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Showing posts from July, 2010

Maybe I was wrong about Evan Meek

I wasn't thrilled with the choice of Evan Meek as an All-Star.

But after watching the All-Star Game on Tuesday, I realized I could have been wrong about the Pirates reliever.

Meek belongs in the same class as the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

Both didn't play in the Midsummer Classic.

Not bad company, eh?

Remember the Boss as the Big Spender

The Boss is dead, and by Boss, I don't mean Bruce Springsteen.

Many people are lavishing praises of George Steinbrenner after his death Tuesday. The ones that aren't are holding him up as Exhibit A of what's wrong with baseball.

Jay Mariotti over at FanHouse calls the Boss the "best of owners." Over at the New York Post, a column there isn't very friendly.

I disliked what Steinbrenner did to baseball. He bought the best players at the highest prices. If it was a failed free-agent acquisition, well, there was enough Yankee money to go around to cover the mistake. Just replace the underachieving player with another -- either by another free-agent move or a trade with a bottom-feeder like the Pirates.

He took advantage of the system. It doesn't take a smart person to buy the best players. It takes deep pockets.

For that, Steinbrenner should be lauded, not his greatness as an owner. He wasn't great in the sense that he knew about baseball or made smart ba…

Tomlin gets to roam sidelines for three more years

Mike Tomlin will be with the Steelers at least through 2014.

To me, that's good news.

I've been a fan of Tomlin's since he popped up on the radar screen during the team's coaching search to replace Bill Cowher.

Tomlin's no-nonsense approach appeals to me, and I appreciate a coach who tells it like it is. I especially appreciate someone like Tomlin compared to coaches like Bill Belichick who offer non answers to simple questions.

The move also provides stability for a team that has gone through an offseason unlike any other. The Steelers certainly do not need to go into training camp with a lame-duck coach.

We just Witnessed one heck of an ego by James

I've had a few days now to take in all the hype and hysteria over LeBron James' decision to play basketball  for the Miami Heat.

Like nearly everyone else -- unless you are a Miami Heat fan -- I was disgusted with the whole process.

A one-hour show on ESPN? Having potential suitors visit him? Spare me.

Three things really stood out during the past two weeks: James is a narcissist, James can't win by himself and James doesn't like Cleveland.

The first doesn't need much explanation.

The second? Well, it was pretty evident James couldn't win by himself when he begged the Cleveland Cavaliers to get him better players.

He made a mad dash to win a title. It doesn't always work that way. Karl Malone and Gary Payton tried to take the easy way out and win a title with the L.A. Lakers in 2004. They lost easily to the Detroit Pistons in the finals.

If something similar happens in Miami, James is a failure. If he does win a title, James accomplishes that with the help …

Help the Blue Streak at Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park's Blue Streak needs your help.

The historic roller coaster in northwestern Pennsylvania is in need of repairs to be operational again. It's be down since 2009 when the park reopened.

It's a classic wooden coaster and a fun ride. However, the park needs some cash to get the ride, which is an American Coaster Enthusiasts historic landmark, going again.

I'm not seeking money. The Pepsi Refresh Project is awarding money based on votes, so your vote can help. Check out the project and vote for the Blue Streak.

You can read more on the park and project here and here.

Meek? That's weak. Gimme Strauburg in All-Star Game

Evan Meek.

All-Star.

It's been more than a day and I still can't get used to those two words being tossed together in the same sentence.

It's not that Evan Meek didn't have the statistics to deserve being an All-Star. Everyone is throwing around his ERA (0.96) and assures us it's a good choice.

And, besides, someone from the Pirates had to make the team.

I would prefer it be someone else. I'd prefer someone other than a middle reliever.

I don't think middle relievers belong in all-star games. Sorry, I just don't think they are that deserving.

I understand middle relief is part of the game these days, I don't believe it should be part of the All-Star Game.

While Meek has a stellar ERA, he does have five blown saves this season and only five holds (one of the few, unreliable statistics out there for relievers).

They way I look at it, the All-Star Game is still an opportunity to showcase the best players in the league for the fans. And while commission…

Penguins focus on defense

By all accounts the Pittsburgh Penguins improved on the first day of free agency Thursday.

A little sampling:
The P-G's Ron Cook calls it a change for the better.The Trib Review has the Penguins positioned for many Stanley Cup runs.And USA Today has the Pens as the No. 1 winner after Day 1.
One a team featuring plenty of offense, Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin, the new acquisitions, should add what was missing from last year's team.

I agree with Cook's assessment that this team needs to focus on defense. That's what winning's all about on the playoffs.

But as for the No. 1 winnner? It's wayyyyy too early to tell. Michalek and Martin might not mesh with the Pens.

I've seen it too often in many sports when a free-agent acquisition or player acquired in a trade hasn't led to a championship as originally thought.

We'll need to wait and see.

But what is encouraging is GM Ray Shero is being aggressive and filling needs.

That's all that can be asked.

Can we play the Cubs more?

Thank goodness for the Cubs.

The Pirates have a 9-3 record against the Cubbies this season after Wednesday's 2-0 victory at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, the Bucs are 18-48 if you take away their record the Cubs.

That's bad. That's a .273 winning percentage. That's a 50-win season.

So, again, a big round of applause for the Cubs. Without them, this season would be one for the record books -- for all the wrong reasons.

It's too bad there are only three games left against the Cubs.