He then walked to a nearby official to attempt to give him the bill as a bribe to call the catch in bounds. The referee would have none of it and didn't even engage Ocho Cinco in conversation.

In a message directed at Trey Wingo, Ocho Cinco explained his latest prank, "lol, just having fun bud that's all, I was gonna give the dollar to the ref to call my catch in bounds<---just jokingly though."

He then attempted to make up for the action: "In honor of today's ref, my app is $1 until midnight tonight. Go here and get it" An application dedicated solely to Ocho Cinco called "Chad Ochocinco Experience" is available on iTunes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

SEC fines Meyer $30,000

Another ref story discovered by Ref You Suck!

Florida coach Urban Meyer has been fined $30,000 by the Southeastern Conference for public comments he made regarding a call he believes officials missed during last week's game against Georgia, the conference announced Friday.

It's the first time the SEC has fined a coach under bylaws the conference toughened late last month, following a spate of public comments by SEC coaches questioning calls and criticizing officials.

"Coach Meyer has violated the Southeastern Conference code of ethics," commissioner Mike Slive said. "SEC bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that the coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from public criticism of officials. The league's athletics directors and presidents and chancellors have made it clear that negative public comments on officiating are not acceptable."

to read the rest of the story, click here

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ref You Suck! Prime Time Sports Interview 11/05/09

Here is the link to the tv/radio interview that took place on 11/5/09 with Canadian sports show "Prime Time Sports" with Bob McCown and Jim Kelley. Our segment is towards the end of the show. Brian Gilmore talks about the referee protest that took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA on 10/30/09- which resulted in the arena banning the t-shirts and turning away ticket holders who refused to remove their t-shirts.

for media inquiries, please contact-

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

IHL brawl- abuse of officials

Video: Shoving ref for fight an easy path to 15-game suspension

The Leafs section of Fan Dome posted this line brawl video between the International Hockey League's Muskegon Lumberjacks and Fort Wayne Komets from Oct. 31, and it's pretty much the expected chaos until the 55-second mark. That's when a linesman makes the mistake of trying to get between Komets forward Brad MacMillan and the target of his fists.

read more here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

30,000 plus apparently looking for a new commissioner


30,000 plus apparently looking for a new commissioner

The NHLFA, the fan based organization that from time to time offers up some interesting proposals for the NHL's executive offices to consider, have come up with one that we suspect won't get too far along the food chain at the New York office.

In an email forwarded to the organizations 30,000 plus registered members on Sunday, the call for some feedback on the potential replacement of Gary Bettman was put out.

The content of the letter is as follows:

Recently, many suggestions have been received from Members related to the activities the NHLFA should pursue in its attempt to have Gary Bettman removed as the commissioner of the NHL this season. One such suggestion is to coordinate a league-wide protest week that will rally fans attending games to hold signs calling for the dismissal of Bettman.

If you would like to contribute an idea, please visit

The link provides access to the organizations mini poll, as well as a place to outline some creative ideas, designed to move Mr. Bettman out to pasture.

To read the rest of this article please click here

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hockey arena bans REF YOU SUCK t-shirts

Originally posted on our other blog


The Ref Rally-
About 25 fans showed up for our little anti-ref rally tonight. We lost 6 ppl to bad traffic but we had a great time holding our signs and chanting ref you suck to the crowds walking in. We even had a blind hockey ref join us- his sign said, "sorry about the bad calls!!" Thanks- Rich. I will post the videos asap.

