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Bad Beats

   by Ben Burns - 06/28/2010

Sunday, bloody freaking Sunday.

From South Africa to Los Angeles, Sunday squirted bad beats all over us.

It began early at the World Cup, where England was denied a goal late in the first half that

would have tied the score with Germany at 2-2. A shot from Frank Lampard from just outside

the penalty area caromed off the cross bar, landed completely behind the goal line and spun

back into Germany goalie Manuel Neuer’s waiting hands. To Neuer’s credit, he completely

played it like the ball didn’t cross the line.

“I think that perhaps the way I carried on so quickly fooled the referee and made him think it was

not over [the goal line],” Neuer told reporters.

Replays showed the ball crossed the goal line by a good foot.

Even Germany coach Joachim Loew couldn’t deny it.

"What I saw on the television, this ball was behind the line," Loew told reporters.

(Soap box moment: Why does the FIFA have to make things so difficult? Just put another

official behind each goal. Don’t wait, do it now. Don’t fight things that will make your sport fairer.)

Alas, instead of being in the thick of a tie game heading into halftime, England found itself

trailing and furious. Disheartened and forced to change their style of play, the Brits’ defense fell

apart and the favored Germans (+105) cruised to a 4-1 victory.

"It was one of the most important things in the game," England coach Fabio Capello said of the

controversial non-call. "The goal was very important. We could have played a different style.

"We made some mistakes when they played the counterattack. The referee made bigger


Like they have throughout the tournament, the referee mistakes would continue in the following

match between Argentina and Mexico.

Argentina (-277) was credited a goal on Carlos Tevez’s header, even though he was clearly

offside during a quick series inside the penalty area. Replays were shown to the crowd, and the

stadium erupted in disbelief over the blatantly obvious missed call. Players lost control on the

pitch and had to be separated.

The call was so bad and caused so much trouble on the pitch and in the stands that the FIFA

announced it will begin censoring replays shown at the stadium.

Um, so you’re just going to hide the problem instead of attempting to fix it? Great idea.

After a wild day at the World Cup, a baseball nightcap between the Dodgers and Yankees

seemed like a soothing end to the day. Unfortunately for anyone who bet the Dodgers (+100),

that wasn’t the case.

Behind another strong start from Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers cruised into the ninth inning

with a 6-2 lead. Dodger skipper Joe Torre turned the game over to closer Jonathan Broxton.

Some analysts questioned the decision. The L.A. Times noted that Broxton had pitched four

straight days and warmed up on the other. Still, it’s hard to argue putting in a guy with one

blown save in 33 appearances this season.

You can go ahead and make that two blown saves in 34 appearances. The Yankees teed off

on Broxton, -tying the score on Colin Curtis’ RBI ground out that very easily could have been a

game-ending double play.

On the play, Dodger first baseman James Loney fielded Curtis’ grounder, but instead of going

home to prevent the tying run, he elected to step on first then throw to the plate. Bad decision.

Lomey’s throw home was wide and late, allowing Curtis Granderson to slide home safely.

"I ran the scenario through my head before," Loney told the L.A. Times. "I should have made a

better throw. I was going that way and the base was close enough to me where I could step on

it and still make a good throw to home."

The Yankees eventually won on a two-run home by Robinson Canoe (MVP?) in the 11th.

Thank God for Monday.

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