Post No. 400

Friday, October 17, 2014 0 comments

Here it is, the obligatory post marking a milestone, usually a nice round number.

So, I'll fall into the same trap.

Thanks for reading really useful post No. 400.

Ishikawa wasn't good enough for Pirates


Travis Ishikawa.

Do you think Cardinals fans are mutter that name this morning?

A guy that was cut from the Pirates hits a ninth-inning home run to clinch a spot in the World Series.

And do you think Pirates fans wish Ishikawa stayed on the team?

The Pirates thought so highly of Ishikawa that they traded for Ike Davis to play first base.

It seems the Pirates Way is to get rid of players and watch them succeed elsewhere.

Maybe that's not entirely true, but it seems that way.

Don't expect much from Pirates at deadline

Thursday, July 31, 2014 0 comments

Here it is deadline day and the Pittsburgh Pirates have been mentioned in some possible deals to bolster their team.

Yeah, it's nice to hear the Pirates as being buyers instead of sellers at this stage of the summer. It's a much-needed change.

But, really, do you truly expect the Pirates to make a blockbuster deal to go all-in and try to win a title this year?

I don't.

Here's what I expect to come out of Pirates GM Neal Huntington after the deadline passes:

"We wanted to add to our club, but the price was too high. We did not want to sacrifice our minor league system at the expense of a short-term gain."

That's all nice, but the team is just a couple of games out of the lead in the division. Are all those minor league prospects going to pan out? They rarely do.

And maybe it's also about the money too. Never underestimate the cheapness of the Nutting regime.

The Pirates already missed out on John Lackey and Jon Lester. Now we're waiting to see if there are any other developments.

Other than a small deal, I don't expect anything else. Maybe things will get better in August like last year when the Bucs got Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau.

What do you think will happen?

Cleveland is now the center of the sporting universe

Monday, July 14, 2014 0 comments

Cleveland is at the center of the sports universe.

Can it really be?

When you're talking Johnny Manziel and LeBron James, two of the biggest things going in sports, and they're both with Cleveland teams, then, yes, it is really happening.

LeBron is the face of the NBA, and his Decision II, which Cleveland into a state of joy, is worthy of all the hype surrounding him.

Say what you want about his leadership traits or the ability to win championships, he's the best player in the NBA.

So when the best player in the league leaves the team he helped win two titles, it's big news. When it's LeBron, it's the story of the year -- at least if ESPN is concerned.

LeBron makes the Cavs a legitimate title contender again, just like when he played for them. The genius of James' move is he rebuilds his image and still gets a shot to win a title. The NBA's Eastern Conference is a joke, so it's a lot easier for LeBron to make it back to the Finals than if he went to a team in the West.

As for Manziel, I don't get the hype. And I'm not convinced he's a good NFL quarterback, let alone a great one.

But the obsession for Manziel is there, and the Browns are right in the middle of it.

For every selfie or cell-phone photo of Manziel, they'll be breaking news.

Enjoy it, Cleveland.

I can't wait to see the reaction if LeBron leads the Cavs to a title -- or defects again when his latest contract is up.

Remembering 'Field of Dreams'

Sunday, June 15, 2014 0 comments

Favorite sports movie?

Well, since it turned 25 years old and it's fresh in my mind, because of its big birthday bash over the weekend in Iowa, it's "Field of Dreams."

Heck, it might be my all-time favorite.

It was the first movie that I played back and watched again on VHS. (Yeah, I know, it makes me old)

There are some terrific scenes, and there are others, like the one where Shoeless Joe lines Ray's pitch right back at his feet, where it doesn't get enough credit. And you can't forget Moonlight Graham.

I'll avoid the obvious and go with a different clip as one of my favorite scenes:

What's your favorite?

Steelers Nation mourns loss of Chuck Noll

Saturday, June 14, 2014 0 comments

Chuck Noll has passed away.

It still doesn't seem right to type those words.

I know Noll was 82 when he died in his sleep Friday after being in ill health, but it doesn't seem possible.

The news froze me when I heard it a little before midnight.

Chuck Noll is dead? Wow.

I couldn't believe it.

He was a hero of mine growing up. How could you grow up in the '70s near Pittsburgh and not root for the Steelers?

Noll was the firm hand guiding the Steelers to Super Bowl championships
It wasn't that long ago when he was carried off a field winning a Super Bowl.

And it couldn't have been that long ago when he stepped down as a four-time Super Bowl champ.

That was a sad day. Today is even sadder.

It's too bad we can't just push pause and stop and cherish those moments a little bit longer. But time moves on and all we'll have left is memories of The Emperor.

Rest in peace. Steelers Nation mourns your passing.

And thanks for the wonderful memories. You changed a city.

What are your favorite memories?

Good laugh: School bans dangerous sunscreen

Saturday, June 7, 2014 0 comments

Every now and then I like to go off topic.

Here's one of those stories:

A parent is miffed that her pale-skinned child wasn't allowed to bring sunscreen to a field trip at a Texas school.

The school's reaction? Tough.

Well, sort of. Here's what they said:

Typically, sunscreen is a toxic substance and we can’t allow toxic things in to be in our schools. They could possibly have an allergic reaction (or) they could ingest it. It’s really a dangerous situation.
Yeah, I read about those dangers of drinking SPF50 all the time.

Just like playoffs, Pens baffle with GM hire


The Pittsburgh Penguins have a new general manager.

I think the analysis can be wrapped up rather easily:

Would you, as a Penguins fan, prefer Ray Shero or former Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford?

I'll take Shero.

There were other bad choices to be made (Pierre McGuire), but Rutherford screams as an uninspiring choice.

And Rutherford saying the team doesn't need sweeping changes, well, that sounds like the status quo wasn't all that bad.

But, maybe I'm reading into things too much.

Maybe all the Penguins need is a new voice calling the shots and a new voice yelling instructions at the players.

It won't take too long to find out.

LeBron wilts in heat? Don't blame James


Can LeBron James take the heat?

I'm not a James fan. Haven't been since he ditched Cleveland.

The hour-long program and the way he left was too classless.

But that was years ago. Since then, I've been happy when the Heat -- and James -- and faltered.

But I won't dump on James for Thursday's Game 1 loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

James left the game with cramps -- and has been taking, well, heat for it.

Fans quickly pointed out that Michael Jordan played in the Finals with the flu. He also left with stomach cramps, too.

A player can gut it out with the flu. If the leg cramps up, you can't will it to work. You're at the mercy of the muscle.

I'm rooting for the Spurs, but I can't fault James for this.

If you want to point fingers, look at Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. He didn't adjust to the conditions and should have used a deeper bench.

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