Monthly Archives: June 2012

New Orleans in the 2012 NBA Draft

Yesterday, June 28, 2012 was the NBA Draft and the New Orleans Hornets did very well with their picks.

New Orleans had the 1st overall pick in the draft and with that they got Anthony Davis, a forward from Kentucky. Davis is 19 years old and stands about 6 foot 10. Davis averages 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. Last season Davis was announced the consensus college player of the year. Not only does his talent make him a great unique player, but his look as well. Anthony Davis has a unibrow that inspired him to trademark the phrases “Fear The Brow” and “Raise The Brow.” Davis was the player to get in this 2012 NBA draft and he was excited the Hornets selected him as the first pick. Davis said, “The first thing I said after the lottery was ‘It would be great to win another championship in New Orleans.’ It’s a great city. Monty is a great coach who has played in the league and will tell you how it is. He has given me some great advice and I can’t wait to get out on the court with him.”

Then with the 10th overall pick New Orleans selected Austin Rivers, a guard from Duke. Rivers is also 19 years old and is 6 foot 5. Rivers averages 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Austin Rivers is the son of Doc Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics. Doc left his team to join his family for New Orlean’s announcement to select Austin. The two shared a few words and a hug before Austin Rivers approached the stage. When asked about playing against his dad’s team Austin said, “When I beat him, I am going to talk a lot of trash to him and tell him it’s my time now. It is going to be tough, because the Celtics are so good and I know my dad is going to do something to mess with me. That will be interesting because we are both so competitive.” I look forward to watching this father son match up next season, and I am sure it will be a fun game to watch.

When asked about the New Orleans picks, Hornet’s general manager Dell Demps said, “I feel really good. With Davis’ defensive presence, and offensive upside is great. With Austin’s play-making ability, along with Eric, I’m hoping we’ll be really hard to guard and to score on.” Davis and Rivers are both great additions to the New Orleans Hornets, and I am sure they will make great teammates.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/story/_/id/8109357/nba-draft-2012-new-orleans-hornets-select-anthony-davis-no-1-overall-pick

http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2012/06/new_orleans_hornets_add_anthon.html

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft/results/players/stats?id=19653&_slug_=austin-rivers&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fdraft%2fresults%2fplayers%2fstats%3fid%3d19653%26_slug_%3daustin-rivers

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/06/29/austin-rivers-chosen-hornets/Kn4fUXfxRda08GkIEP62WN/story.html

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Mavericks vs. Nets for Deron Williams

On Tuesday June 26, 2012 Deron Williams turned 28 years old. Williams played for the New Jersey, now the Brooklyn, Nets for the 2011-2012 season. On July 1, 2012 Williams will become a free agent. On that day Brooklyn can make their offer for William’s contract extension. If Williams accepts the offer he will continue to stay in Brooklyn for however many years the team offers. If Williams does not accept, he has two choices: 1.) He can choose to stay and play for Brooklyn for one more year, or 2.) He can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. If Williams does not accept the offer and opts out of his contract he will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight on July 1st. Deron Williams is considering between two teams, the Brooklyn Nets, his current team, and the Dallas Mavericks, the team of his hometown.

Both teams are working hard to recruit the talented point guard.

On Tuesday the Nets sent a truck over to Williams’s house with a sign on it wishing Deron a “Happy Birthday”. Williams’s wife took a picture of it and posted it on her twitter. That night Deron Williams had a small party at a New York restaurant inviting only a small number of people. It was said that Avery Johnson, Brooklyn Nets head coach, was one of the few invited. Coach Johnson was there with Williams and his family, and Williams’s agent Jeff Schwartz. Also in a news conference, Brooklyn’s general manager, Billy King said that he was also invited but was unable to attend. King also said he was pretty confident that Deron Williams will resign with Brooklyn. King said, “I’m not overconfident, I’m not any less confident, I just feel pretty good.” These acts show that Williams has a strong relationship with his teammates and coaching staff in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday night the Texas Rangers decided to help the Dallas Mavericks recruit Williams by posting a message on their scoreboard during Tuesday night’s game wishing Williams a “happy birthday” and suggested him to “Be A Maverick!”

