Friday, June 4, 2010

Just the facts, Ma'am
Last night in the sports department, an unfortunate example occurred of what happens when false information gets out on the Internet. The editors received three different reports that former UCLA Coach John Wooden had died. The first report came from a Twitter message that was picked up by the Orange County Register, then CBS and later by the Washington Post.
Wooden, who has been in ill-health for a long time, had been hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center and at the last report, according to UCLA officials, was resting and in good care.


The last few weeks in Major League Baseball have seen some exhilarating and bizarre events. Dallas Braden of the Oakland A's and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies both pitched perfect games, the first time in baseball history that two have been pitched in one season; Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers lost a perfect game on umpire Jim Joyce's bad call at first base; the Dodgers won a game on a walk-off balk; Kendry Morales of the Angels broke his leg while celebrating at home plate after hitting a home run that beat the Seattle Mariners; and Cleveland Indians' pitcher David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. Huff was not seriously injured and made it back to the ballpark for the next game.

add Joyce and Galarraga: A lot of umpires miss the call that Joyce blew when Galarraga covered first on an infield grounder, took the throw and clearly beat the runner to the bag. That play may be the toughest for an umpire to call because there are at least two, sometimes three things he has to watch at the same time--the ball and the feet of both the runner and the pitcher. Maybe all that is too fast for the human eye, or perhaps umpires should try setting up at a different angle in relation to first base.

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