From Comcast SportsNetCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he's a Saints fan.Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff."He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," league spokesman Michael Signora said.The league will look further into the matter. It received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.Stropolo's Facebook page has since been taken down.Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.ESPN was first to report the news.Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the situation, calling it "a league matter."The NFL locked out the regular officials in June after their contract expired. Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association broke down several times during the summer, including just before the season, and the league is using replacements for the first time since 2001.Back then, the lockout lasted for one week of the regular season before a settlement was reached. This is the second weekend the replacements are being used, and the NFL has drawn up a five-week schedule for using them if the labor dispute is not resolved.Last week, there was one major error by the replacement officials, when they awarded Seattle an extra timeout in the final minutes of a game at Arizona. The Cardinals held on to win and the crew's referee admitted the mistake after the game.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets spent the first half of this week in Los Angeles, where they got swept by the Dodgers and outscored 36-11. Their beat writers publicly wrote an end to any thoughts of the postseason. The fan base renewed the calls for manager Terry Collins to be fired.
That’s where they were. And then they flew to San Francisco.
AT&T Park continues to be a place where others get healthy, and this weekend it was the Mets. The Giants lost 8-2 on Sunday, getting swept by a similarly disappointing team. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games.
There’s not much more to be said about it, but I did anyway. Here are five things to know from the day a relief pitcher got an at-bat but it would have been far too cruel to text your friends …
—- Matt Moore’s line: 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs, three walks, five strikeouts. Through 16 starts, he has a 6.04 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. He ranks last among qualified NL starters in ERA. Only Matt Cain (1.73) has a worse WHIP. Good times.
—- Mets righty Rafael Montero entered with an 0-4 record and 6.49 ERA. He gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings. Good times.
—- With runners on the corners and two outs in the third inning, Brandon Belt strolled to the plate. He leads the team in homers. Hunter Pence tried to steal second for some reason and he was caught, ending the inning and keeping Belt from batting in a two-run game. Good times.
—- With two on and no outs in the sixth, the Giants sent the runners to make sure Buster Posey didn’t hit into a double play. Posey popped up softly to first and Joe Panik was doubled off of second. Good times.
—- One last bit of bad news: Austin Slater was removed from the game with a tight right hip flexor.
SONONA — Kevin Harvick returned to victory lane for the first time this season with a dominating run Sunday on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.
The former NASCAR champion came to Sonoma winless in 20 races since Kansas last fall and has been overshadowed in this season of NASCAR's young new superstars. But at a track where experience and ability can separate the field, it was Harvick and a bunch of veterans who led the way.
It was the first win on the winding wine country road course in 17 tries for the Bakersfield, California, driver. Sonoma was one of just four active tracks where Harvick had never before scored a Cup victory.
Harvick was on cruise control and conserving fuel in this win, which ended under caution after Kasey Kahne had a hard accident on the final lap.
Either way, Harvick had a cozy 9-second lead over Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer before the caution.
Bowyer, now the driver for the entry Tony Stewart used for his final NASCAR victory last year at the track, was second and Brad Keselowski third as Ford cars went 1-2-3.