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Masters still holds major interest

Thursday, April 10, 2014 0 comments

No Tiger Woods?

No problem.

There might be a lot of talk about how awful golf will be without Tiger while he recovers from his back surgery, but I won't be one of them.

I certainly won't be worried about the Masters.

The first major kicks off later today and I'll tune in.

And I'll watch Friday.

And Saturday.

And Sunday, too.

It's the Masters. Green jacket. Amen Corner. A tradition unlike any other.

Next to Opening Day in baseball, it's the surest sign of spring.

I'm a golf fan and I'll watch.

The Tiger fans can stay home.

That's fine with me.

Cheap Pirates made mistake with Burnett

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 0 comments

So, now where do Pirates fans stand when it comes to A.J. Burnett?

Burnett reportedly will get $16 million for one season with the Phillies.

Who's happy for him?

Who still thinks the Pirates made the right choice?

I disagreed with the Pirates not making a $14 million qualifying offer to Burnett after they passed on him.

Now, after seeing him sign for $16 million, nothing has changed.

The Pirates could have had Burnett for a discount, if you call $14 million a discount.

If Burnett passed, the Pirates wouldn't have been on the hook.

Now, they're out a first-round pick because of the Burnett Blunder.

Yeah, go ahead and rave about the Pirates and their management team.

They're still cheap.

Nothing has changed my mind  that their decisions are primarily based on finances, not winning.

Football, ballet a mix for Steelers' McLendon

Friday, February 7, 2014 0 comments

How does Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon improve his grace on the field?

Ballet, of course.

Check out the video of McLendon at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre:


Best defense of all time? 1976 Steelers

Monday, February 3, 2014 0 comments

Best defense of all time?

There talking about those Seahawks from last night.

They were impressive, but I'd pass on them.

I'd take the 1974 Steelers, 1975 Steelers or 1976 Steelers over them.

Give me the 1985 Bears too.

In fact, I'd take those '76 Steelers over them all.

That team gave up 9.9 points per game and pitched five shutouts.

They would have capped a three-peat in Super Bowls had Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, a pair of 1,000-yard backs, not missed the AFC championship game against the Raiders.

Pirates made mistake with Burnett

Friday, January 31, 2014 0 comments

Why are so many people defending the Pirates with their decision to pass on making a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett in the offseason?

I don't get it.

And maybe it's not 'so many.' Maybe it just seems that way with members of the media defending the cheap regime of the Buccos.

But, again, I don't get it.

The Pirates could have offered Burnett $14.1 million. Burnett could have passed. Nothing lost there. In fact, the Pirates could have looked much better by saying we're trying to spend money.

On top of that, the Pirates could have received draft-pick compensation if Burnett signed with another team. Another plus for the team.

And, these days, $14.1 million for Burnett is the going price, or even a discount for pitchers with a low ERA (3.30 for Burnett) and a high strikeout total (more than 1 per inning).

And don't tell me the rotation is strong without him.

I don't see how you can be comfortable with Charlie Morton, Wandy Rodriguez and Edison Volquez as Nos. 3-5. Go ahead and throw in Jameson Taillon. There's no guarantee he'll be as good as Gerrit Cole was upon his promotion.

The Burnett move reeks of the Pirates being cheap. Again.

Teams are getting $20-25 million per year in national TV revenue. The attendance is up at PNC Park.

Why can't the Pirates invest in improving their team after such a magical season?

They needed to get better this offseason. They haven't.

There's no guarantee they'll be back to the playoffs this year.

Ask the Washington Nationals how 2013 went.

The only way the Pirates come out good in this is if Burnett resigns with Pittsburgh for less than $14 million. Think that will happen? Especially with the Orioles and Rays interested in him?

Doubt it.

It's another miss for the Pirates' management team.

Seahawks' defense barely tested this season

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 0 comments

There's been plenty of talk about the Seahawks' defense entering Super Bowl Week.

In all the raving about their D, I haven't heard much talk about their light schedule.

Of course the defense should have impressive numbers if they don't face teams with much of an offense.

How did they stack up? You be the judge:
  • Team, record, points scored rank
  • Panthers, 12-4, 18th
  • 49ers, 12-4, 11th
  • Jaguars, 4-12, 32nd
  • Texans, 2-14, 31st
  • Colts, 11-5,14th (Loss)
  • Titans, 7-9, 19th
  • Cardinals, 10-6, 16th
  • Rams, 7-9, 21st
  • Bucs, 4-12, 30th
  • Falcons, 4-12, 20th
  • Vikings, 5-10-1, 14th
  • Saints, 11-5, 10th
  • 49ers, 12-4, 11th (Loss)
  • Giants, 7-9, 28th
  • Cardinals, 10-6, 16th (Loss)
  • Rams, 7-9, 21st
The Seahawks faced 11 teams ranked in the bottom half of NFL scoring, including the three worst scoring offenses in the NFL. 

The highest offense, the Saints, ranked 10th.

I generally take a top defense over a top offense in big games, but this Seahawks' defense isn't elite. The Broncos' offense is. That's why I'd go against the grain.

Just want to put things in perspective.

Duke sends Pitt basketball a message

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Pitt basketball fans had been waiting for Duke for years.

And Monday night seemed like the best time to show the Blue Devils the Panthers were for real.

Pitt was a team ascending. Duke was having an un-Duke-like season.

Plus, the game was at the Pete.

Everything was going in the Panthers' favor.

Then they played the game.

Duke handed Pitt a 15-point loss, 80-65.

So much for this being a game Pitt would win.

I've been of the opinion for more than a month now that Pitt was a Top 25 team. They slowly made it.

They've played some good basketball.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon really added to the hype after Pitt beat them last week.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been an assistant coach and a head coach for about 26 years, and I’m telling you, that’s one of the best teams I’ve ever coached agains. How they’re ranked 20th at 18-2 is an absolute joke. I think they’re a Top 5 team in this country, to come into this building and really control the game.”
Everyone really latched onto that quote.

It was colorful and Pitt fans loved hearing that. But was it an honest assessment?

Doubt it.

Coaches know how to control and interview. They know how to credit an opponent. And, after a tough loss, what's the harm in calling the team that beat you an elite team? It certainly deflects some criticism away from the coach.

We'll see how Pitt responds after this tough loss. They'll get a Virginia team that's 6-1 in the conference.

That's looking a lot tougher today than it did last week.



Too bad O'Brien didn't stick with Penn State like he asked others

Thursday, January 2, 2014 0 comments

Bill O'Brien did a heck of a job under the circumstances at Penn State.

He had to convince a lot of players to commit to the football program through some tough times.

Now, he's bolting for the NFL.

O'Brien is free to do what he wants in his profession.

But I can't help but think O'Brien didn't follow his own advice.

I think abandoning the program is too strong, but he didn't hold himself to the same standard that he pressured college students into staying.

Holiday catchup: Refs blew call twice in Chargers-Chiefs game

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I watched Sunday as things fell into place for the Steelers to make the playoffs.

Then the refs blew it.

Twice, in fact.

They missed a call on an illegal formation in the Chargers-Chiefs game. If they make the call, the Chiefs get a chance to kick the winning field goal again.

That seemed to be the big news.

I didn't see a lot of news on the fumble.

The refs mysteriously blew a whistle, to signal the end of the play, on a fake punt by the Chargers in overtime. The Chiefs, however, insist they forced a fumble and no whistle was blown. If the play would have stood, the Chiefs would have gotten the winning TD in OT.

Oh, well.

It's not sour grapes.

The Steelers put themselves in that position by losing to teams they had no business losing to.

Hopefully, they'll be able to retool in the offseason.

 
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