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Showing posts from July, 2011

Please, no more Brett Favre rumors

I thought Brett Favre retired.

I mean for good.

A couple of times.

Especially after last season.

Instead, the rumors have started up again.

Maybe Favre likes to see his name in the headlines.

Whatever the case, the Favre Watch started up again when a report surfaced over the weekend that the Eagles would be interested in Favre as a backup.

I wish it all would stop.

Finally, some football talk

I've always liked courtroom dramas on TV, but the NFL lockout never appealed to me.

Maybe it's because I never considered it much more than a ploy by the owners to grab a few extra dollars. I didn't think we'd lose any games over the squabble.

Sorry, Canton, I don't consider the Hall of Fame game a loss. And I don't think the players mind missing this past week of intense heat and high heat indexes sweating off a few pounds during training camp.

For me, nothing of substance was missed. We had a draft and we'll have an uninterrupted season.

And it looks like the real NFL talk will soon kick into high gear.

The players and owners are on a path to an official, signed-and-sealed deal which will lead to a free-agent frenzy unlike any we've seen.

Soon enough, the season will be here and the weeks and weeks of legalese will all be a thing of the past.

And that's what we all wanted anyway.

Big stretch for the Pirates

The next 10 days will go a long way to determine the Pirates' fate this season.

Today, the Bucs start a three-game series against the Cardinals at PNC Park. After that, it's a brutal, seven-game trip on the road against NL East powers Atlanta (four games) and Philadelphia (three games).

The Pirates begin play today percentage points ahead of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals are only one game back while the Reds are four. The Braves and Phillies, for now, look like two playoff teams, with the loser of their NL East race likely the wild-card winner.

If the Pirates can survive these 10 days, then they head into August a contender.

If they stumble, especially in the first half of this stretch, I can easily see management holding off on any big moves before the July 31 trade deadline.

Hopefully, the Pirates can continue their strong play, find some key hitting and get some big wins. Then it's up to general manager Neal Huntington to show us what he c…

Bucs need to be buyers at the deadline

I want to buy into the hype that the Pirates are contenders.

The crowds and excitement generated last weekend were unbelievable. They're playing good baseball, to boot.

But I'm still not convinced. Maybe it has something to do with 18 straight losing seasons. That's a long history that's hard to erase.

So I'm still on the fence.

But I know what will get me to buy into this season. The Pirates need to be buyers at the trading deadline.

If the organization believes in this team and is willing to spend money, then I'm on board.

The Bucs begin the second half only one game out of first place. This division is up for grabs.

The Cardinals and Brewers don't have the look of inevitability this season, even with the Brewers acquiring Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.

The Bucs need to take their shot. You never know when that chance might come around again.

Teams are looking to shed payroll -- like the Pirates used to -- and key hitters could be acquired. And you don&…

Steelers' Harrison leaves another mark

Steelers linebacker James Harrison knows how to make an impact.

He does it on Sundays in the fall, usually with such reckless abandon that he inflicts punishment on his target.

He did it again, with NFL commish Roger Goodell caught in the crosshairs.

Harrison ripped Goodell in Men's Journal magazine, and along the way took a shot at teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall.

You can check out a story here, if you haven't heard the ruckus.

And as swiftly as his words hit the Internet, the criticism followed.

I find it ironic that the media longs for an athlete who speaks his mind yet when those comments don't agree with his or her view, the athlete is criticized.

And don't read that as a defense of Harrison. It's not.

There's plenty to dislike about Harrison's comments, which calling them over the top would be an understatement. However, who didn't think Roethlisberger's play in the Super Bowl hurt the Steelers? Anyone else think Mendenhall…

All-Star Game has makings of a big yawn

My idea of baseball's All-Star Game is that the best players in the world would gather for an exhibition game for one night.

So much for that.

One by one Sunday, the list of players to miss the game grew.

I think the total is up to 16 players who will miss the game -- as of this writing. Some, like Alex Rodriguez, who will miss four to six weeks, it's understandable.

Others, like Derek Jeter, should play.

Some of the best pitchers in the game won't be there Tuesday. Justin Verlander, C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez and Cole Hamels pitched Sunday and are ineligible (another bad idea by baseball -- they should at least be allowed to participate in the festivities).

Instead, players like David Robertson, Kevin Correia and Michael Pineda will be in Phoenix.

The biggest story in the first half of the season was Jeter's 3,000th hit. He won't be there, either. Instead of being celebrated, he'll be watching on TV. Apparently, he's too exhausted from the pursuit of …