Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Galarraga shafted and Atogwe available

I planned on having a much more in-depth post on Milwaukee Brewers Player Rankings but that is going to have to wait until next week because there are much more pressing Cheesehead and Non-Cheesehead sports issues to handle.

Non-Cheesehead sports issue: Did everyone see umpire Jim Joyce's horrendous call? For those that didn't, let me set the stage. Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Armando Galarraga had a perfect game through 8 and 2/3rds innings. The 27th batter that Galarraga faced hit a soft grounder to the right side. Galarraga covered first for what should have been the 27th and final out of the game.

For some unknown reason, umpire Jim Joyce called the runner safe. I would venture to say that everyone in the stadium could have made the right call but the one guy with the power completely screwed it up. The call was so bad that one of the other umpires should have stepped in to rectify the error.

I predict three reactions to Joyce's f*#k-up: some are going to call for Joyce to be suspended, others are going to use this as Exhibit A for why baseball needs instant replay, and some others are going to demand Bud Selig to retroactively give Galaraga the perfect game. I am a replay guy so while I feel bad for Galarraga, I think he is going to go down as a martyr for the replay cause. That said, I would totally support Selig overturning the call for this unique error but I think that is highly unlikely.

If the call did get reversed, it would be the 20th perfect game in MLB history and the 3rd perfect game this season. For those wondering why so many perfect games have happened this season I have a simple answer, PEDs might actually be getting phased out of MLB.

Cheesehead sports issue: My buddy Fernando asked whether the Packers should go after former St. Louis Rams safety O.J. Atogwe? For a quick explanation of how Atogwe became a free agent click here. My initial thought is no way, but let's take a look anyway for Mr. Fernando.

Atogwe was taken in the third round (66th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Atogwe played sparingly as a rookie in 2005 but had a breakout season in 2006 and never looked back.

On the positive side of the equation, Atogwe is a turnover machine. In five seasons, Atogwe had 19 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles.

On the negative side of the equation, Atogwe is not the biggest guy in the NFL (5'11", 205 pounds), turns 29 in June, and is coming off a dislocated right shoulder that landed him on injured reserve last season.

Atogwe is clearly a talented player with some baggage. As all Packer fans know, Ted Thompson is not usually very active in the free agent market. That said, one of Thompson's best free agents signing was a former St. Louis Ram, Ryan "Big Daddy" Pickett, so may be he will give Atogwe a look.

The Packers have good depth at safety after Pro Bowler Nick Collins. Assuming Atari Bigby signs his tender, there will be a fierce competition between Bigby and Morgan Burnett (3rd round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft). After that, the Packers have two dependable veterans in Charlie Peprah and Derrick Martin. Bringing up the rear are two long-shots to make the roster Khalil Jones and Anthony Levine.

If the Packers did add Atogwe, he would be the oldest safety on the roster. Although Atogwe is an intriguing talent, given the fact that Ted Thompson is very conservative in free agency and the Packers' quality depth at safety I think the odds are slim that Atogwe plays for the Green Bay Packers in 2010.

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