UNDATED (AP) – Never have officials from a sports league been so welcome. A tentative agreement was reached last night between the NFL and its officials, ending the labor dispute between the two sides. The bottom line is this: The veteran referees are back and will be in action tonight in Baltimore when the Ravens play host to the Browns.
After two days of marathon negotiations, and mounting frustration throughout the league, the NFL and the officials' union announced at midnight last night that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June.
The deal came on the heels of Seattle's chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night in which the replacement officials struggled.
The agreement hinged on working out pension and retirement benefits for the officials, who are part-time employees of the league. The tentative pact calls for their salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.
BALTIMORE (AP) – Will the fans in Baltimore tonight cheer the referees? It's not often that sports officials get cheers but that could be the case this evening as the veteran NFL referees return to work in the Ravens-Browns game. The visitors from Cleveland enter the game with a record of 0-3 while the Ravens are 2-1, fresh off a thrilling last-second win over the Patriots last Sunday night.
Stanford facing Washington
SEATTLE (AP) – There's a top-25 game tonight in Seattle as the Washington Huskies entertain eighth-ranked Stanford. The Cardinal sport a record of 3-0 while the Huskies are 2-1. In Pac-12 play Stanford is 1-0 while Washington is playing its first conference game of the season.
A year ago the Cardinal beat the Huskies 65-21 with a quarterback named Andrew Luck. He is now guiding the NFL Colts after being the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Busy afternoon of play
UNDATED (AP) – The afternoon schedule in baseball is comprised of seven games. In the key outings, the now first-place Tigers are home to Kansas City. Detroit took over the top spot in the American League Central last night, replacing Chicago. The Sox, who are a game back, are hosting Tampa Bay tonight. The Rays are 3 games back of the last AL wild card berth.
A big series starts this afternoon in the AL West as the Rangers play host to Oakland. The Rangers lead the Athletics by 3 games while the A's top the Angels by 2 games in the AL wild card race. The Angels are home this afternoon to Seattle. The remaining day games have Pittsburgh in New York to face the Mets, the Cubs at Colorado, Arizona at San Francisco and Milwaukee at Cincinnati. The Brewers are still hoping for a wild card berth in the National League.
The Yankees tonight can build on their lead over Baltimore in the American League East. The New Yorkers, who lead Baltimore by 1 1/2 games, open up a series in Toronto while the Orioles have the night off.
The rest of tonight's schedule has Washington at Pittsburgh, Miami at Atlanta and the Dodgers in San Francisco. LA maintains the hope of securing a wild card berth as they trail St. Louis in that race by 3 1/2 games.
Nice gesture by the Marlins
MIAMI (AP) – Adam Greenberg made his Major League debut 12 years ago. It lasted one at bat. On July 9, 2005, while playing in his first game for the Chicago Cubs, Greenberg was hit in the head by the first pitch thrown his way. The impact of the 92 mph fastball lingered and he was later diagnosed with vertigo.
Well, it's taken this long but Greenberg is going to get a second at bat in the big leagues as the Miami Marlins say they will sign Greenberg to a one-day contract effective Oct. 2, and play him that day against the New York Mets.
Greenberg will donate his one-day salary to the Marlins' foundation, which will donate to the Sports Legacy Institute, a group that furthers the study of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and others.