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Pirates make a play for power

The Pittsburgh Pirates have their power-hitting outfielder.

The question is: Will it pay off this year for them?

The Bucs picked up Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Brad Lincoln.

On the surface, it appears the Pirates got a minor league player for a successful reliever.

This trade should be better than that.

Snider provides a power-hitting threat needed. He's also under control for at least three seasons, meaning the Bucs should have an outfield of Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Snider for a few years.

That should be a very good outfield.

I'm not sold on Lincoln as a starting pitcher in the future. I think he could be a future closer, which always is appealing.

However, relievers aren't as difficult to find. Plus, they can bottom out really fast. Remember Evan Meek, the former All-Star for the Pirates?

This also reminds me of the deal that sent Ricardo Rincon to the Indians for Brian Giles.

We'll find out soon enough.


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So much for Byron the great backup

I never understood the Steelers' fascination with their backup quarterbacks.

They've had either Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich for what seems like ages now.

And when the Steelers really needed a backup, Leftwich couldn't deliver.

Leftwich rambled 31 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Ravens, but other than that burst, the Steelers couldn't do anything on offense in a 13-10 loss that puts them in a bad position in the AFC North.

Leftwich, with his long delivery, looks better suited for the Pirates' bullpen than behind center.

He went 18-for-39 passing for 201 yards, but couldn't help a Steelers' offense that looks lost right now.

The Ravens came into the game with a weak defense. The thought was Leftwich could manage the game, the Steelers could find a running back to rely on and they'd escape with a win.

It didn't work out that way.

And it looks like we could see Batch at QB this week -- or someone else.

The Steelers are worried about Leftw…