Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - Braves outlast Bucs 4-3 on disputed call in 19th

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Braves outlast Bucs 4-3 on disputed call in 19th

Posted: Wed, Jul 27, 11 - 10:31:42 AM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) -- Julio Lugo said he was safe, and after 19 innings and almost 7 hours, he wasn't sticking around for extended

conversation on the subject.

Lugo scored from third base on a contested play at the plate, giving the Atlanta Braves a 4-3 win in 19 innings over the Pittsburgh

Pirates early Wednesday morning.

The game, which ended at 1:50 a.m., was the longest in Turner Field history and matched the longest in the major leagues this

season. At 6 hours, 39 minutes, it was the longest by time for both teams.

Lugo took on Scott Proctor 's grounder to third baseman Pedro Alvarez , whose throw to catcher Michael McKenry easily beat

Lugo to the plate.

Lugo tried to avoid McKenry's tag with a pop-up slide. Replays indicated McKenry made the tag, but home plate umpire Jerry

Meals called Lugo safe.

"I didn't feel the tag," Lugo said. "He made the right call. I got in there."

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argued the call vigorously, following Meals off the field as the Braves celebrated.

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he ol├ęd him and I called him safe for that," Meals said. "I looked at the replays and it

appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened

I didn't see a tag.

"I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

The Pirates were looking at a photo of the tag on a laptop computer in their clubhouse after the game.

"The game tonight deserved way better than that," Hurdle said.

With one out in the 19th, Daniel McCutchen walked Lugo. Jordan Schafer followed with a single to center, moving Lugo to third.

With their bench and bullpen depleted, the Braves had to let Proctor (2-3), their eighth pitcher of the game, hit for himself.

Schafer advanced to second without a throw before Proctor's grounder led to the final play.

Proctor tripped trying to leave the batter's box, and McCutchen tried to encourage McKenry to throw to first for a possible

double play.

Then McCutchen realized Lugo was called safe.

"Can I say that he was out? Is that legal?" McCutchen asked, adding he saw the tag.

"I didn't know what everyone was screaming about," he said.

Despite the controversial ending, McCutchen said it was a special game.

"It was awesome," he said. "It was fun. It was like backyard baseball, no rules."

The Phillies and Reds played 19 innings on May 25.

The Pirates' previous longest game was 6:12 at San Diego on Aug. 25, 1979. The Braves' previous longest game by time was 6:10

against the Mets on July 4, 1985, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

"If you're going to take that long, it's good to win the game," Lugo said.

The Braves lost catcher Brian McCann in the 10th inning when he strained his left oblique. He will be placed on the 15-day

disabled list on Wednesday.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he hopes McCann's injury is "not a bad oblique, and we get him back in 15 to 20 days."

"That's a big bat in the lineup," Gonzalez said.

The Pirates scored two runs in the first and pushed their lead to 3-0 in the second on McKenry's homer. The Braves answered

with three runs in the third, and the score remained 3-3 through the next 15 innings.

Several thousand fans from the announced crowd of 22,036 were still in the stands in the 19th inning, many standing and chanting.

McCutchen (3-2) gave up one run in 5 1-3 innings.

The Pirates fell one game behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.

The Pirates had a chance to avoid extra innings but wasted a scoring chance in the ninth. McKenry had an infield single off

Craig Kimbrel and moved to third on pinch-hitter Brandon Wood 's single.

The Braves called a pitchout as Xavier Paul was squaring to bunt and McKenry was running toward the plate. McKenry stopped

too late and was thrown out at third. Kimbrel struck out Paul to end the inning.

Atlanta's Chipper Jones , who strained his right quadriceps in Monday night's game, hit a groundout as a pinch-hitter in the


Jones, 39, came off the 15-day disabled list on Monday following arthroscopic surgery on July 9 to repair torn cartilage in

his right knee.

Nate McLouth and Gonzalez were ejected by Meals in the ninth. McLouth struck out swinging and then remained at the plate,

apparently to argue a called strike two by Meals. Gonzalez ran onto the field too late to intervene and keep McLouth in the


NOTES: McKenry ended the Pirates' streak of 77 innings without a homer since a shot by Brandon Wood at Houston on July 16.