The shirt ban-
After the rally, we headed for the Honda Center. What happened next it troubling. It seems that the security was asked to watch out for "ref you suck" shirts and not allow them inside. I AM TOTALLY SERIOUS (and have witnesses to prove it) We were asked to walk away from the line (about 20 ft away). A bunch of well dressed security guards surrounded us. At first I didn't understand what was happening- but one of the guards told us that "Ref You Suck" was now banned from the arena. "If they allowed "ref you suck" they would also have to allow "Carlyle you suck" or "Kings you suck" and King fans might wear "ducks you suck" (the whole time, I'm thinking ummm- those are lame ideas)
So my question is why the "new rule" ? We asked what they would do to the fans who chant "ref you suck"?? They said there is nothing they can do if the crowd says it. Now I'm really confused. You see, the refs can hear the chant but I really seriously doubt the refs are reading the shirts in the 400's. The so-called ban just pisses off some of their most loyal supporters/customers. Almost everyone who showed up to march were season seat holders. These are people who go to almost every game, spend tons of money on crappy food, over-priced draft beer, and $5 bags of popcorn (some of them even get the $8 zebra popcorn) My point is- why do they want to mess with some of their best customers? When we chant "REF YOU SUCK" it isn't anti-Ducks or anti-NHL. It is actually a chorus of massive support for a team who has been sucking ass (up until tonight) We also heard that security took Ref You Suck! stickers away from kids in line and trashed them. Who made this call?? I would love to know.

Hockey ref you suck

I hope this "ban" on a sport fans free speech pisses you off. I hope it makes you want to buy an extra shirt. I hope it makes you wear it under your jersey every time you go to the game- I know i will.

Honda Center You Suck!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Debate rages on over replay in baseball

Top network announcers advocate change in wake of bad calls

By DAVID BARRON Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle

Oct. 27, 2009, 12:10AM

Harry How Getty Images

Replays showed third base umpire Tim McClelland, right, missed two calls in Game 4 of the ALCS, one favoring each team.

Thanks to the trucks and trucks of hardware assembled by Fox Sports for its postseason baseball coverage, it took less than 10 seconds for the network to show viewers that umpires had blown a call on the basepaths during Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

But the error, and others, went uncorrected, and Major League Baseball’s limited policy on instant replay remains an issue for fans and viewers as the Yankees, who prevailed against the Twins and Angels in playoff series fraught with questionable calls, meet the Phillies in the World Series.

For the men who will call the action on TV and radio, Joe Buck of Fox Sports and Jon Miller of ESPN, the problem has a solution. Baseball, they agree, would be well-served with a replay system similar to that of college football, where selected plays are reviewed by a replay official who has authority to overturn a call at his own behest or after a manager’s challenge. “Maybe, after an initial pushback, the umpires might like the safety net,” Buck said. “Nobody is perfect. I have people who help me and correct me. But at the end of the game, the question should be whether the call was correct. Then it doesn’t become the story we had (in the ALCS).”

Booth idea

Miller suggests positioning the two baseline umpires used during the playoffs in a replay booth, with the authority to contact the crew chief in case they agree calls need to be overturned. “You wouldn’t need to have meetings or anything,” he said. “It could happen very quickly, and you could do it just for the postseason. What they have now with the boundary calls is fine. Just do something a little more in-depth for the postseason. Why not?” Baseball’s replay system governs only “boundary calls,” such as determining whether balls went over the fence or hit atop the wall, whether potential home runs were fair or foul, and whether there was fan interference on potential homers. It has been used 54 times since its introduction in August 2008, and calls were overturned in 22 cases. That policy does not address three blown calls that involved baserunning issues during Game 4 of the ALCS or an error during the Twins-Yankees series that saw a ball in fair territory ruled foul. Not even the strongest proponents of expanded replay suggest the system include balls and strikes. But as Buck noted to viewers during Game 5 of the Yankees-Angels series, playoff errors that were uncorrected and unaddressed by the current policy have called MLB’s credibility into question. “There’s been such a sea change with regard to technology used covering these games, and with it has come a sea change with the way viewers watch games and what they expect and what they see,” Buck said. “This time of year, baseball risks losing some credibility with an audience that expects more with this new technology.” Network technology could be adapted for the task, certainly during the playoffs, when Fox has 15 cameras on hand for LCS games and will have 20 for the World Series. Some producers agree the eight-camera setups used during the regular season are adequate for replay purposes. “Anything is better than nothing,” said Mike Anastassiou, executive producer of Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Houston, which produces regular-season Rangers and Astros games. “Even with the complement that we have for Rangers and Astros games, I think we could be of great help.” FSH uses eight cameras for Astros games — two behind home plate, two in center field, one at the left-field foul pole, one on the third-base side and two on the first-base side.

