new.php?forum=46Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn. Cheap Nike Air Force 1 Ireland .ca! Kerry, Id appreciate some clarification on when a ref is supposed to blow the whistle based on a player injury. Last night, Blues were on the power play, when a Blackhawks D blocked a puck with the side of his leg, went down, got up and skated for a bit, before going down again. Blues had possession the entire time, and the play was not near the defenseman on the ice. The referee blew the play dead (right after another Chicago player lost his stick, thus the refs turning a 5 on 2 back to a 5 on 4). Is play supposed to stop for a player who is able to skate (as he did after the shot block both prior to the whistle and again immediately following it) after he chooses to block a shot? Brandon Bell Hi Brandon, Regarding the play in question, we saw Hawks shot-blocker extraordinaire, Niklas Hjalmarsson rotate his body sideways, thereby exposing the unprotected area in the back of his right knee as Kevin Shattenkirk blasted a slapper from the point on the Blues power play. Taking a shot in this location causes the nerve endings in your leg to instantly go numb, resulting in "dead leg". Hjalmarssons wounded-deer attempt to defend reminded me of Gregory Campbells heroic broken leg defence in the playoffs last season. In Campbells case, the Refs allowed the play to continue while last night, play was stopped in the midst of a Blues scoring opportunity as Chris Stewart threw the puck into the slot past a fallen Hjalmarsson for a one-timer by Alexander Steen. The authority for the Officials to stop play is found in Rule 8.1: "In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a serious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman may stop the play immediately". In the judgment of the Referee last night, a serious enough injury was sustained by Hjalmarsson to kill the play. My preference would be to stop the play either prior to Stewarts centering pass from the corner or after allowing the scoring opportunity on the one-timer by Steen. Perhaps the memory of Campbell defending on a broken leg had some bearing on Refs decision to kill the play. Brandon, I have posted two articles from Cmon Ref archives that further explain when the Officials stop play due to a player injury. Fraser: Defining the rule for an injury stoppage in play Fraser: Blowing the play down on a player injury ----- Bonus Question of the Day: Hi Kerry, In Tuesdays game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche on TSN, whenever an Avalanche defender would be in their defensive zone with the puck setting up the play behind the net, their goalie Semyon Varlomov would be waving his hands to block the Maple Leaf player from seeing the Avalanche defender behind the net. To me, this is reminiscent of what happened between Martin Brodeur and Sean Avery in the 2008 playoffs when Avery took screening the goalie to a level never seen before by facing Brodeur and using his stick and hands in an attempt to block Brodeurs view of everything. That prompted the NHL to make a rule change: "An unsportsmanlike conduct minor penalty (Rule 75) will be interpreted and applied, effective immediately, to a situation when an offensive player positions himself facing the opposition goaltender and engages in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltenders face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender as opposed to positioning himself to try to make a play." I realize there are some differences here. The NHL wanted to protect a classy player as much as possible, especially from the potential of a goal scoring play. In the situation with Varlomov, its not the offensive zone and instead its a goalie doing the screening. But he is engaging in actions, such as waving his arms, for the purpose of interfering with and distracting the opposing player. Shouldnt any kind of actions like this be deemed unsportsmanlike? Its not like Varlomov is positioning himself to make a play. Why should only goalies be protected by this kind of behaviour which has nothing to do with hockey? Thanks Kerry, Steven Vandervelde Steven, The memo you referenced outlining the immediate actions Refs were to take if taunting and interference occurred following Sean Averys arm gestures in front of Martin Brodeur applies to all players in the broader sense. Goalkeepers are not immune to any of the playing rules, including interference and unsportsmanlike conduct. In a manner of speaking, whats good for the goose is good for the gander. Since the actions of goalie Semyon Varlomov were not in any way designed to stop the puck or tend his goal but instead solely for the purpose of distracting, interfering with or inciting his opponent, I would issue one warning to the goalkeeper at the first stoppage of play. Following the warning, if the negative behavior continued, I would immediately penalize the goalkeeper with an unsportsmanlike conduct. If I deemed that Varlomov legitimately interfered with the attacker (as opposed to just being a nuisance), I would penalize the goalie immediately without warning. There is plenty of language contained in the memo and Rule 75 to back the Referee up in making this call, including but not limited to, "Players and non-playing personnel are responsible for their conduct at all times and must endeavor to prevent disorderly conduct before, during or after the game, on or off the ice and any place in the rink. The Referees may assess penalties to any of the above team personnel for failure to do so." Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlomovs conduct fell into the disorderly category and, in the future, if the Referees dont properly address it, I fully would expect that some tough guy from the other team just might! Nike Air Force 1 Clearance Sale . On Saturday, the paths of Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn cross again as opposing quarterbacks. Authentic Nike Air Force 1 Wholesale . With nothing tangible at stake, the Raptors turned in their most impressive outing of the fall in their seventh and second to last exhibition tilt against their stiffest competition yet, but they lost a couple starters in the process. http://www.cheapairforce1ireland.com/ . -- Wide receiver Sidney Rice should be fully recovered from a torn knee ligament by the time the Seattle Seahawks start defence of their Super Bowl title, general manager John Schneider said Wednesday.TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers several questions each week. This week, topics cover Brett Lawries move to second base, Masahiro Tanakas scorching start, the next MLB commissioner and the epidemic of pitching injuries. 1. While moving Brett Lawrie to 2B gives the Blue Jays a better offensive lineup the player is clearly unhappy making the move going as far as saying hes not a fan of it to the media. How much consideration should a players happiness or wishes play into the GM or coach making that kind of move or decision? The mental part of baseball is often more important than the physical part of the game. The way a player feels often impacts how he performs, however, it is difficult to predict how any single player will react to a certain emotion. Sometimes the same emotion can be motivating for one player and paralyzing for another. I can understand how a player can be bothered by a position change. Ball players are creatures of habit. They dont like change because it makes them uncomfortable. Brett Lawrie said, “I am a third baseman.” It is his identity. Players are their position. Lawrie needs to change his view of his identity. He is a Blue Jay not a third baseman. I remember when I was GM for the Mets and we were considering moving Mike Piazza from behind home plate to first base. Ownership said, “Just move him. We are paying him $13M per year and he should do what he is told.” I explained that we could do that, but we needed to treat a star like Piazza with the appropriate respect. If we wanted him to perform, we needed him to buy into the change, plus, we didnt want a controversy with our star because other players watch how you treat your current players. I told ownership that we needed to treat our stars properly in order to lure other stars. Brett Lawrie isnt a star. He is “just a guy.” He is a borderline starter in the majors. He is overrated. Lawrie was hyped when he got to the majors and had a very good quarter season in 2011, but he hasnt lived up to the hype and has been a disappointment. Seriously, he is complaining? He should be grateful for the opportunities he continues to get from the Jays. He has no room to complain. When I was with the Mets we moved Edgardo Alfonzo from second base to third base when we acquired Robbie Alomar from the Indians in 2002. Alfonzo had been established as an All-Star second baseman. He was a bit reluctant, but ultimately realized it was good for the team and moved. He had a heckuva lot more right to be upset than Lawrie. Lawrie is closer to being out of the Majors than he is to being an All Star. If it were me, I would tell Lawrie that we are moving you to second base and, if he has any gripes, I would option him to the minors and see how he likes it. If he gets mad, but keeps his mouth shut, maybe it will help him. As I said earlier, emotions arent all bad. He hasnt yet earned the right to be comfortable. The major leagues are about performance. Be grateful you are a big leaguer Brett. 2. Will Yankees starter Masahiro Tanakas hot start be able to withstand a second trip through the league when teams start making adjustments and to the increased work load as he works his way into the season? Masahiro Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 2013 for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Professional League. He led them to a Japanese Professional Title, winning six more playoff games and finishing the year 30-0. So far this season, he is 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA. He has a remarkable strikeout-to-walk ratio of 66:7 in 58 innings pitched. He is a remarkable 36-0 over the past two years combined. That is unheard of. No one is that good. There is no way that he can maintain this level of success. No one can. Can he? Tanaka has