Nick Pivetta, Athletics turn gloomy rain delay into ultimate staring contest

Nick Pivetta, Athletics turn gloomy rain delay into ultimate staring contest

The great Athletics-Phillies rain delay pitchers standoff appeared to end in a draw Saturday night. 

As the rest of the players headed for the clubhouse as the game was delayed in the bottom of the third inning at Citizens Bank Park, three pitchers decided otherwise. 

Daniel Gossett and Daniel Mengden, who tossed a two-hit shutout against the Phils Friday night, set up shop on the rain-exposed top deck of the Oakland dugout. They sat under a makeshift covering that was propped up by brooms held by both right-handers. 

Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta ran solo in the first base dugout. Teammates at first wrapped what appeared to be a garbage back around the top railing to the dugout roof to keep him dry. An umbrella was added — punched through the tarp to go over his head — as the delay entered the second hour. 

Pivetta, wearing what appeared to be a homemade poncho with a hood, donned sunglasses and had a towel draped over his left arm. A yellow “Caution, Wet Floor” cone was placed on both sides of him on the dugout bench. 

Teammates traded out some hats for Pivetta as well, who was the first to get rid of the tarp above his head as the rain lessened to a drizzle. 

Both teams tweeted about the competition, with the A's pointing out that Pivetta was by himself. 

"Your guy is solo? Our brotherly love will win out."

Get it? 

As the grounds crew rolled up the tarp and prepared for the restart, Gossett and Mengden got up, rolled up their covering. The starting pitchers then headed into the clubhouse — while their teammates started to warm up. 

Who says a rain delay during a matchup of last-place teams in September can’t be exciting? 

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are click bait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create click-bait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott IG

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?