Not fine with call that got Harbaugh fined

September 24, 2010|Peter Schmuck

News item: Ravens coach John Harbaugh was fined $15,000 by the NFL for making physical contact with line judge Ron Marinucci during last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

My take: Harbaugh said this week that the fine was "justified" and I agree with him, but I'd still like an honest explanation from the league as to how an entire officiating crew could have endorsed that ridiculous, game-changing "personal foul" call on Terrell Suggs. It's one thing for one capable official to miss something that does happen. It's quite another for several of them to see something that didn't.

News item: The Ravens are a double-digit favorite to trounce the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in their home opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

My take: If you're a gambler and you've been watching the Ravens offense sputter the past two weeks, those points probably look pretty tempting, but that's why it's a sucker bet. The Ravens will waltz to an easy victory for a change.

News item: Orioles manager Buck Showalter is tweaking the team's starting rotation to assure "competitive integrity" when his club plays a series against the Tampa Bay Rays next week that has serious playoff implications.

My take: Who would have thought two months ago that the Orioles would be anything but cannon fodder for the contending teams in the American League East. Obviously, this isn't contention, but it's nice to be contentious for a change.

News item: The Rays scored seven runs off Yankees ace CC Sabathia to pull back within a half-game in the AL East on Thursday night.

My take: If you detect a sense of urgency in St. Petersburg, maybe it's because owner Stuart Sternberg has made it clear that the gravy train is over after this year. The Rays are expected to make major cuts in payroll regardless of what happens during the upcoming postseason.

Bonus take: Of course, we all know what's really going on here. The Rays need a new stadium and they need public help to build it, but I don't think Sternberg is bluffing.

News item: Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista slammed his 50th home run of the season on Thursday to become the 26th player in major league history to reach that single-season plateau.

My take: Not too bad for a guy who averaged 15 homers a year the previous four seasons. It's too bad that baseball's steroid history makes it impossible to look at that terrific performance and not wonder whether it's for real.

News item: Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki collected his 200th hit on Thursday, becoming the first player in major league history to reach 200 hits in 10 consecutive seasons.

My take: When he finishes the season, he'll also meet the 10-year service requirement to become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame, which is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.

News item: When Florida Gators receiver Chris Rainey was arrested earlier this month on a stalking charge, he became the fifth Gators football player to be arrested during this calendar year and the 25th player arrested or charged with a crime during the tenure of coach Urban Meyer.

My take: Apparently, however, none of that strikes the NCAA as a lack of "institutional control," since Meyer's program has managed to avoid any significant sanctions. For once in my life, I agree with Bryant Gumbel, who blasted the NCAA on HBO's "Real Sports" for hammering USC because Reggie Bush had improper dealings with an agent while turning a blind eye to much worse behavior in Gainesville.

News item: The New York Mets were officially eliminated from playoff consideration on Tuesday, the same day Joe Torre publicly apologized to Jerry Manuel for intimating that he might be interested in managing the Mets next season, the Yankees were going head-to-head with the second-place Rays across town and the New York Times reported that the Denver Nuggets had refuted speculation that Carmelo Anthony might be traded to the Knicks.

My take: Tuesday is always a quiet sports day in New York.

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Brett Hollander. Also, check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at

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