I was watching television early Tuesday evening and unfortunately happened to witness the Bob Ryan segment on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.
Ryan, who works for the The Boston Globe and isn't afraid to show his admiration for the Celtics, was whining and complaining about the NBA's charge call.
Honestly, it was pretty pathetic in my opinion to say the least. It was like listening to a bunch of grade school kids arguing about something meaningless.
Although Ryan has to be respected, obviously for his work, calling for the NBA to change the rules and make the charge illegal is just fallible.
While basketball is technically supposed to be a non-contact sport, anyone who has played any hoops or watched it knows better.
However, a player has the right to stand their ground. If an opposing player runs them over it's an easy call to make. Of course, now they've added the circle in front of the rim where the defensive player must be positioned in order to take the charge.
Even though I'll be the first to admit I think too many teams and players try to get flop calls, there really is an art about learning how to take one. Back in the day when Wirt County boys basketball coach Roy Alltop was roaming the sidelines, we often had charge drills in practice and I'm sure the vast majority of coaches around the planet still do the same thing today because it's part of the game Mr. Ryan.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are still above .500 and appear to have a good shot of contending for the National League Central crown.
I've been a fan of James McDonald before he reached the majors and fellow Pirates starter Erik Bedard also has been one of my favorites and is an old American League fantasy pitcher of mine.
I think the biggest thing the Pirates have to do if they are going to make a serious run at the division title and hopefully snap that long streak of losing seasons is make a move for a bat. I think Boston's Kevin Youkilis for some of the Pirates' minor league pitching depth would be worth exploring.
Speaking of don't look now, Chicago's Adam Dunn is on pace for a massive 54 homer season. Unfortunately, he's going to obliterate Mark Reynolds' 2009 record of most strikeouts in a year at 223. That's because Dunn is on pace to whiff a mere 270 times. I will give it to him that he was tied with Cincinnati's Joey Votto entering play Wednesday in sharing the MLB lead of having drawn 46 walks.
All-stater Kyle Elliott was plunked a dozen times by a pitch this season, the most since Pat Estep was drilled 11 times back in 1982.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org