Put cameras to use

For televised Big 12 college football games, which have camera angles monitored by the replay booth official, the network also uses eight cameras. For non-televised games, during which the camera feeds are provided for the sole purpose of replay, the network uses four cameras. Tim Scanlan, ESPN’s vice president of event production, said the network uses 14 cameras for Sunday Night Baseball and seven for other televised games, “and we’re still able to provide a second or third look that the umpire doesn’t have. We use the best possible location for the widest and tightest coverage.” ESPN’s camera angles also are available for replay officials at its college football games, and Scanlan said the network could provide a similar setup for baseball. “It seems to me we could easily do that,” he said. “It’s the number of games that are in question, and maybe it’s only a postseason enhancement.” Fox Sports president Ed Goren, meanwhile, said the network has no position on replay issues. “We televise the games,” Goren said. “When the NFL decided to put replay in, it wasn’t the networks going to the NFL. Whatever the rules of the game are is what they are. That is a baseball issue, and we leave it to the baseball people.” Even within broadcast booths, sentiment is not united on expanded replay. Tim McCarver, the veteran catcher who will call his 20th World Series on TV and his 12th for Fox, acknowledged that it has been a “dreadful” postseason for umpires but does not believe replay should be used to review out or safe calls. “Outside of (boundary calls),” he said, “I think the game should be left alone.” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who will work for Fox during the World Series, said Monday: “I think we have to trust the umpires. We cannot make this game a computer game. We have people out there that have jobs, and no matter what the call is, we have to respect that. Sometimes that’s good for baseball. Sometimes that makes people talk about baseball.” Miller, while acknowledging the value of limited replay options, also is cautious about subjecting too much of the game to review. “TV and radio are there to cover the game and not to be an official of the game,” he said. “I’m from the old school. The TV producers and directors are not trained officials of Major League Baseball or the NFL.”

Too blatant to ignore

Still, Miller said, blatant errors could be corrected with replay. “There’s an old bromide in umpiring that if you have to show a play over and over again and freeze the frames and show it from different angles and there’s still one angle that shows one thing and another angle shows it a different way, whatever the umpire called is right,” he said. “On these other calls, if a runner is diving back to second and he’s safe by a foot or a ball hits off the left fielder’s glove two feet in fair territory, you can use the replay for that. The guys (in the replay booth) can look on their own, and a manager is going to come out and complain about it anyway. Why not use that?”

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SEC referee Marc Curles has had rough time over calls

SEC referee Marc Curles, part of suspended crew, has had rough time over calls

Check out the new REF YOU SUCK! shirts.

By Jon Solomon -- The Birmingham News

October 25, 2009, 6:00AM
There's a human underneath that zebra shirt. He's more than a punching bag for irate football fans and conspiracy theorists during an October to forget for SEC officiating.

Meet Birmingham's Marc Curles.

He is a 41-year-old financial planner at Bridgeworth Financial in Mountain Brook. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech. He is the father of two daughters. He is a volunteer at a women's shelter. He is a member of Valleydale Church.

And he's the part-time SEC referee whose crew got suspended until Nov. 14 because of high-profile mistakes in each of its two games this month.

marc-curles.jpgMarc Curles"It's been a rough week," Curles said. "Since (last) Saturday night, as soon as I saw the play in question on the DVD after the game, I knew then that the call was not a good one. It's been eating at me ever since."

Curles called a personal foul Oct. 17 on Arkansas defensive lineman Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter as No. 1 Florida rallied for a 23-20 victory. It was a football play, not an illegal hit, and clearly no penalty should have been called.

You can be ticked at Curles for blowing the call. You can question other calls, too - plays that Curles said he is not allowed by the SEC to comment on.

But what causes a person to seek out a football official away from the field?

How messed up -- my words, not Curles' -- do you have to be to take another human's error so personally?

Will it take bodily harm to a college football official before the sports world gets control of the dangerous fanaticism that surrounds officiating?

Curles said he has received between 75 and 100 negative e-mails and phone messages, some filled with profanity, at home and work since the Florida-Arkansas game.

