TheSTN – NFL: Seven From Sunday

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 23, the third week of the 2012 season.

  • Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ 27-6 win over Philadelphia. Fitzgerald has 707 career receptions and became the youngest player in NFL history (29 years, 23 days) to reach the 700-catch mark. He surpassed the previous record (JASON WITTEN, 30 years, 133 days) by over a year.

With the victory, the Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since 1974. Dating back to last season, Arizona has won 10 of its past 12 games.

  • The TENNESSEE TITANS became the first team in NFL history to score five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in a game in their 44-41 overtime win over Detroit: TOMMIE CAMPBELL, 65-yard punt-return TD; JARED COOK, 61-yard TD reception from JAKE LOCKERDARIUS REYNAUD, 105-yard kick-return TD; NATE WASHINGTON, 71-yard TD reception from Locker; and ALTERRAUN VERNER, 72-yard fumble-return TD.
  • Kansas City running back JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown (91 yards) in the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime win over New Orleans. Charles, who also had six receptions for 55 yards, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (November 19, 1961) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 225 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in the same game.

Charles, who rushed for 259 yards on January 3, 2010, has two career games with at least 230 rushing yards. Only Brown (three) has more.

  • Denver quarterback PEYTON MANNING passed for 330 yards in the Broncos’ 31-25 loss to Houston. The performance marked Manning’s 64th career 300-yard game, passing Pro Football DAN MARINO (63) for the most in NFL history.
  • The DETROIT LIONS became the first team in NFL history to score two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of regulation to either take the lead or force overtime. Detroit quarterback SHAUN HILL threw a three-yard touchdown pass to CALVIN JOHNSON with 18 seconds remaining and then connected with TITUS YOUNG on a 46-yard TD as time expired to force overtime.
  • Three games – Detroit at Tennessee, Kansas City at New Orleans and the New York Jets at Miami – were decided in overtime. Today marked the first day since November 7, 2010 with three overtime games. The NFL record for the most overtime games in a single day is four, which has been done twice before (October 8, 1995 and October 20, 2002).
  • Minnesota’s BLAIR WALSH kicked a 52-yard field goal in the Vikings’ 24-13 win over San Francisco. Walsh, who had a 55-yarder in Week 1 and a 51-yarder in Week 2, is the first rookie in NFL history to kick a 50-yard field goal in each of his team’s first three games.

 

TheSTN – AP Top 25 College Football Poll As Of 09.22.12

The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 22, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

 

 

 

 

Team – (1st Place Votes) – Record — Pts — Pv

1. Alabama (59) – 4-0 – 1,499 – 1
2. Oregon – 4-0 – 1,414 – 3
3. LSU (1) – 4-0 – 1,346 – 2
4. Florida St. – 4-0 – 1,340 – 4
5. Georgia – 4-0 – 1,245 – 5
6. South Carolina – 4-0 – 1,147 – 7
7. Kansas St. – 4-0 – 1,067 – 15
8. Stanford – 3-0 – 1,055 – 9
9. West Virginia – 3-0 – 1,045 – 8
10. Notre Dame – 4-0 – 1,003 – 11
11. Florida – 4-0 – 864 – 14
12. Texas – 3-0 – 856 – 12
13. Southern Cal – 3-1 – 801 – 13
14. Ohio St. – 4-0 – 633 – 16
15. TCU – 3-0 – 616 – 17
16. Oklahoma – 2-1 – 61 – 16
17. Clemson – 3-1 – 588 – 10
18. Oregon St. – 2-0 – 451 – NR
19. Louisville – 4-0 – 414 – 20
20. Michigan St. – 3-1 – 348 – 21
21. Mississippi St. – 4-0 – 246 – 23
22. Nebraska – 3-1 – 179 – 25
23. Rutgers – 4-0 – 128 – NR
24. Boise St. – 2-1 – 114 – 24
25. Baylor – 3-0 – 92 – NR

Steve Kallas (TheSTN) – Yankees Win A Miracle Game As Robinson Cano Loafs Another Ball

The Yankees win a miracle game over the Oakland A’s in 14 innings after getting down four runs in the 13th inning and everybody is talking about the impossible comeback (only the second time in the storied history of the New York Yankees that they came back to win after being down at least four runs in extra innings).  While that, rightly, is the focus of all articles on the game, this article is about something much more subtle – the inability (or lack of desire) of Robinson Cano to hustle in the field.

HAS THIS HAPPENED BEFORE?

Well, you will recall that just a few weeks ago, on Monday, September 3, in a game against Tampa Bay, Cano refused to leave his feet to try and knock down a ground ball to his left.  The resulting single to right by Chris Gimenez allowed Ryan Roberts to easily score what proved to be the winning run in a 4-3 Tampa victory.