... Schafer, still bothered by his jammed left middle finger he hurt Wednesday in Colorado, was scratched from the Braves'

lineup. He entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement in center. ... Pirates C Ryan Doumit (left ankle sprain)

began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Players vote to OK deal to end NFL lockout


Now it can be said with certainty: Get ready for some football!
NFL players voted to OK a final deal Monday, days after the owners approved a tentative agreement, and the sides finally managed to put an end to the 4 1/2-month lockout, the longest work stoppage in league history. "This is a long time coming, and football's back," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "and that's the great news for everybody." The labor dispute comes to a close after claiming one exhibition: the Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Rams, scheduled for Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. Otherwise, the entire preseason and regular-season schedules remain intact. Club facilities will open to players Tuesday, when 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents can be signed. At a joint appearance outside the NFL Players Association headquarters, Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith shook hands, surrounded by some of the owners and players who were involved in the talks. They spoke shortly after the NFLPA executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously to approve the terms of a 10-year deal. "We didn't get everything that either side wanted ... but we did arrive at a deal that we think is fair and balanced," Smith said. Owners can point to victories, such as gaining a higher percentage of the more than $$9 billion in annual league revenues, one of the key issues throughout. Players persuaded teams to commit to spending nearly all of their salary cap space in cash and won changes to offseason and in-season practice rules that should make the game safer. If there was one unexpected moment during the press conference it was certainly Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday's eloquent tribute to New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who was lauded as instrumental in helping forge the deal. Kraft's wife, Myra, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. "A special thanks to Myra Kraft, who even in her weakest moment allowed Mr. Kraft to come and fight this out," Saturday said. "Without him, this deal does not get done. ... He's a man who helped us save football." With that, Saturday wrapped Kraft in a hug -- a gesture that symbolized how the lockout ended more than anyone's words. Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal to end the dispute on Thursday, but some unresolved issues needed to be reviewed to satisfy players. The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up nearly every detail by about 3 a.m. Monday on a final pact that runs through the 2020 season and can't be terminated before then. That's significant because the old collective bargaining agreement contained an opt-out clause, and owners exercised it in 2008. That led to the contract expiring when talks broke down March 11; hours later, owners locked out the players, creating the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. "I know it has been a very long process since the day we stood here that night in March," Smith said in a brief appearance about 20 minutes before being joined by Goodell and the owners. "But our guys stood together when nobody thought we would. And football is back because of it." As he spoke, Smith was flanked by NFLPA president Kevin Mawae and other key members of the players' negotiating team, including Saturday, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Ravens defensive back Domonique Foxworth. Brees was one of 10 plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit that players filed against the league March 11. They approved the settlement deal Monday, after two unanimous NFLPA leadership votes: to recommend to the plaintiffs that they accept the settlement, then to recommend to all 1,900 players that they re-establish the union. All players now will take a vote to re-certify the union -- it was dissolved March 11, turning the NFLPA into a trade association -- and then one more vote to approve the final CBA. That all needs to be wrapped up by Aug. 4 to make everything official, something everyone involved believes will happen without a hitch. Only once it is back to being a union can the NFLPA finish the contract, covering remaining items such as player discipline, drug testing, disability programs and pensions. "I believe it's important that we talk about the future of football as a partnership," Smith said. Later, standing shoulder to shoulder with Goodell, Smith said: "If we don't have a good relationship, it hurts the game and the business of football. I'm not sure any two people have ever come together in a more compressed, public, interesting time than Roger and I. I'm proud to say our relationship has grown." In addition to Kraft, John Mara of the Giants and Jerry Richardson of the Panthers -- all members of the owners' labor committee -- were present, too. "I'd like, on behalf of both sides, to apologize to the fans: For the last five, six months we've been talking about the business of football and not what goes on on the field and building the teams in each market," Kraft said. "But the end result is we've been able to have an agreement that I think is going to allow this sport to flourish over the next decade." Then, taking a verbal jab at the nearby White House and Congress, Kraft added: "I hope we gave a little lesson to the people in Washington, because the debt crisis is a lot easier to fix than this deal was." Now comes frenzied football activity, starting immediately. On Tuesday, clubs can begin talking to veteran free agents, who can sign as soon as Friday. On Wednesday, training camps will start to open. Both sides set up informational conference calls for Monday afternoon to go over the details of the agreement. The NFLPA told player agents they would be coached in particular on the guidelines and schedule for signing free agents and rookies; the NFL alerted general managers and coaches they would be briefed in separate calls. The major economic framework for the deal was worked out more than a week ago. That included dividing revenue (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about $$120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 -- and at least that in 2012 and 2013 -- plus about $$22 million for benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons. "We know what we did to frustrate our fans over the last several months," Goodell said. "They want football, and our job is to give them football."

All material © 2011 ABC Inc., KTRK-TV Inc. & 2004-2011 LSN, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Story posted 2011.07.25 at 04:40 PM CDT

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

MLB Baseball Free Pick Of The Day

Today I am picking the RED HOT Detroit Tigers to easily beat the Twins!

Please come back to my blog daily for more FREE PICKS! Good Luck!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011 MLB Baseball All-Star Game From Phoenix Pick

For tonight's 2011 MLB Baseball take the American League! Roy will get crushed when Jose comes to bat! Also, depending on the line, I like the UNDER bet, because the sports books know that the All-Star game is always high scoring so they put the line up really high! Take the UNDER and the American League and take that to the BANK Slicksters!

I am in the process of revamping Thanks for your patience!