Delonte West also put in his part for the Mavericks last night on Wednesday June 27, 2012. West, @charleeredz13, posted a series of tweets saying:

“A Dwill…u need to come to Dallas mane man…we got a chance to win a championship here dog….dirk be the best playa u ever played with..”

“Real talk…I know it’s a Lil more mOney over der but u home here…fam support here… Town gon love ya…plus u got a team that can do it”

“And u got d best owner in all sports…nest practice facility…and a coach that UNDERSTANDS…real dude like urself…trust me homie…”

“I wouldn’t lie to ya…let’s get it…..we can win the western conference no problem..u 20+.. Dirk20+…when u need a breather…I gotcha”

Also yesterday in a radio interview on the Ticket, Dirk Nowitzki said, “[…] We’d love to have him run the show here. We’ll see what he decides. I hope we have a good shot. He’s from here. His mom lives here. He likes it here. He loves golf, and we have great golf courses. We have a great organization, great fans, and a great owner that makes stuff happen all the time. I really think we have as good a shot as Brooklyn has.”

Both teams are doing their part in recruiting the free agent. It will be interesting to see which team Williams decides to play for. Being a Mavs fan I hope it is Dallas and am very happy to see the Rangers, West, and Nowitzki helping with the recruiting process. But on the other hand Deron Williams has made a home with the Brooklyn Nets and seems to really like his teammates and the coaching staff there. Williams does not plan to drag this decision on for a long time, so I am sure we will find our within the first week of July.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8097500/brooklyn-nets-get-creative-wish-deron-williams-happy-birthday

http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8101059/deron-williams-invites-brooklyn-nets-coach-avery-johnson-party-sources-say

https://twitter.com/#!/CharleeRedz13

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/dirk-nowitzki-wants-deron-williams-run-show-dallas-143336039–nba.html

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4690115/donnie-nelson-thanks-rangers-for-d-will-wish

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Josh Hamilton’s Story could be a Movie

On Friday June 22, 2012 Josh Hamilton and his wife, Katie, released a statement confirming that Hamilton’s story will be scripted. Casey Affleck and Thunder Road Pictures are hoping to make Hamilton’s life story into a featured film someday. The Hamiltons will only be “an integral part of the film’s creative direction and accuracy as the project develops.” They will not be helping with the pitching process to Hollywood.

Hamilton has been through a lot in his life. Right out of high school in 1999 he was the top pick of the Tampa Bay Rays. Hamilton played great in Tampa’s minor leagues, but his career was put on hold after becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. Hamilton was kicked out of the major league. When Hamilton hit rock bottom he found the help he needed and got cleaned up. When the league heard of this, they decided to let him back into MLB. Hamilton made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. Then Hamilton was traded to the Texas Rangers in 2008. Hamilton was sober for 3 years before his first relapse with alcohol in January 2009, but took the right actions and cleaned up again. After another 3 years of being clean he relapsed again on January 30, 2012, but again took the right actions to clean himself up. To read more on Josh Hamilton’s story click here.

Currently Hamilton is in his last year of his contract with the Texas Rangers and his playing his best. So far this season, in 64 games Hamilton has a batting average of .327. Hamilton also has 63 RBIs (runs batted in), and 22 HR (home runs). Hamilton was also announced the AL player of the month in April and May, back to back months.  To read more on some of Hamilton’s success this year click here.

I am really excited to see what happens with this script. I hope that it gets made into a movie because Hamilton’s story has been a good one so far, and movie worthy. Even with his recent relapse I feel it would still be a good movie because Hamilton is working hard at staying sober, and 3 years is a big accomplishment. Also the Texas Rangers need to RE-SIGN HAMILTON soon!

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8086043/josh-hamilton-confirms-scripting-life-story-movie

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Roy Oswalt is back in the Major League

Roy Oswalt is a right-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers. Oswalt was born on August 29, 1977. In 1996 the Houston Astros drafted Oswalt in the 23rd round of the amateur draft. Then Oswalt signed a contract with the Astros on May 18, 1997, but did not have his major league debut until May 6, 2001. Oswalt played for the Astros for 9 1/2 years (2001-2010) before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle of the 2010 season. From 2010-2011 Oswalt pitched for the Phillies. Then during the offseason Oswalt was never offered a contract by any teams during his free agency. This even carried over to 2 months into the season this year, but Oswalt finally found a team that wanted him when the Rangers got him on May 29, 2012. Ron Washington said, “He brings big-time experience. He’s healthy and he’s throwing the ball well. That’s why we signed him. He can help anchor our young pitching staff with Colby Lewis. We’re looking for him to come here and help us win some ballgames.”

