Time for action

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

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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 stays hot at the plate

Astros overpower White Sox in series opener

Abraham Toro made a loud return to the Astros' lineup on Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a two-game sweep of the struggling Rangers behind them, the Astros welcomed in a much fiercer opponent in the Chicago White Sox, owners of the best record in the AL, for an exciting four-game set. It was all Astros in this one, as their offense would once again propel them to a lopsided win.

Final Score: Astros 10, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 40-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dylan Cease (5-3)

Houston builds a big lead

Houston wasted no time in the bottom of the first, getting two on base on a single and an error to set up a three-run home run for Michael Brantley, putting them ahead 3-0 before Chicago and Dylan Cease could record an out. They extended the lead in the bottom of the fourth, putting two on base on a walk and hit batter before an RBI ground-rule double by Carlos Correa brought in one. That left runners on second and third, and Abraham Toro took advantage by scoring both on a two-RBI single, then with one out, Jose Altuve hit a sac fly to make it a 7-0 lead.

Urquidy brings the good stuff

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was cruising through Chicago's lineup. He allowed just one hit through the first five scoreless innings but would let the White sox get on the board in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double and two-out RBI single. They added one more on another single, making it 7-2 before Urquidy could get out of the inning.

Jose Altuve got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, hitting his fourth home run in three games to make it a six-run game at 8-2. Urquidy returned to the mound in the top of the seventh, getting a quick 1-2-3 frame to end his successful night. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 93 P.

Astros take the opener

In the bottom of the seventh, Houston pushed the lead to eight runs with a leadoff single, setting up a two-out two-run homer by Toro, bringing him to four RBI on the night. With Urquidy's night over, Brandon Bielak came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen, sitting down Chicago in order. Ralph Garza Jr. came in to get an inning of work to finish off the game with Houston's large lead. He made it a quick one, with Chicago going down in order one more time as the Astros took the opener and notched their fourth-straight win.

Up Next: Game two of this entertaining series will be another 7:10 PM Central Start on Friday. Carlos Rodon (6-2, 1.89 ERA) will try to help Chicago even the series, while Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.98 ERA) will try to put Houston up 2-0.

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