All of this happened in the middle of a division/wild card race where, for the first time, nobody wants to be the wild card (because of the one-game playoff) if they can win the division.  Many roundly criticized Cano for his perceived lack of effort but he said he was hurt and Joe Girardi said he thought that Cano simply misjudged the grounder and couldn’t get to it.

FLASH FORWARD TO YESTERDAY

Clealy lost in the shuffle, there was another play yesterday that might actually signal the start of a new era (error?) in baseball.  Top 7, Yankees up 5-4 (still, obviously, in a division/wild card race with the surprisingly good Orioles for Manager of the Year Buck Showalter), man on first, one out, Brandon Moss at the plate.

Moss hits a ground ball between first and second.  Maybe Nick Swisher should have caught it; maybe not.  In any event, Cano moves to his left, clearly assumes that Swisher will catch the ball, slows down and, when Swisher doesn’t catch it, Cano watches the ball go by him and into right field.  Yoenis Cespedes, the runner on first with good speed, moves on to third.

SO WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Well, here’s the big deal.  With one out, at a minimum, you want to keep the ball in the infield.  It’s late in the game, the Yankees have a one-run lead and, by loafing to the ball, presumably assuming that Nick Swisher would catch it (Swisher is ok at first but he’s no Mark Teixeira down there), he allowed the tying run to go to third with one out.

Once at third, with less than two out, Cespedes, with good speed, could easily score on a sacrifice fly.  Which is exactly what happened as Chris Carter flies out to center and Cespedes scores the tying run.

While you never know what is going to happen after a play in a baseball game, what you do know is this:  if Robinson Cano hustled to his left, at a minimum, Cespedes does not get to third.  And then it would be impossible for him to score the tying run in an important game on a sac fly.

That’s the big deal.

WINNING ERASES ALL ILLS

While many focused on rookie Melky Mesa failing to touch third in the bottom of the 14th (maybe Joe Girardi should have put him in a game before this important pinch-running role – Mesa had been on the Yankee bench for 10 games before getting in yesterday as a pinch runner in a huge spot), that mistake was erased when the Yankees won the game.

But everybody forgot about Cano’s terrible play (or lack thereof) on the ball in the seventh inning that allowed the A’s to tie the game and forced the Yankees to play 14 (rather than a probable nine) innings.  Again, you don’t know what would have happened if Cano had hustled after that ball and kept it in the infield, but you do know that the Yankees still would have had a 5-4 lead with a runner on second, not third, in a crucial game.

THE START OF A NEW ERA (ERROR)?

Well, that remains to be seen.  A generation ago, virtually everybody ran hard to first.  It was a given, a part of the game.  After all, how hard could it be to run hard to first out of the batter’s box three or four times a game.  It’s only 90 feet, right?

Flash forward to today, where players (including the ultra-talented Cano) routinely do not run hard to first.  It’s an epidemic and, while pointed out time and again, has routinely become part of the game.  When Derek Jeter is often praised because he “busts it” out of the box when he hits the ball, you know something is very wrong.  When any player is praised for what every player should routinely do, something is very wrong.

But we are already there, for worse (not better).  The question now becomes are we on the verge of equal laziness in the field?  The answer is maybe.  If Robinson Cano can half-heartedly go after a ground ball in the middle of a division/wild card race because he thinks Nick Swisher might catch it, it’s not a far leap to others doing the same thing.

We will have to wait and see, but that’s exactly how not running to first became an every day occurrence in major league baseball.

And the integrity of the game takes another hit.

TheSTN – NFL: Week 3 Game Schedule 09.23.12

TIME (ET) TV LOCATION
St. Louis at Chicago 1:00 PM FOX Soldier Field
Buffalo at Cleveland 1:00 PM CBS Cleveland Browns Stadium
Tampa Bay at Dallas 1:00 PM FOX Cowboys Stadium
NY Jets at Miami 1:00 PM CBS Sun Life Stadium
San Francisco at Minnesota 1:00 PM FOX Mall of America Field
Kansas City at New Orleans 1:00 PM CBS Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Cincinnati at Washington 1:00 PM CBS FedEx Field
Detroit at Tennessee 1:00 PM FOX LP Field
Jacksonville at Indianapolis 1:00 PM CBS Lucas Oil Stadium
Philadelphia at Arizona 4:05 PM FOX U of Phoenix Stadium
Atlanta at San Diego 4:05 PM FOX Qualcomm Stadium
Houston at Denver 4:25 PM CBS Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Pittsburgh at Oakland 4:25 PM CBS Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
New England at Baltimore 8:20 PM NBC M&T Bank Stadium

 

TheSTN – NHL Fines Detroit Red Wings For Inappropriate, Unauthorized Comments

The National Hockey League announced today that the Detroit Red Wings have been fined an undisclosed amount for comments made by Red Wings Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor Jim Devellano in an interview that was published earlier this week.

“The Detroit Red Wings’ organization and the League agree that the comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor permissible under the League’s By-Laws,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the negotiations.”