Since then 34-years-old, Roy Oswalt has had 4 starts in the minor leagues. The Rangers and Oswalt felt it would be best to start him in the minor leagues to help build up his arm strength before joining the Rangers. Last Sunday on June 17, 2012 Roy Oswalt, pitching for Triple-A Round Rock, gave up 2 runs on 6 hits that included 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. That day Oswalt threw 100 pitches leading the team to a 4-2 win over Oklahoma City, and proved to everyone he was ready to return to the major leagues. Oswalt said, “The biggest thing down here was to build some arm strength and get back into pitching shape. You can throw a lot of bullpens and lift a lot of weights, but until you get out there and compete against hitters and get into pitching shape, you can’t duplicate it.”

The Rangers and Oswalt felt the goal was accomplished and it is time to call him up to play with the Rangers. To make room the Rangers send Scott Feldman back to the bullpen. When asked about Oswalt’s last game in the minors Nolan Ryan said, “There wasn’t a wow factor to his game, but the ball was coming out of his hand well. I thought he went about his business the way I would expect him to. He was making pitches and doing things I anticipated seeing him do.”

Roy Oswalt is scheduled to make his debut with the Texas Rangers tonight in Arlington in a game against the Colorado Rockies. When Oswalt was asked about his debut and the Rangers team he said, “Everyone that plays this game is looking for competition. You miss that when you’re not around it, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been watching this team for the last two years and thought I’d be competing against them (in the playoffs. The Phillies) thought we had the best team in the NL and fell short. It’s just a solid team, and I’m ready to get back on the field.”

I am not expecting Roy Oswalt to pitch a great game tonight, but it will be fun to see him come back onto a major league field and pitch again. I am sure Oswalt is very excited and looking forward to tonight’s game. Let’s Go Rangers!

Resources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/veteran-rhp-roy-oswalt-will-make-1st-start-for-texas-rangers-on-friday-against-rockies/2012/06/20/gJQAbLP0qV_story.html

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oswalro01.shtml

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8078334/roy-oswalt-make-debut-texas-rangers-friday

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Miami is the 2011-2012 NBA Finals Champions

The Miami Heat did it! Miami won their second franchise championship, but it was the teams first championship win with the big three together. Miami beat the OKC Thunder 121-106 in game 5 of the 2011-2012 NBA Playoff Finals. Miami really came together against the young OKC and fought to the end. Tonight is a great milestone for the Miami Heat.

Tonight is the night that the big three: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh won their first title as teammates and proved to most of the world that they can play together and be a great team. The three first came together last year and struggled at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season finding it hard to play as a team. LeBron and Wade had a hard time sharing the court and taking turns being leaders. To me it seemed like LeBron was scared to take over the team that had been Wade’s for 7 years (2003-2010), and Wade was trying to figure out how to share his leadership role. Then after the 2011 All-Star break the team began to come together. In the 2010-2011 season Miami made it all the way to the finals to play the Dallas Mavericks, but the Mavericks proved to be the better team winning the title and Miami fell short of their goal. This left LeBron and Bosh heartbroken to come that close to winning their first title and then not accomplishing their goal.

This season Miami came back ready to compete and accomplish their goal. During this Finals run Miami finally became LeBron’s team, which was just what needed to happen for this team to reach their potential. Wade took the back seat and let LeBron take control. Miami started the 2011-2012 NBA Playoffs against the New York Knicks winning that series 4-1. Then Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to play theIndiana Pacers and beat them in 6 games. After that, Miami played the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston forced Miami to give it their all taking the series to the full 7 games. It was really a win or go home game and Miami won to progress to the Finals to play the OKC Thunder. Miami lost the first game of the NBA Finals but came out on top winning the next 4 games.

