THE FLETCH: Blown call being overblown, The Zone wins afternoon battle

After six hours and thirty-nine minutes and 19 innings, a bad call on a play at the plate ended a marathon Atlanta Braves/Pittsburgh Pirates game and apparently signified the end of the world. At 1:50 AM, apparently Twitter was about to explode with #worstcallever messages flooding cyberspace. (Do we still call it cyberspace?) The obviously missed call was the topic of both sports radio morning shows the next day and even ESPN.com ran a story called, “Worst Call Ever.”

My response: really? The “worst call ever?” Are you serious? This is a July series between the Braves and the Pirates. I realize the Pirates are struggling to finish above .500 for the first time since 1992 while competing for the NL Central crown (and the right to lose to Philadelphia in the NLDS), but come on. Worst call ever? How about last year when Jim Joyce called a runner safe, ruining a perfect game? How about the Cardinals/Royals World Series in 1985? How about a game that actually mattered? If the situation was reversed, I would probably be miffed…for about 20 minutes. Then you move on.

Perry Laurentino of 680 The Fan’s The Rude Awakening was calling for instant replay on all plays. I am sure 790 The Zone’s Mike Bell will now continue to beat the drum for “lasers and sensors on the uniforms!”

Can people just relax? Every year there is maybe two bad calls like this OVER THE ENTIRE SEASON. Each team plays 162 games. There are 30 teams. Think about that. It is like plane crashes. You only hear about them because they are so rare. Unless every call, including balls and strikes, is reviewed, then people need to stop calling for replay. And if baseball ever DOES start instigating replay after every play, like college football, those who called for it are not allowed to say ONE WORD about five-hour, nine-inning games.

SHUFFLING DECK …

Speaking of Mike Bell, his radio show received a new time slot, apparently responding to 680 The Fan’s response to 790’s rising ratings. Even though 680 didn’t do it because of ratings (per an AJC article), and I am sure 790 isn’t doing it in response to 680’s schedule change (because Steak wouldn’t make fun of the station he works for, right?). Pollack & Bell grew by 33 percent (it took a while for the duo to figure out how much longer they’d be on the air), going from three hours (4-7 p.m.) to four hours (3-7 P.M.). This also means that a bad past few months for the 2 Live Stews just continued. First the 2LS’s deal with Sporting News Radio ended and they returned to simply being live and local in Atlanta, then the show’s hours were reduced by one. Doug and Ryan now just punch the clock from 1-3 p.m. every day. I haven’t tuned in much since the hour reduction, but I will be interested in hearing if the original callers, some of which were ignored with the national show, will still call in now that the Stews have returned to their Atlanta roots.

The reason for the Pollack & Bell switch probably has something to do with Chuck & Chernoff’s move to afternoon drive and after two weeks of listening, I will say that Pollack & Bell might just be in trouble. The Zone was clearly going after the younger audience while going against Buck & Kincade, but now Chuck & Chernoff can court that. The Zone might be in a bit of a pickle. Chuck & Chernoff’s chemistry doesn’t seem as forced as Pollack & Bell’s but you cannot split those two up because Pollack is your tie to college football, way moreso than Dave Archer would be. Arch and Bell do have the better chemistry, but with college football approaching you would hate to lose out to the Kang, Chuck Oliver. And PS, not since Brandon Adams have I been so tied to listening through commercials to hear the outcome of teases like I have been recently with Matt Chernoff throwing out teases during the afternoon drive. If he stays creative, fewer dials will be switched over to P&B, considering the two seem synched up commercial-wise these days.

HEWITT BEING HEWITT …

Did I read correctly in a recent Sports Illustrated that Paul Hewitt was the coach of the US’s U-19 team? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the team finished fifth in the recent 2011 FIBA U19, probably because the timeouts were used incorrectly. Hewitt, who now coaches George Mason, had some interesting quotes in the SI piece, especially in regards to a player he missed out on while at Georgia Tech, Jeremy Lamb, the former Norcross standout who just helped UConn win the national title. Hewitt at one point questioned Lamb’s desire to be there. Lamb went out and scored 35 points in one of the elimination games, following it up with a 21-point effort, so I wouldn’t question his desire to be there. Hewitt continues to astound and amaze even though he isn’t even at Tech anymore. Hmm.

SEC Media days was last week and I am amazed that no one locally called out Georgia head coach Mark Richt. As a Georgia grad and diehard Bulldogs football fan, even I can recognize that Richt is on the hotseat. I have defended him the last two years from being called “on the hotseat” by various media members, but there is no question about it now. Richt said at one point there is “not one sense of doom or gloom,” in Athens. As a Georgia fan, that is great. But come on, your head would be in the sand if you didn’t know there was heat. I hope Richt turns it around in a big way and Georgia winds up playing in the Georgia Dome in EARLY December (SEC Championship game) and in a bowl game on or after January 1. I would have thought that the AJC’s Mark Bradley would have jumped on this, but instead I guess he jumped off the RICHT MUST GO bandwagon to stand up for him. Wow, things must be turning around for Coach Richt.

Finally, the ACC media days also took place earlier this week. I wonder if any trees fell in at the media days and if they made any noise. After all of the SEC coverage, it seemed no one was there.

One Response to “THE FLETCH: Blown call being overblown, The Zone wins afternoon battle”

  1. Nash Nance
    August 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    If I had been at ACC media days, ESPN would have been all over me! Just like the Ladies!

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