"You should just quit. You're obviously paid off. The SEC set this up," Curles said of the themes from fans. "Some of it, when you think about it, is kind of comical because there are people who actually believe what they're saying. One or two people said, 'You better hope you never run into me on the street.' But nothing terribly threatening."

For the first time, the SEC publicly announced that officials had been suspended. Curles said it's not for him to say whether the suspension or the announcement was appropriate.

"I had a bad game," he said. "My regret is because of something I did, my whole crew is suffering because of it. We're out there as a team together and I've often said, 'Hey, if somebody misses one, we miss it as a crew.' I certainly buy into that concept. But I wouldn't have a problem if one of my guys on the crew worked a game while I was suspended."

It was Curles' crew -- not him, but another official -- that blew it by flagging Georgia's A.J. Green for excessive celebration against LSU on Oct. 3. In both games, officials performed a cardinal no-no by calling a penalty for something they thought they saw.

"We want to be perfect and when we have two straight games where we have an issue, it bothers us badly," Curles said. "A lot of it had to do with when it happened. If Georgia tackles the kick returner (after the Green penalty) instead of the kick returner returning it 45 yards, and if LSU doesn't score (the winning touchdown), that call is a non-issue.

"If the call that I made in the Florida game happens in the first quarter, that call is probably a non-issue. So there were a lot of things that fell into place for it to be as high profile as it was. It's terribly disappointing. Because I fully believe, and I know the masses would disagree with this, I think we have a very solid crew, a very good crew. Outside those two calls those two games, we had a very solid game for the most part."

Most of Curles' crew has been together for three years. Curles is in his fifth year in the SEC and has worked four bowl games and many high-profile SEC contests, such as Alabama-Georgia in 2008.

Curles said SEC coordinator of officials Rogers Redding, who was once suspended as an SEC official, has encouraged him to hang in there. If Curles is shaken by the past few weeks, he doesn't let on.

"I have no doubts about the crew, and I don't believe anybody else will either when we return," Curles said. "I think we will come back and be confident and we will put this behind us. We will learn from it, but we will put it behind us. We can't dwell on it."

Neither should SEC fans. By all means, demand excellence in officiating.

But there's a line that you don't cross.

"Fans are passionate about their teams, and I understand that," Curles said. "We always say we know we're in a fish bowl as officials, but this is really the first time it's been driven home."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Video Killed the Officiating Star

Video Killed the Officiating Star

The best thing that ever happened to sports was television -- unless you officiate sports. 

Ask the umpiring team that is handling the American League Championship Series and blew two calls in Game 4 on Tuesday night. Ask the SEC football officials who were suspended on Wednesday. The crew was punished after the conference determined the crew was mistaken on Saturday in flagging an Arkansas player for a late hit on a Florida player. The call allowed Florida to continue its final touchdown drive in a game it won 23-20.

Ask the replacement NBA referees who whistled Sixers' Willie Green for a foul on Washington's Mike James on Tuesday night as James attempted a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer. The instant replay showed Green never touched James, who was given three free throws and won the game at the line.

Replay. It's become the new four-letter word to game officials.

"I'm just out there trying to do my job and do it the best I can," Tim McClelland told the media after the two erroneous calls he made Tuesday in the Yankees' win over the Angels. "Unfortunately, there was, by instant replay, two missed calls."

McClelland graduated to the big leagues in 1983 when he famously disallowed a George Brett home run because there was more than the allowed amount of pine tar on Brett's bat. He is largely considered the best umpire in baseball. But even the sharpest eyes and judgment in the game can't compete with technology, and they shouldn't have to.

We've been living with instant replay in this country for nearly half a century now, ever since the fourth quarter of the Dec. 7, 1963, Army-Navy Game. That was when CBS, encouraged by a director named Tony Verna, showed a one-yard touchdown run by Army's Rollie Stichweh for a second time immediately after it happened. It prompted CBS announcer Lindsey Nelson to famously tell the TV audience, "This is not live! Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!"

