NHL got pretty serious about high-sticking

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It has been a long time since the Blue Jays developed a starting pitcher of their own who had any kind of huge success and staying power. Yes, Ricky Romero, Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum all had varying degrees of viability, but McGowan and Marcum had injury issues and Romero has run into mechanical and confidence issues that have many wondering if hes ever going to get it back. You really have to go back to Roy Halladay, who broke in to the majors in late 1998 to find any Jays starting pitcher of note who went on to stardom. Its a little too early to put that "cant miss" label on right-hander Aaron Sanchez, but the 21-year-old is showing signs of being a good one. The Arizona Fall Leagues regular season, as brief as it may be, wound up on Thursday of this week. Seven of the Jays better prospects were playing with the Salt River Rafters. Going into the final game, the Rafters were a half-game back of Mesa for the East Division title. They needed to win and have Mesa lose its final game against Glendale to claim the division crown. Sanchez started for Salt River and was outstanding. He gave up one run on six hits in five innings and picked up the victory as the Rafters edged Scottsdale 3-2. The 64" Sanchez finished the AFL season with a 2-1 record and a 1.16 ERA over 23.1 innings. He had to be that good in the final game, since Scottsdale starter Kyle Crick, a top Giants prospect, started out by pitching three hitless innings and striking out five. Sanchezs teammate, lefty Mike Montgomery of the Rays organization, pitched two shutout innings in relief for the Rafters and said Sanchez is good now, but has the chance to be real good in the future. Unfortunately, Sanchez and the Rafters didnt make it into Saturdays final, because Mesa whipped Glendale 9-3 to clinch the East. Its highly unlikely Aaron Sanchez will be with the Blue Jays to start the 2014 season, but his time is coming. Starting Five Its no secret that the Blue Jays need immediate help in their rotation, and you can bet GM Alex Anthopoulos will be right in the thick of talks for free agents Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana to name just three. The demand for that trio and their price is bound to increase with word that MLB has withdrawn its proposal for a new posting agreement with Japanese baseball. Many Major League owners, ever mindful of controlling costs, didnt like the process of making sealed bids with the high bid getting the players. Paying huge amounts to relatively unproven (by Major League standards) Japanese players only served to drive up the price, which established Major League players could then get when they became free agents. So now, unless something changes, Japanese players such as star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will have to put in nine years of service time in their native country before they can become free agents. Posting would appear to be dead for now. The Rumour Mill This has been a week of wild unfounded rumours, such as the Jays thinking about dealing Jose Bautista to the Phillies for a package including outfielder Domonic Brown, and a number of teams including the Phillies being interested in catcher J.P. Arencibia. This isnt a rumour, just a possibility. The Cincinnati Reds are still considering moving their smoke-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation to replace 37-year-old Bronson Arroyo, who is likely gone as a free agent. Chapman apparently isnt thrilled by this and wants to stay on as the Reds closer. However, if the Reds can change his mind, they would need some help in the pen. This is where the Blue Jays come in. They could deal a couple of their surplus relievers to the Reds for 27-year-old righty Homer Bailey, he of two career no-hitters. The Reds may consider dealing Bailey because hes due a healthy raise through arbitration this year after making $5.3 million last year. He can also become a free agent in 2015. Cincinnati also has lefty Tony Cingrani to plug into the rotation should they deal Bailey. Bailey, the seventh-overall pick in 2004, is also represented by the Hendricks brothers, the same ones who helped deliver Roger Clemens to the Blue Jays in 1997. Bailey doesnt have an overwhelming record over his seven years in the "Bigs" at 49-45 with a 4.25 ERA. However, he is only one of 31 pitchers all-time and just 26 in the modern era to have multiple no-hitters, and at least initially he wouldnt cost as much as Garza, Jimenez or Santana. Just a thought. Sean Couturier Flyers Jersey.com) - Devin Booker scored 19 points and top-ranked Kentucky put on a defensive clinic in an 83-44 obliteration of UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic. Michael Del Zotto Jersey. -- So much for concern that running back Marshawn Lynch would be absent from the Seattle Seahawks minicamp. http://www.nhlflyersproauthentic.com/jaromir-jagr-hockey-jersey/. -- Center Max Unger and tight end Zach Miller are both probable for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday against the New York Giants and Percy Harvins recovery continues to be slow. Eric Lindros Flyers Jersey.Two San Francisco radio stations say they wont play the song during the duration of the World Series. A Kansas City, Missouri, station responded with plans to play the Grammy-winning track every hour from 7 a. Michael Del Zotto Flyers Jersey. The Raptors have to get through the pesky New York Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square Garden and can lock up the third spot in the Eastern Conference with a win or a Chicago loss in Charlotte.Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at . Hi Kerry, Why is blood the determining factor in judging the severity of high sticking penalties? I think the NHL has only ever used five-minute majors for high sticking on very serious and pre-meditated actions (take Brashear or McSorley). Again, if the NHL wants to take a serious stance on eliminating or reducing injuries, why do they not revise high sticking rules? Accidental should be a minor and anything deliberate should be a double minor or major. Im not advocating liberal use of majors in the NHL, but its certainly something minor league officials do not shy away from and are encouraged to use major penalties when its called for. Thanks, Greg C. Greg: I attended my first NHL training camp for officials in 1972. While the hockey could be quite violent during that era the rule book was very thin. The book progressively expanded with new rule additions that were implemented for a variety of reasons including the fear of criminal assault charges that had already been initiated by Prosecutors. I like to think the most important changes were made to provide for player safety and ultimately prevent injury. From the time I attended that first training camp to present day, there has never been a specific penalty reference for drawing blood, contrary to what many people think. Based on a referees judgment, there has always been the opportunity to escalate an infraction from a minor penalty to a five-minute major (or match) based on the degree of violence or severity of the act, in addition to (but not limited to) the visible existence of any resulting injury. The presence of blood is just one indicator that the referee can use to determine that a player has sustained an injury. I assessed many major or match penalties based on the severity of the blow even when no apparent injury resulted. I also assessed a minor penalty when I told a player who was attempting to milk a paper-cut that I experienced a worse cut shaving. I like you am not advocating a liberal application of major penalties in the NHL but they must be applied when warranted - not just for stick infractions but especially dangerous and careless hits to the head. Concussions are currently the biggest threat to player safety and future quality of life. In most situations they are less likely to result from being struck with a stick. While referees cannot be expected to diagnose injuries like a doctor, it is imperative that they know the difference between a two-minute minor infraction and a five-minute major or match penalty. Over the past four seasons I have observed far too many situations where two referees on the ice in a game did not recognize a major infraction when it occurred or were reluctant to assess it for what it was. I often provide lectures at clinics for amateur refs, coaches and players and have compiled a video montage of examples from NHL games that I present for educational value. Several clips demonstrate major infractions that went un-penalized or where just a two-minute minor was assessed, only to result in subsequent suspensions imposed by the Player Safety Committee. The suspensions ranged from between two to five games. In one case the player served a two-minute minor, remained in the game and proceeded to score the winning goal in OT. The following day he was suspended for three games. Another player returned from a two-minute penalty for aa flying elbow to set up two goals to tie the game and then almost scored the winner in the shootout before he was suspended two games.dddddddddddd. The referees are the first line of defence in holding players accountable and to provide player safety by correctly enforcing the rules in the spirit with which they are written. If they have the slightest gut feeling the infraction was worth more than a minor my advice is to do the correct math and round up! Greg, I dusted off some old rules books I have on file. Following a prosecution and conviction in the criminal assault case when Dino Ciccarelli hit Luke Richardson over the head three times with his stick in 1988 and was sentenced to two hours of jail time, the NHL got pretty serious about high-sticking. The rule was changed to impose an automatic major and game misconduct for any high-stick that resulted in injury to an opponent (accidental or otherwise). That lasted a season or two when star players were ejected from games (especially playoff games) when they accidentally clipped a player attempting to lift their stick. A modified version followed that allowed for the referee to judge accidental versus careless high-sticking incidents and to keep players in the game. There were several new changes listed in the 1992-93 edition. Notably in response to your question Greg, and in an effort to address high-sticking incidents at the time, rule 58 (now 60) was altered rather dramatically by lowering the reference point of a high-stick from the shoulders to the WAIST. Rule 58 (a) marked as new that year stated, The carrying of sticks above the normal height of the WAIST is prohibited and a minor, double-minor or major penalty may be imposed on a player violating this rule, at the discretion of the referee. 58 (c) went on to specify if an injury resulted as a result of a player carrying his stick above the waist of the opponent a double minor was assessed if deemed to be accidental and a major and game misconduct was imposed when the high-stick was deemed careless. You might imagine what a disaster it became for the refs to differentiate between accidental and careless. Inconsistency resulted in the practical application of this rule depending upon the player involved and the game situation or the ref. Another tweak to the rule was made and the referee was to assess a double minor penalty for all contact that caused an injury, whether accidental or careless, which is as we have it in present day form. Some time prior to the 1998 season the reference point of a high-stick had also returned to carrying the stick above the SHOULDERS of an opponent. I fear history would be repeated Greg if your suggestion were ever to be implemented to assess a minor for accidental contact and anything deliberate would result in a double minor or major. A double minor addresses an injury that results from a high-stick. In more serious cases the referee has the ability to impose a match penalty for attempt or deliberately injuring his opponent. The refs just need to know the difference. If you care to examine some historical fact on how rules might have been added based on the violence associated with bench clearing brawls and excessive stick work, including high profile court cases such as Ted Green-Wayne Maki (1969), Dave Forbes-Henry Boucha (1975), Ciccarelli-Richardson (1988), and others I have attached a link to a paper written by Alex Tepperman that you might find interesting. 1. Players On Thin Ice: Hockey Violence and the Canadian Law Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '


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