extraordinary command and control of his pitches. He shows great poise on the mound. He doesnt have an overpowering fastball, but he has an overpowering ability to throw his pitches where he wants. He is Greg Maddux-like in that way. His out-pitch is different than Maddux, as he uses a devastating split-finger fastball to put away hitters. Tanaka has the ability to get hitters out with pitches in the strike zone. Many pitchers use a sequence of pitches with which they try and expand the strike zone, ultimately throwing a pitch off of the plate to get hitters to chase. Tanaka can do that, but he has the confidence and quality of stuff to also throw his well-located pitches in the strike zone to retire hitters. Tanaka has movement, change of speeds, deception and the ability to throw any pitch at any time in the count. This is a tremendous formula for success. The league will make some adjustments to him. He will ultimately lose a game or two, bbut the only real threat to him will be fatigue. In Japan, starters typically make only one start per week. He is now taking the mound every fifth day. At some point, this may present a challenge. The Yankees have so much unpredictability this year but that certainly doesnt include their #1 starter, Masahiro Tanaka. 3. What will the newly formed search committee be looking for in the next MLB commissioner? The search committee will be gathering ideas from all 30 teams while overseeing the process of selecting a new commissioner. The seven-person committee of owners/CEOs/chairman is as follows: Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Dick Monfort (Rockies), David Montgomery (Phillies), Arte Moreno (Angels), Bob Nuttig (Pirates), Jim Pohlad (Twins) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox). The Cardinals DeWitt, is serving as the chairman of the committee. "Our committee will conduct a thorough, discreet process and ultimately will provide guidance to the Executive Council on identifying a successor," DeWitt said in a statement. "All of the parties involved share the goal of acting in our games best interests…” As the committee searches for candidates they are going to have to consider the business of baseball more than ever. The game is losing its luster and is trending old. As baby boomers get older so do baseball fans and as the world has evolved in the way that it consumes sports and information in a quick-hitting, fast-paced way, baseball has gained a perception of being slow and boring. The next commissioner needs to find a way to engage the younger sports fan. He also needs to better market the games stars. Baseball players are rarely found on the most popular athletes lists. Football and basketball do a much better job in connecting the fans with their players. Baseball needs a salary cap. The union is staunchly against it, but the long-term health of the game needs it. The playing field needs to be leveled to maintain the financial viability of its franchises. Baseball needs a change in perception. Baseball has the toughest drug testing program and penalties in all of sports, yet it is still perceived to be soft on PEDs. Because Bud Selig is perceived to be the "Commissioner of the Steroid Era of Baseball," any new fface in the office should change that perception. Cheap Air Force 1 Shoes Wholesale. . So who are the candidates? - George W. Bush, the former Texas Rangers owner and former President of the United States. President Bush understands the game and the owners. He also understands unions and the economy. Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President MLB. Manfred is Seligs right hand man. He is a Harvard Law School graduate and a brilliant man. He has been part of the last two collective bargaining negotiations with the union and oversees Labor Relations and Human Recourse for MLB. Andy McPhail, former executive for Twins, Cubs and Orioles. His teams won two World Series while he was with the Twins. His father and grandfather are both Hall of Famers. He is a very well-respected baseball lifer who is known for both his business and baseball acumen. David Dombrowski, current president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers. Dombrowski worked his way up the baseball ranks starting as an administrative assistant for the White Sox in 1978. He worked his way to the top through the Expos, Marlin and Tigers. He is the most highly thought of executive in the game. He is bright, mature, thoughtful and talented. He has great communication skills and treats people the right way with a strong presence. He has a thorough understanding of both the baseball and business sides of operations. Bob Bowman, oversees the billion dollar business of MLB Advanced Media which includes MLB.com and MLB.tv. He is an aggressive, combative business man who has a vision and the ability to execute it. He gets business, he gets baseball fans and he gets technology. If owners truly want to grow the industry and connect with fans, Bowman may be their guy. His style may rub some of the old guard the wrong way, but maybe that is a good thing. Finally, Steve Phillips, former NY Mets general manager. He may be overqualified for the position but still worth consideration. He lives in the proximity of New York City, understands the baseball and business sides of the operations and has strong opinions about where the game should go. A major obstacle could be his unwillingness to give up his weekly column on TSN.ca. I am sure that more candidates will come to light over the next year. If I were picking today, I would vote for David Dombrowski of the Detroit Tigers as he is respected by owners, general managers, the PA and the media. Not many other candidates can boast that clean sweep. Wait...I didnt vote for myself! What am I thinking? 