That was one replay in one game of one play that was not up for question. At the Angels' stadium on Tuesday night, we witnessed several replays of two questionable calls captured by multiple cameras from myriad vantage points. The Zapruder film hasn't been dissected so much.
When a replay is shown on a big screen and shows the official was wrong, but the game continues on as if nothing happened, we not only have a problem, we have something worse: fraud.

The Angels' fans in attendance saw the replays too on the stadium's giant TV screen. So did the umpire who erred, McClelland, and there was nothing he could do to correct his mistake. He was only left to look the rest of the night like the heel he isn't.

That's as unfair a punishment as the incorrect call is to the team that suffers it, and it is time to bring an end to it. If we can see it and it is wrong, then it should be corrected, plain, short and simple. What's wrong with recall? We're accustomed to it in politics and the car industry.

I don't want to hear anymore about how getting it right can be so wrong because it might take too long and slow down our games and take the human element out of the contests by diminishing the role of officials. We don't live like the Flintstones anymore; we live like the Jetsons, and the second edition of The Jetsons stopped being made over 20 years ago.

I don't want replay restricted to home run calls, which baseball started last season, or possession plays in football or buzzer-beaters in basketball. Leave judgment calls -- balls and strikes, pass interference, etc. -- out of consideration for review and leave everything else eligible for a second look. Bang-bang plays at first. Facemask pulls that aren't caught. If a couple guys in a booth can't figure it out in due time, let's turn to a few guys on a couch with a six-pack in front of a 52-inch HDTV with a remote control at the ready and a DVR. We're not talking about rocket science. We're talking about the innate ability to watch television. Hockey understands

When a replay is shown on a big screen and shows the official was wrong, but the game continues on as if nothing happened, we not only have a problem, we have something worse: fraud. 

The time has long gone when bad calls are lore. Now bad calls are lies and the impact can be dramatic. After all, the SEC crew that got suspended for making a call that further video review showed was wrong may have influenced the bogus national championship game that the BCS gives us. Take away the score that resulted for Florida and all of a sudden the polls look different and another school is in line for the national title loot. 

Most of us who simply watch games seem to be in favor of instant replay to correct mistakes, according to polls taken over the years like a small one taken recently byThe Los Angeles Times. It is management that more often wrestles with the notion, particularly that which represents officials.

"Not only is pace of game an issue but the continued expansion of replay potentially takes away from the spirit of the game," Lamell McMorris, chief negotiator for the World Umpires Association, told on Wednesday. "Part of the game is the potential for human error, not just from umpires, but players, that's part of the spirit of the game. It happens."

But with officials, it no longer has to.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stern hopes regular refs ready to work

October 23, 2009, 7:23 PM ET

Stern hopes regular refs ready to work

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- David Stern is pleased with the performance of his replacement referees, though ready for his regular staff to come back to work.

The NBA's referees union will vote Friday night on a contract proposal from the league. If they accept, as expected, the officials will be back in time for the opening of the regular season Tuesday night.

The league has used replacements, mostly from the NBA Development League and WNBA, during the lockout. Stern said the 62 backups have "responded very well" and predicted that many would referee NBA games again.

"We of course knew we have to provide them with extra support, coaching and training, but they've responded very well," Stern said during his preseason conference call. "We're very pleased with the effort, and we know you'll be seeing many of the people who you've seen on our court as future NBA referees.

"All of that said, we're looking forward to our regular referees ratifying the agreement that we reached and being on the court Tuesday," he said.

The contract between the league and the National Basketball Referees Association expired Sept. 1. The league decided to go with replacement officials after the referees rejected a deal the league said its negotiators had already agreed to.

That raised the possibility of the league starting the season with replacement officials for the first time since 1995. But progress was made in a meeting this week at league headquarters that included Stern, who had previously pulled out of the negotiations after referees lead negotiator Lamell McMorris criticized the commissioner's behavior.

Stern rejoined the talks this week at the request of the referees.

"It was always our intention to make a deal and our hope. I thought that perhaps the rhetoric had gotten a little bit too heated and it would be better for me to withdraw," Stern said. "But it was requested by the other side that I return and that they were coming in to make a deal and they asked me to be there, and I thought I owed them out of my respect to them to honor that request."