Wade won his second title, but what makes this night so special is that LeBron James won his first NBA Championship and won the NBA Finals MVP award just after winning the regular season MVP award back in May. LeBron James has fought hard his year and deserves his first of many titles to come. LeBron had a spectacular playoff run averaging 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assistes per game in the 2011-2012 Playoffs. LeBron also became the 7th player in NBA history to have multiple triple doubles in the NBA Finals, which means he had double digits in points, assists, and rebounds in multiple playoff games this post season.

Most of all I enjoyed getting to see Chris Bosh win his first title as well. Bosh, I feel, is the most humble of the three superstars in Miami and deserves this Championship. In the 2011-2012 Playoff run Bosh averaged 13.2 points, and 7.80 rebounds. I am happy for Bosh and congratulate him on his accomplishment tonight.

Also a major congrats to Miami head coach, Erik Spoelstra tonight. He has been a great coach to this team of superstars. The team would never have come together to play to their full potential without him. And Congrats to Mike Miller for having a great game in game 5 with 23 points.

Congratulations to the entire Miami Heat team on winning the 2011-2012 NBA Finals Championship tonight.

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2012 NBA Finals Officiating

The 2011-2012 NBA Finals started last week and has proven to be a very intense series. In game 1 Oklahoma City gave it their all and got the first win. Then in games 2 and 3 Miami fought to the end and got the last two wins. Game 4 will be played tonight Tuesday June 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM Central time.

After watching the past 3 games, especially games 2 and 3, many fans feel that the Finals are rigged and the officials are making calls in Miami’s favor to help them win the game. I understand where these people are coming from, some of the calls I saw in games 2 and 3 were pretty bad. But on the other hand, basketball is such a fast pace game which makes it hard for the officials to see everything and yes they are human so there will be times that they get it wrong. Also this seems to happen every year. Each year there are fans that feel the officiating is unfair. I will admit I felt that way last year in almost every series for the Mavs. I thought the referees hardly ever gave calls to the Mavs last year, but still the Dallas Mavericks won it all. This shows it does not matter if you think the referees are calling the game fair or not, what matters is the coaching and which team can adjust to the obstacles and which team cannot. I am looking forward to tonight’s game to see if OKC can adjust and overcome, or if they will just let Miami make their run to the title.

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The Texas Silver Boot

The Silver Boot is a trophy rewarded to the Texas team that beats the other the most each year. The Lone Star series or Silver Boot series is an interleague matchup of rivalries, meaning one team is in the National League (Houston Astros), and the other is in the American League (Texas Rangers).

The Boot sort of got its started in 1992 before interleague games were played. The Astros and Rangers started an end-of-Spring Training game giving these two Texas teams a chance to play each other and the winning team would receive a trophy. The trophy went to the Texas Rangers the first year, but it was not as glamorous as it is today. In 1992 the trophy was just a regular leather boot painted silver. This Silver Boot trophy is referred to as Silver Boot I.

In 2001 the Texas teams matchup took to a new level when the two teams were scheduled to play each other in the regular season for the first time, interleague play was now introduced. For the new experience and change the two teams got a new trophy, Silver Boot II. This trophy was a glass cut boot outlined with silver and had a crystal ball under the toe of the boot. Since 2001 the two teams have been scheduled to play each other in 2 series (6 games) each year, and the team with the most wins would take home the Silver Boot or in the event of a tie the team that had the most runs scored would win. In 2001 the Rangers won on run differential and the manager, Jerry Narron accepted the trophy on the field after the game. This was the only time the trophy was ever presented to the winner on the field. The Astros came back and won it the next two years, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 the Lone Star series ended in a tie again but after runs were counted up the trophy went to the Rangers, but when it was received in the mail it was shattered.

In 2005 the teams got Silver Boot III, which is the one still awarded to the winner of the Silver Boot series today. Silver Boot III is a size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver with a hand-made spur attached. In 2006 the Houston Astros won the Silver Boot series to receive Silver Boot III for the first time, and possibly the only time. The Texas Rangers have won the Silver Boot series the past 5 years (2007-2011). It is also looking like the Rangers will win it again this year. The Rangers and Astros have already played 1 of the two series this year resulting in the Rangers winning 2 of the 3 games. The second and last part of the 2012 Lone Star series starts today June 15, 2012. If the Rangers win 2 of the 3 games they win the Silver Boot. If the Astros win all 3 games Houston will win the Silver Boot. If Houston wins 2 of the 3 then it will end in a tie and will refer to the run differential. But that is not the true story here.

