Posts Tagged ‘Playoff’

Friday November 23rd, the day after Thanksgiving, 2 teams will meet in Jackson, TN to decide who will play in the  BlueCross Bowl Class 5A State Finals. Beech High School and Jackson North Side High School are both deserving of a trip to the finals but only one will go. Both schools are undefeated. Both schools have had impressive campaigns thus far. And both schools escaped near disaster just a week ago. Beech High School had to go for 2 points after scoring a touchdown in the 4th in order to survive a scare given to them by Clarksville Northeast. The final score was 44-43. Jackson North Side had to battle back from a 14 point second half deficit to advance past Ridgeway. The final score there was 45-42.

And so the match-up that many associated with Class 5A have been waiting for will occur Friday in Jackson, TN. Beech is lead by their standout tailback Jalen Hurd. Hurd is considered by many to be the best running back in the entire state. He is being recruited by every big name college football program and he is only a junior. He had 25 carries for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns against Clarksville Northeast. Jackson Northside is lead by their quarterback Adam Craig. He had 424 yards of total offense in the win over Ridgeway. He is also being looked at by different colleges. While his fame may not be as big as Jalen Hurd, don’t be fooled. This kid can play!

The one common opponent on both teams schedule was Clarksville Northeast. Both teams barely escaped with a W. So in terms of predicting who will win Friday, good luck. The game could go either way. Expect a sellout standing room only crowd Friday night. The city of Jackson will be introduced to what most folks in the Nashville and middle Tennessee area like to call “The Hurd Express” as Jalen will lead Beech into hostile territory in search of a ticket to Cookeville (Blue Cross Bowl). Adam Craig will not make it easy for Mr. Hurd as he will be looking to shine in front of his home crowd and celebrate a trip to the finals at the end of the night. No matter who wins, Friday should be a great day for high school football in Tennessee.

Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals (88-74) defeated the Atlanta Braves (94-68) 6-3 in the first of two 1-Game Playoff games that will kickoff the 2012 MLB Playoff Season. The win sends the Cards to DC to play the Washington Nationals in the next round. The loss sends the Braves home. Let me first vent that how after playing 162 games, Major League Baseball feels compelled to ask a team with 6 more wins then another team to play that team in a one-game winner take all playoff game is crazy. But that is not the subject of this article.

The Atlanta Braves were losing in the 8th inning 6-3. Runners were on first and second. There was one out. Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves hit a pop up to shallow left. Two Cardinals fielders got their signals crossed and the ball dropped in between them for what would appeared to be a single. The Atlanta Braves crowd went crazy because they believed that they had the bases loaded with only one out. But left umpire Sam Holbrook called Simmons out under the infield fly rule. The crowd went crazy again but this time they were pissed. After watching the play again, it appears the Braves fans had a great reason to be angry.

(Video of the Play) – Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Z5MIaISrU

MLB.com defines an Infield Fly as this: An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.” ( http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/definition_terms_2.jsp )

Once you watch the play you will see two things that will tell you that this was not an infield fly. The term “ordinary effort” would not be how I would have described the Cardinals infielder running (about 20 paces) and then back peddling to get into position to catch the ball. Whenever the infielder and the outfielder are that close to each other and the outfielder is playing in his normal position, the infielder definitely had to use more than just an ordinary effort to get there. The second thing is if you play the tape at the 1:43 mark, you will notice how long it takes for the left umpire to declare the ball an infield fly. The rules states that the umpire should immediately declare an infield fly when such a case occurs. The ball in this case was almost to the ground before the umpire raises his hand. Perhaps he was a replacement umpire.

It is definitely going to be a tough night for the Atlanta Braves and their fans. This play if called correctly might have brought them back in the game. But the Braves can blame more than a blown call for their loss tonight. The 3 errors they had certainly didn’t help. Hopefully, the 2012 MLB Playoffs will go on without such a controversial play as this. Baseball can’t afford another scene like what happened at Turner Field tonight.