4. So, I am officially ticked off. Jose Fernandez of the Marlins and Martin Perez of the Rangers are now the 18th and 19th MLB playersto need Tommy John surgery this year alone. There is all kinds of speculation about the reasons for the glut of surgeries. I have written about them here in the past. For each individual pitcher the reasons may be different, but we have a pretty good idea about the list from which the reasons come. So why would any baseball coach anywhere believe that allowing a pitcher to throw 194 pitches was acceptable? This week media reports documented a game of a high school pitcher in the state of Washington in which a young man, Dylan Fosnacht, threw that 194 pitches in a game in which he was allowed to pitch 14+ innings. This is criminal. To make matters worse, the catcher in the game, Dustin Wilson caught all 17 innings of the game and then pitched all seven innings of the second game of the doubleheader. The coach should be fired and I rarely, if ever, make statements like that. This is absurd. An official with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association told reporters that the only rule they have about pitch limits is that if a kid throws four or more innings in a day he must be given two days off before pitching again. Really???? So Fosnacht could throw 194 pitches on Monday and another 194 on Thursday. Arm injuries are wear and tear injuries. Even when they happen in an acute way, they are from wear and tear. If a pitcher throws a pitch in the Majors and his ulna collateral ligament snaps in his arm, it is not solely because of the pitch he threw that day, but a by-product of all of the throwing he has done in his career. We can protect innings pitched and install strict pitch limits on MLB pitchers, but guys will still break down. Why? Because they are allowed to throw 194 pitches in a high school baseball game. Enough. It is time for baseball associations, Leagues, conferences or whatever groups are overseeing kids playing organized baseball to get this issue under control. Install pitch limits everywhere and at every level. Make sure that the boundaries that are in place are comprehensive and clear. We have to protect kids against themselves. If a coach asks a player if he is ok after throwing 120 pitches, he will most likely say yes because he doesnt want to disappoint the coach. Protect the coach against himself. If he wants to win so badly that he is willing to risk a kids health, then legislate it that he cant. Parents where are you? My experience is that baseball parents are some of the most meddling youth sports parents. The number of dads (and moms) who relive their youth through their kids baseball career is astronomical. Parents, you are at the games. You are there watching. Advocate for your kids. Hold the coaches accountable. Sure, it may mean a confrontation or a difficult conversation, but so what? The risk of not speaking up is significant. Youth football has started a campaign to educate coaches, parents and kids about concussions. They teach everyone what signs to look for. Coaches now have to attend clinics to teach proper form and technique to better ensure health. The childs well-being is made a priority. What are we waiting for in baseball? We need to educate coaches, parents and kids about what to look for with arm fatigue and injuries. We need to teach proper throwing techniques at a much younger age before bad habits get formed. Parents and coaches need to agree on what appropriate pitch limits are for kids whether it is legislated from their leagues or not. There must be better communication between coaches if players are playing in multiple leagues. Parents need to get involved to ensure the communication. There is a big difference between complaining to a coach about your sons position or playing time and advocating for his health. You are not causing trouble by speaking about pitch counts and innings limits. I am speaking from experience on this. There have been many times that I should have spoken up sooner than I did. Plus, my sons have told me at times that their arms are sore and I told them to go out and give it a try and see how it feels. That was a mistake. If a kids arm hurts, he shouldnt pitch or throw. Pitch limits and pitch counts in the major leagues can help, but they are only putting a bandage on wounds that may be decades old from abuse at the youth level. It is time to speak up!!!! 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