This year could possibly be the last year for the Silver Boot III trophy and the Lone Star series. Next season the Houston Astros will relocate to the American League West, the same division as the Rangers. This means the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play more games against each other in the regular season. But it is not the relocation of the Astros that is causing talk of getting rid of the trophy, it is more of the fact that no one seems to care anymore. The current owners of the Rangers and Astros are considering the possibility of retiring the trophy because they no longer feel that the two teams are rivals any more. Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels said, “It has to be a rivalry on the field for it to be meaningful.”

Currently no decision has been made on this matter. I hope that the owners decide to keep this tradition going. As a fan, I enjoy the Lone Star series and love traditions like these. I also find it fun to watch these series each year with my friends that are Astros fans. I do not believe it would do any harm to keep the tradition alive.

How do you feel? Do you think the Astros and Rangers should retire the trophy or would you like to see it continue?

Update:

The Texas Rangers won all 3 games agains the Houston Astros in the second series of the Lone Star series. The Rangers win the Silver Boot for the 2012 season.

Resources:

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120516&content_id=31456234&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080516&content_id=2712533&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Star_Series

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Oops! Mayor of Boston did it again

The Boston Celtics were down 2-0 in the 2011-2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat after game 2 on Wednesday May 30, 2012. Then the series took a turn when Boston won 3 games in a row and took a 3-2 lead in the series. All Boston had to do was win 1 more game to win the Eastern Conference Finals and move on to the NBA Finals, the last round of the playoffs. Things were looking great for the Boston Celtics and their fans could not be more excited.

On Wednesday June 6, 2012 the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, was asked about the Celtics and their progress. Mayor Menino said, “There’s a lot of heart in this team, let me just tell you. KJ is great but Hondo is really the inspiration. Hondo drives that team.” Oops! There is no KJ or Hondo on the Boston Celtics team, but there is a Kevin Garnett whose nickname is KG and a Rajon Rondo on the team.

This would not be that bad if Garnett and Rondo were fairly new to the team or did not get much playing time, but they have both been there for a full 5-6 seasons and get a lot of playing time. Rondo joined the team in the 2006-2007 season and Garnett joined the Celtics in the 2007- 2008 season. Rondo and KG are well known which makes the mayor’s mistake that much funnier. Some believe he confused KG with retired Phoenix Suns point guard  and mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson whose nickname is KJ, and he mixed up Rondo with Havlicek that was a Celtics guard that is now in the Hall of Fame and whose nickname was Hondo. Others believe the mayor simply made a mistake.

Shortly after the mix up, Mayor Menino wrote on his twitter, “You know it’s championship season when I flub our athletes’ names!Sorry KG & Rondo, it’s kind of my thing- another Menino-ism! Go Celtics!”

Menino jokes on his twitter apology about the fact that this is not the first time he has messed up Athlete’s names. The time before was this past NFL season when he was discussing how well he thought the New England Patriots would match up to the Denver Broncos. Thomas Menino talked about Patriots “Grabowski,” meaning Rob Gronkowski, and “Wes Weckler,” meaning Welker. Menino also messed up in 2010 when he was reminiscing on some of Boston’s memorable sports moments. The mayor said, “In Boston, we have an amazing set of remarkable athletes whose actions in the moment have become ionic in sports. Havlicek stole the ball. Fisk waving the ball fair. Flutie launched the Hail Mary pass. Varitek splitting the uprights.” Jason Veritek use to be the catcher for the Red Sox, and “slitting the upright” is a football term for making the field goal. He really ment to say Adam Vinatieri.

Hilarious! I like that Menino is not afraid to make a mistake and does not let his mix ups keep him from talking about sports. No one is perfect, but I do love that this gives everyone a good laugh.

Resources:

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/19289800/boston-mayor-kj-and-hondo-are-key-to-celtics

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4694884/menino-praises-celtics-kj-and-hondo

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31751_162-57449001-10391697/watch-boston-mayor-flubs-names-of-celtic-stars/

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MLB Standings 101

Major League Baseball is divided into two Leagues called the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). From there, each League is divided into 3 divisions called the East, Central, and West. So in MLB there is a total of 6 divisions.

