Wakeup call: Just a bad day all around for the replacement refs

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Wakeup call: Just a bad day all around for the replacement refs

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, September 24:

BASEBALL
The Yankees' winning streak is over at seven, but -- thanks to the Red Sox -- they're still in first place. (AP)

The A's are proud that, after gut-wrenching defeats on Friday and Saturday, they were able to come away with one on Sunday. (CSN Bay Area)

Beware, Oakland: Here come the Angels. (AP)

That's five in a row -- and not a good five in a row -- for the White Sox. (CSN Chicago)

But, thanks to the Twins, they remain on top in the A.L. Central. (AP)

Maybe there'll be a race in the N.L. East yet. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The Nationals are no sun-worshipers. (CSN Washington)

Adrian Gonzalez has broken his power slump. (AP)

Good news: Dusty Baker's out of the hospital. (AP)

The last-place Marlins can console themselves with the knowledge that their manager thinks they have nice bodies. (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The hits just keep on coming for Billy Gillispie. (AP)

Saint Mary's? Under NCAA investigation? Really? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Torii Hunter's son is headed to Notre Dame. (NBC's College Football Talk) Torii Hunter has a son old enough to go to college . . . ?

Oregon's reward for its 49-0 throttling of Arizona: A No. 2 ranking. (AP)

If you're a reporter, the 'Ol Ball Coach will talk at you. Just not with you. (AP)

GOLF
The winner, and FedEx Cup champion: Brandt Snedeker. (AP)

Yeah, Tiger Woods has lowered the bar a little. But he's still happy to be where is now, compared to where he was a year ago. (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY
It's not much. But it's something, (AP)

Jim Devellano learned that silence is golden in the NHL. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Just a bad day all around for the replacement refs (NBC's Pro Football Talk) . . . as you know if you watched the Patriots game.

They seem to have the formula down pat in Denver. Too bad it's not a winning formula. (AP)

Not a bad first win for the Raiders, all things considered. (CSN Bay Area)

It looked frightening -- as in, Darryl Stingley-like frightening -- but Darrius Heyward-Bay is in stable condition after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Steelers' Ryan Munday. (CSN Bay Area)

The Patriots' loss to the Cardinals isn't looking so bad now, is it? (AP)

Say it Ain't so! (AP)

It's Cortland Finnegan's turn to Cutler-bash. (CSN Chicago) And this after Cutler beat him.

Tough sport, right Matt Schaub? (Pro Football Talk)

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

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MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."