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Hey Roger Goodell, do ​SOMETHING about this Saints mess​

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Whenever a baseball team loses a game it should have won early in the season you always hear someone say "A game in May is just as important as a game in September." This axiom is blatantly false. You have plenty of time to make up for a loss in May. In September when there aren't nearly as many games left on the schedule, it's much more difficult to overcome that loss.

If Cody Parkey had missed a field goal in the first quarter of the Bears playoff game against the Eagles no one would have remembered it. Since he missed the game winner as time expired he will live in eternal infamy in Chicago.

Same goes for that no-call in the Rams-Saints game. With just a minute left in the game, the Saints would have gotten four more downs. The Rams had timeouts but the odds of overcoming that deficit with seconds left would have been overwhelming. It was a much bigger call than any earlier in the game.

Afterwards I heard a bunch of people saying "Well if they're going to go back to that blown call why don't they go back to the face mask penalty that wasn't called on the Saints, or the delay of game in the second quarter? Those were blown calls too that affected the outcome."

They did affect the score but not the outcome. With just a minute left, that one call had a direct effect on the final score. There was time to overcome every other call or no-call in that game.

Now the question is what will the NFL do about it? Saints fans want justice. A New Orleans lawyer has filed a lawsuit ordering Commissioner Roger Goodell to put both teams back on the field and replay the final minute of the game. It won't happen but it's the kind of pressure that might make the league actually do something other than give us lip service about the state of its officiating.

It's at an all-time low. The best refs are the ones who go unseen. NFL refs are in the crosshairs of fans week in and week out.

You would think replay would have helped the situation but it's only made it worse. The simplest calls are paralyzing because they know they have the crutch of going back and sorting it out with replay. It's maddening. And don't get me started with how long and agonizing the process is. After two replays an entire television audience knows how they are going to rule on it, yet it takes forever to get the game restarted. It's not that hard guys. Figure out a better way.

And if we need penalties replayed then so be it. I hear so many people against it but I heard the same thing about replay in the first place. If your only problem with it is that it's never been done before then that's a pretty weak argument. That's how progress has always been thwarted.

Like I said, the most important plays, hits, baskets, scores and referee calls are the ones late in the game. So make those the priority. If we need a replay on a referee's call or no-call in the last two minutes of a game then let's get one. Don't let one bad call decide that a team is or isn't going to the Super Bowl when we have the ability to get it right. It will lend more credibility to your sport. There are conspiracy theorists out there that believe that the league wanted Los Angeles and not New Orleans in that game. All they did was give them ammunition.

Start with pass interference and if they see the need to add other penalties then they can but not doing anything, Roger Goodell, would be another horrific no-call.

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Houston drops first of three

Mariners heat up late to take series opener over Astros

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With the playoffs just a little over a week away, the Astros started their last week of regular-season games in Seattle against the Mariners. A couple of wins against them would secure Houston's spot as the AL West's second playoff participant, with Oakland all but having locked up the first spot sitting six games in front of Houston with seven left to play. Here is a quick rundown of the opener from T-Mobile Park:

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 1.

Record: 27-27, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Marco Gonzalez (7-2, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA).

Bitter end to an impressive start for McCullers Jr.

Both starting pitchers would take a scoreless deep late into Monday night's game. While the Astros were trying to figure out Marco Gonzalez, Lance McCullers Jr. was repeating the success of his last start, a seven-inning two-hit start against the Rangers.

McCullers Jr. allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning, then proceeded to retire the next fourteen batters before a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Mariners their first hit of the night. He would go on to finish the sixth before things unraveled in the seventh.

A leadoff walk would result in a run after an error by Jose Altuve left runners on first and second, setting up an RBI-double to give the Mariners the first run of the night and a 1-0 lead. McCullers Jr. looked like he was going to cap off his night by stranding the runners on second and third after back-to-back strikeouts, but before he could get the last out of the inning allowed a three-run home run to blow the game open at 4-0. His final line: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Mariners take the opener

Despite getting several hits against him along the way, Houston could not get anything substantial going against Gonzalez, who would shutout the Astros over eight innings of work. After Enoli Paredes finished the seventh, Brandon Bielak would take over out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth.

He struggled mightily, loading the bases with no outs, including a hit batter before allowing a two-RBI single to extend Seattle's lead to 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the top of the ninth, getting a two-out double by Carlos Correa, who would score on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick. That would be too little, too late as the 6-1 score would go final as the Mariners took the opener, keeping the Astros' magic number at two.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will be another 8:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. On the mound will be Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA) for the Astros and Ljay Newsome (0-1, 6.35 ERA) for the Mariners.

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