From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says possibly using replacement referees for regular-season games is worthwhile to ensure long-term improvements to officiating.The league and the NFL Referees Association have yet to reach an agreement, and Goodell acknowledged Thursday that time was running out to make the regular officials available for the openers."We're anxious to get a deal done, but it has to get done that it's going to help us for the long term," Goodell said at a fantasy football event in Times Square. "It's not a short-term issue."Of the replacement refs who have been calling preseason games, Goodell said: "We think they'll do a very credible job."Officials probably need a week to 10 days to prepare for the season, Goodell said, and the first game is Sept. 5, 13 days away. The first full Sunday of games is Sept. 9.NFLRA lead negotiator Mike Arnold said Thursday that officials have been training on their own during the lockout and would need less than a week to prep."We're ready to go," he said.While the NFL and officials disagree on some financial matters, Goodell also characterized the differences as "philosophical." The NFL's proposal includes making some refs full-time -- currently all game officials work part-time with outside jobs -- and adding more crews.Arnold said that the union was open to discussing such issues but any proposal to increase the number of officials while decreasing the pay for current refs was not viable.Increasing the pool of officials would allow the league to replace individual officials or entire crews that are not performing well, Goodell said."Then it's based on performance, which is what fans all want, players all want, coaches all want," he said.The replacement officials have been closely scrutinized during the preseason, with any error quickly pointed out by media and fans."It's not our job to judge the replacements, because their performance speaks for itself," Arnold said.Goodell said he wasn't concerned that teams and fans would question the credibility of results if that inevitable first disputed call of the season takes place while replacement officials are on the field."We have controversial calls. Officiating is an imperfect science," he said. "They're not going to be correct all the time, but we have systems in place to try to help. We have instant replay, as an example, to try to help correct those mistakes. ... It's like any game. We get calls every Monday from fans, from coaches, from teams upset about a particular call. That happens. And it will happen going forward regardless of who's on the field."
Of all the great uses for iPads, from business to education to watching movies on flights, many parents would argue there is no better utility for the Apple product than keeping children entertained.
Kids absolutely love them. The lights, the sounds, the games, the pictures. It's sensory overload and they'll entertain - and often keep quiet - a child for up to hours at a time.
For Wilson Ramos this weekend, it went much further than that. His young daughter - who turns two later this year - was watching cartoons on his iPad on Saturday night when she stumbled across a highlight video of him hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs on May 6 at Wrigley Field.
"For some reason, she was pointing it out and saying, ‘Daddy, daddy!’ Kinda like saying this is you," Ramos said through an interpreter after Sunday's 10-2 win over the Cardinals.
"For whatever reason, today I took that same approach like I did back then, nice and relaxed. And it worked out."
Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu may have some competition, because Ramos' daughter was on to something, whether intentionally or not.
The Nats catcher reached base four times on Sunday with three hits - including a two-run homer - and a walk. It was the fifth time in 40 games this season that he's been on base four times.
Ramos' homer came in the eighth inning off Cardinals reliever Tyler Lyons. It was Ramos' sixth home run of the season and his fourth in the month of May. Ramos is now batting .336 this season to lead all MLB catchers. That number ranks ninth in all of baseball and second on the Nationals behind only Daniel Murphy.
Ramos' other big hit Sunday was a two-RBI single in the fourth inning against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. He took a 94 mile per hour fastball the other way to right field to score Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman and put the Nationals up 3-1 at the time.
It was yet another game this season where Ramos has helped lead the way on offense. The 28-year-old backstop has - perhaps quietly - been one of the key cogs for the Nationals so far this season.
Some of it has to do with health, as well as the LASIK surgery he had during spring training. But don't forget his daughter.
"For some reason she’s learned how to play with it and look up certain files," Ramos said. "I’m going to try to put the same things on, little cartoons for her, and hopefully she takes it away and swipes to my at-bats and hopefully they’re good ones."
Boston Red Sox (30-20) vs. Baltimore Orioles (28-20), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 1:35 p.m.
Steven Wright (4-4, 2.52) vs. Tyler Wilson (2-3, 3.80)
Keys to the Game:
Is it too early to label this four-game series a big one? The Orioles trail Boston by a game in the AL East.
Can Wilson deliver a strong start in a series that looms as crucial?
News and Notes:
Wilson pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits on Apr. 13 at Fenway Park.
Current Orioles are 0-for-9 against Wright.
Hyun Soo Kim batted .389 (7-for-18) on the nine-game road trip.
Ryan Flaherty hadn't had an RBI in 79 at-bats until a fourth inning sacrifice fly on Sunday.
Week 7 of the National Women's Soccer League season is in the books - and what a week it was.
We saw the Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit match postponed due to weather, and got a glimpse at how NWSL squads will deal with their U.S. Women's National Team absences later this summer.
CSN's Sebastian Salazar takes you around the NWSL for highlights from all four league matches this weekend as well as last week's international friendly between Seattle Reign FC and Arsenal Ladies.
WATCH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF WEEK 7 IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE