Everything you need to know heading into the weekend in the world of sports.

Pop. Sizzle.

Adam Schein has been a vocal opponent of one of the newest rules instituted in Major League Baseball – Rule 7.13 (2). This rule is commonly referred to as the “Blocking The Plate Rule.” We’ve seen instances throughout the baseball season of players out at home by 10-15 feet, only for the play to be overturned via instant replay because the catcher was deemed to be blocking the plate. Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy told us earlier this year that he’s not a fan of the rule.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond went on an epic postgame rant after the Marlins got screwed by the new rule.

On Wednesday, we saw the application of this rule create new controversy in Major League Baseball, as two seemingly identical plays were ruled differently when instant replay took a second look.

Adam has had enough of this rule, and dedicated his monologue on Thursday’s edition of Schein on Sports to explaining why this rule is ruining baseball.

I completely agree with Adam. To me, this rule is a poorly hashed out overreaction to the Buster Posey injury a few years ago. This rule does not succeed in avoiding collisions at home plate because the players don’t know what to do. Catchers, who have played baseball their entire lives thinking that blocking the plate is OK, don’t know how to position themselves properly to avoid a call. Baserunners are now taking awkward slides into home to avoid a Pete Rose-Ray Fosse type of collision. A lot of runners are catching part of the catcher’s leg, so it’s only a matter of time until somebody hits the catcher wrong and he tears his ACL.

The biggest issue with this rule. though, is that plays that were correctly called the first time are now being reversed because the catcher was deemed to have blocked the plate. Even in instances where the baserunner never touched home plate, he’s being ruled safe. Managers are (correctly) challenging close plays at the dish to see if they can get a cheap run, or to try to take a run off the board on a technicality. It’s tough to put the onus on managers, umpires and players who have been around baseball their entire lives because everything about this rule contradicts what they’ve spent lifetimes doing. Bud Selig needs to take a major hit for instituting this rule and for his stubborn refusal to change it mid-season when it has become blatantly obvious that it is not working.

This rule is ruining my sport, my favorite game, and it needs to go; preferably before it costs a team a playoff spot, or a game in a best-of-seven series.

Abolish Rule 7.13 (2)!

Interview of the week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown joined the program this week and talked about entering the 2014 season as the team’s starting quarterback following a good stretch backing up Jay Cutler in Chicago.

McCown is the epitome of a journeyman veteran backup quarterback, with stops in Arizona, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina and Chicago. He was excellent when Cutler missed time last season, posting a passer rating of 109.0, a completion percentage of 66.5 and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13:1 over parts of eight games. He played so well for the Bears that some fans wanted the team to make McCown the starter over Cutler when the latter returned from a high ankle sprain.

McCown will certainly have an opportunity to duplicate his success last year now that he is in Tampa. Former Pro Bowlers Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin return, the team drafted Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans in the first round of the NFL Draft, and incoming tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is an athletic freak. They also added West Virginia running back Charles Sims in the third round, who should fit in nicely as a pass-catching back out of the backfield. If the Buccaneers can shore up their offensive line, they’ll have a chance to have an explosive offense. It’s reasonable to expect the Bucs to improve from their abysmal 4-12 record in 2013.

Underrated story of the week

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter joined Schein on Sports on Wednesday and talked about a couple of hot-button topics pertaining to the Cleveland Browns. Even though Mike Pettine named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback for the team’s second preseason game, it appears thatHoyer and Johnny Manziel will split time with the first team. Schefter believes that Johnny Football has closed the gap in the competition, but he still has work to do to win the starting job. Expect the team to name Manziel the starting quarterback sooner rather than later.

As for Josh Gordon, we’ll probably find out what will happen with the appeal of his season long suspension next week. Buckle up!

GIF of the week

Not only is Rory McIlroy the top ranked golfer in the world, he’s also on the hottest streak, winning the last two majors.

Of course he would make a great save of the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday night after winning the PGA Championship, too.


I’m not sure why someone would reach out to shake Rory’s hand when he clearly needs both hands to ensure that the trophy won’t fall and hit the ground, but I digress. If nothing else, you can fit a lot more Jagermeister into the Wanamaker Trophy than the Claret Jug. Which is great news for McIlroy if his goal is to use every trophy he wins as a chalice.

What to watch for this weekend

Preseason football continues to roll along, as we inch closer to the start of the 2014 NFL regular season. Among the story lines that you should continue monitoring: Hoyer vs. Manziel for the Browns’ starting quarterback job, Cam Newton and Tony Romo’s first preseason action this summer, and if fantasy football sleepers Brandin Cooks and John Brown can continue to impress.

The playoff races in MLB are also heating with some great match-ups this weekend, including Brewers-Dodgers, Mariners-Tigers, Nationals-Pirates and A’s-Braves.

You can follow Adam Schein, Nick Kostos, & Jared Moore on Twitter to keep track of the latest with the Schein on Sports crew!

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