I’m not one to share my opinion, but since you asked…

  • After a .500 homestand, your Bucco’s sit in a three-way tie for 1st in the National League Central Division.  Hard to imagine we would be saying this on July 25, but let’s take it for what it’s worth and be excited about it.  There are six days left for the team to add a bat to their punchless lineup.  No offense to the guys who play every day, but they are lacking a stick that can generate home runs.  With Pedor Alvarez finally returning from the minors, General Manager Neal Huntington has little options in terms of improving his lineup at his disposal.  He has stated he won’t sacrafice the clubs future to add a key player.  I agree with that stance.  The real issue is finding a player that will help and could possibly stay a few additonal years without braking the team’s piggy bank.  In other words, don’t be too upset if the club doesn’t make a big splashin bringing in a player by the end of the month. 
  • It’s so rare that I get to do this, but who was it that suggested Darren Clarke would win the British Open?  This guy right here!
  • I’m not shocked that the NFL and it’s players managed to work out a deal just before the start of pre-season games.  9 Billion dollar was just too much money for the two sides not to make a deal happen. 
  • Carlos Pena of the Cubs would be a major improvement over Lyle Overpay at 1st base for the Pirates.  What he lacks in hitting for average, he would make up in smacking about 15 more home runs that Overpay would. 
  • Sidney Crosby will not play hockey this season.  I’m also starting to lean towards him never playing hockey again. 
  • Joe Paterno will still be coaching Penn State after this season.
  • This weekend series against St. Louis was a good example of what the Pirates are in desperate need of, power hitting.  Small ball is nice, but to really compete, you need runs and as gutty as they are, just can’t produce enough of them on a regular basis and expect to win the division. 
  • Now that the NFL is back in order, it will be fun to watch free agency occur this week.  The Steelers will re-sign Ike Taylor because they desperately need him.  I can’t see Taylor going elsewhere. 
  • Pitt will be lucky to go 6-6 this upcoming season.  They have too many holes to fill on defense and Tino Sunseri just isn’t good enough to be effective in a new offense like the one installed by head coach Todd Graham.  Starting with a road trip to Iowa on September 17th, the Panthers will have a six game run that won’t be easy and include games vs. Notre Dame, South Florida, Rutgers, Utah and Connecticut.  Add road trips to Louisville and WVU in November and I’m hard pressed to even see six wins. 
  • It’s great to hear fans complain about the crowds at PNC Park.  I hope it continues to be a problem for years to come. 
  • If Graham wants to be successful at Pitt, he will need to keep the best talent in the WPIAL home.  That starts with the Rushel Shell sweepstakes.  He is an absolute must for Graham. 
  • Is it me or did somebody say something about Pittsburgh having an arena football team?

John Phillips is the author of this article and a secret member of the Galactic Empire.  When he’s not chasing down jedi across the Parkway East, he can be heard doing sports updates and hosting weekend shows on 93.7 The Fan.  You can follow JP on Twitter at www.twitter.com/937Phillips






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