Looking at the map above, I have color coordinated each MLB League and division. The teams in each division are circled and connected with different colors. The American League  divisions are all bright warm colors; the AL East is pink, AL Central is red, and AL West is yellow. The National League divisions are all dull cool colors; the NL East is green, NL Central is blue, and NL West is purple. The chart below also shows the teams in each division but includes each team’s name. The teams are in no particular order.

In MLB teams are scheduled to play other teams in 2-4 game series, meaning a team will be scheduled to play other teams for more than 1 game in a row. To the right is an example of the Texas Rangers 2012 June schedule. You can see how the team is scheduled to play other teams 2-4 times in a row. You can also see that in MLB teams are scheduled to play almost every day. If a game is called(cancelled) due to bad weather it could be rescheduled for another day and the teams may have two games to play in one day. The team that wins the most games in a series is said to have won that series, but that is not taken into account when looking at the team standings.

MLB standings are ranked by each team’s win-loss record from the total games they have played, not the number of series they win or lose. Also the teams are only ranked by their division and not by the League the team is in. So, in other words, a team’s win-loss record is only compared to the other teams in the same division to decide the ranking of that division. For example:

To see an example of where the teams are currently ranked click the link below and press refresh.

 http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings

Also please note that Major League Baseball is considering relocating the Houston Astros to the AL West starting just before the 2013 season. This move will even out the MLB Leagues and the Divisions.

Resources:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6659129

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4876105/astros-switch-to-al-west-is-good-call

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NFL looking for New Officials

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) have been working on a new contract, but the two sides have yet to agree on the terms. Starting last October the NFL and the NFLRA have had nine bargaining negotiations and recently two mediation sessions.

The last mediation session was held on Sunday June 3, 2012 in which the NFL presented a seven-year proposal to the NFLRA. In this proposal the NFLRA would get a 5-11% pay increase each year. ESPN.com News Services explains, “First-year officials who made an average of $78,000 in 2011 would earn more than $165,000 by the end of the new agreement. A 10-year veteran in 2011 who made $139,000 would get more than $200,000 in 2018.” The proposal also included a retirement arrangement that would give a yearly pay starting at $16,500.00 to retired NFL referees, investment opportunities, and reimbursements for medical costs.

Then on Monday it was announced that the league (the NFL) “terminated negotiations.” Greg Aiello, spokesman for the league, said, “In yesterday’s session, the NFLRA … abandoned positions that it had previously taken with both us and the mediators, and made economic demands totaling millions of additional dollars that they had agreed to drop at earlier sessions.” In other words the NFL Referees agreed with the NFL and mediators to not ask for an unreasonable pay increase, but then came back on Sunday changing their minds. The league has decided to prepare themselves for the worst case scenario and hire replacement officials. The NFL wants to have referees ready for the preseason games starting August 5, 2012 and for when the season games starting on September 5, 2012. In case an agreement is not reached in time, the NFL wants to have referees available and ready “to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season,” Aiello said.

The NFL will look at retired college referees as well as current college referees to hire, but will not consider any officials from the BCS conference. The officials in the BCS conference are run by the NFLRA.

The NFLRA’s counsel, Mike Arnold said, “It is unfortunate that as referees’ responsibilities are expanded that the NFL would jeopardize player health and safety and the integrity of the game by seeking amateur, underqualified referees to administer professional games.” Aiello confidently replied, “The officials we are hiring are professionals who officiate games at a high level and have backgrounds similar to current NFL officials.”

When the players’ union heard of the NFL looking for replacement officials they said, “In 2011, the NFL tasked officials with increased responsibilities in protecting player health and safety, and its search for scabs undermines that important function. Professional athletes require professional referees, and we believe in the NFL Referees Association’s trained first responders.”

I believe having replacement officials available is a good idea. The NFL cannot afford to miss any games on account of an agreement with the NFLRA not getting done. The NFL is doing what they need to do, but there is plenty of time before the first preseason game. I am sure the NFL and NFLRA will come up with an agreement before August.

Resource:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8006771/nfl-hire-replacement-officials-talks-stall

http://www.ballerstatus.com/2012/06/04/nfl-announces-plans-hire-replacement-referees-contract-talks-stall/

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