Every-Thing Sports

It's time to admit it: Officials are trash

Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby has been around for 145 years. It's steeped in tradition. Mint juleps, fancy hats, tons of celebrity appearances and so on. This past weekend, the officials made a change of outcome for the first time in that 145 year history. They rewarded Country House, the second place finisher and 65-1 long shot, as the winner instead of Maximum Security. Maximum Security was the actual winner of the race, but was disqualified after a twenty-two minute investigation into claims filed by two jockey's whose claims of interference were looked into.Now, neither horse is running in The Preakness.

The Saints were poised to make another Super Bowl appearance. They had the Rams dead to rights. It was a third and long inside field goal range of a tied game with about less than two minutes left. Getting a first down would allow them to run out the clock and kick the potential game winning field goal with no time left on the clock. However, Bill Vinovich had other plans. TommyLee Lewis was open on a wheel route when Nickell Robey-Coleman decided to destroy him before the ball got there. Vinovich swallowed his whistle and the rest is history.

The Rockets dropped game one to the Warriors by a score of 104-100. A four point loss on the road in game one of the Western Conference semis is not a death sentence, but it could have swung momentum in the Rockets' favor to start the series. There were about four to five times in which a defensive foul could have been called when James Harden was shooting a three pointer giving the Rockets a chance another twelve to fifteen free throws could've made enough of a difference change the outcome of the game.

Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan in 2016 on a Hail Mary on an untimed down. This was the result of a pass interference call that was improperly enforced. In 1990, Colorado beat Missouri in the infamous "Fifth Down Game" which is so infamous, it has its own page on Wikipedia.

Officials have been piss poor for a long time. Unfortunately, they're getting worse. We live in an age in which technology has made some improvements in our lives. When it comes to sports, instant replay has allowed for bad or missed calls to be reversed. The ability of teams to be able to challenge a bad call has been huge. Imagine if Armando Gallaraga could've challenged Jim Joyce's call of safe allowing him to preserve his perfect game bid?

Officials rarely have to face the music like players and coaches do. They often times make themselves apart of the outcome and garner the spotlight, but don't have to face any media scrutiny. The issue of bad officiating isn't new. It's been going on for far too long and it's time to stop. Sports leagues need to do a better job of training officials. They also need to start weeding out older officials who can no longer keep up with the speed of the game, as well as discipline the ones who grade out poorly. This is something fans across the board have been calling for over a number of years. Leagues can no longer hide behind the human error excuse when the technology is readily available. There will be mistakes because we're human, but there shouldn't be outcomes so terribly effected when a solution is at hand. Human error is one thing, but sticking your head in the sand and refusing to embrace a solution to an apparent problem is idiotic.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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