The referees' contracts have usually been for five years, but the NBA consented to a two-year deal at the request of the union, which hoped it could renegotiate sooner with the economy in better shape. The sides agreed on a salary structure that would give the refs a slight raise in the second year, but they remained apart on proposed changes to the referees' pension and severance packages, as well as a plan to develop younger officials.

The replacement officials were criticized for calling too many fouls, though the amount decreased later in the exhibition season, which ended Friday night.

"As the preseason went on, they were better," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "I don't think they were arrogant, or anything like that. They gave the explanations and they were doing the best they could.

"The first couple [games] were just foul after foul and call after call and there was no rhythm to the games," Adelman added. "After that, I thought it settled down fairly well. They just called things differently than the normal officials. They're pretty much going by the book."

Some of the replacements likely will get another chance. The current staff includes 17 referees who started as replacements during previous work stoppages.

Coach Meyer says ref suspension was just

Updated: October 22, 2009, 9:09 PM ET

Meyer says suspension was just

Comment Print Share news services

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer thinks the Southeastern Conference was right to suspend an officiating crew after its second controversial call of the year.

Referee Marc Curles' crew called a personal foul on Arkansas defensive lineman Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter as the Gators were rallying for a 23-20 victory last weekend. The league said Wednesday there was no video evidence to support the call.

The same group of officials called the LSU-Georgia game earlier this month, which included a late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty the league said shouldn't have been called.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said the crew would be pulled from its next scheduled assignment Oct. 31 and won't work again until Nov. 14. Bowl assignments could also be impacted.

"If that's the right thing to do, then they did it," Meyer said Thursday. "I don't know all the ins and outs ... [but] I have great confidence in the head dog."

Slive said the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play, and said the suspension was necessary to maintain accountability among officials.

"Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation," he said.

SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said it is the first time the league has publicly suspended a football crew in this type of situation, the only decision that Meyer questioned.

"Why would you do that?" he said. "I don't understand that part."

Later on Thursday Slive issued a public reprimand of Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino for publicly criticizing the officials earlier in the week.

"Coach Petrino has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics," Slive said in a statement. "SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that coaches, players and support personnel shall refrain from all public criticism of officials."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Missed calls cause ump switch for World Series

Veteran umps to work World Series

ump you suck!

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Stung by a rash of blown calls in the playoffs, Major League Baseball is breaking tradition and sticking with only experienced umpires for the World Series.

Longtime crew chiefs Joe West, Dana DeMuth and Gerry Davis, along with Brian Gorman, Jeff Nelson and Mike Everitt will handle the games, three people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press this week.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.

In 24 of the last 25 World Series, the six-man crew has included at least one umpire working the event for the first time -- baseball likes to reward newer umpires, plus replenish the supply of umps with Series experience.

In each of the last two years, there were three new umps working the World Series.

CB Bucknor was in line to work the World Series for the first time this year. But he missed two calls in Game 1 of the division series between the Red Sox and Angels, damaging his chance to get picked, one of the three people said.

Umpiring mistakes caused anxious moments for MLB in the first two rounds: Phil Cuzzi's foul call on a drive by Joe Mauer that was fair by a foot, Jerry Meals' error on a ball that bounced off Chase Utley's leg, Dale Scott's miss on a pickoff and Tim McClelland's call on a tag play, among others.

These problems ramped up calls by fans for expanded use of instant replay. Loading up with veteran umpires, however, is no guarantee of getting it right. McClelland missed an obvious double play Tuesday night in the AL championship series between the Yankees and Angels.

West, DeMuth and Davis each have worked three World Series and have been major league umpires for more than 25 years. Gorman, Nelson and Everitt all have called one World Series, and have been on the big league staff for at least 11 years.

At least a pair of first-time World Series umpires have been on each of the last five crews. Starting in 1983, the only crew that did not include a World Series rookie was 1997.

World Series umpires are chosen from the pool of 24 umpires who work in the first round, with those two dozen picked on merit. ALCS and NLCS umpires aren't in play, because umps don't work in consecutive rounds of the postseason.