Jon Marthaler bakes up a batch of delicious links just for you. Other times, you can find him here and here. Jon?


Happy Saturday! If you haven't seen this clip yet, you'll want to watch it. You should also know that referee Koman Coulibaly spent most of the match whistling phantom fouls on the USA in the Slovenian penalty area, so this was by no means his first mistake. He also gave USA striker Robbie Findley a yellow card for an intentional handball, even though replays showed that the ball hit Findley in the face. (Findley will miss the next match thanks to that yellow card, by the way.)

You will not be surprised to learn, then, that Coulibaly will likely be going home early from the World Cup. Of course, like many other fans, I feel like this would be a light punishment for the ref, at the moment. I'm not sure what would be an appropriate reprimand, but I'm thinking something along the lines of fifteen years in a federal penitentiary.

But that's not why you called, and anyway, the more I think about it, the more worked up I get. (And besides, if it wasn't for the USA's laughably bad defensive effort, none of this would have mattered anyhow.) On with the links:

*A few soccer links, of course: Joe Posnanski, too, regrets Friday's happenings. Also see Spencer Hall's reaction, which pretty much sums up how we're all feeling. To cheer ourselves up, I suggest we all watch soccer writers Roger Bennett and Michael Davies test the World Cup match ball, in a video that frankly makes us long for the days of Good Sports With Michael Rand. (Truly, it is the worst video ever to appear on an ESPN platform, and this is a network that aired "Cold Pizza" for a number of years. That said, I still love Bennett and Davies, and hope they make many more spectacularly awful videos.)

*So, Pete Rose - stuck around way too long to chase a hit record, bet on baseball, and allegedly used a corked bat. At this point, Rose can't fall any further, unless we find out that he A) took steroids, B) gave investment advice to Lenny Dykstra, or C) is a known associate of Koman Coulibaly.

*And finally, your Twins link of the week: Nick Nelson writes about the second spot in the batting order, which of course continues to be a source of much frustration for all of us. (For two weeks, Matt Tolbert and Trevor Plouffe have been hitting there, which mostly explains that frustration.)

That'll do it for me; enjoy your weekend. If you didn't watch either of the first two American matches at the World Cup, I do hope you'll give Wednesday's match against Algeria a chance. The USA was one bad call away from playing absolutely the best soccer game I've ever seen, and who knows: Wednesday could very well be that game. That's why we watch, isn't it?

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