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

  •  This is where I’m supposed to say it’s going to be different this year for your Buccos.  This is the time of year you feel optimistic that this version of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates will break the 19-year losing streak.  Outside of Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, what gives you the sense that things will change?  The A.J. Burnett signing was nice, but was nullified when he took a bunt to the orbital bone back in spring training.  If they finish with more than 70 wins, it will be a minor miracle.  They have little offensive punch.  Their pitching is about the same as last season.  Even with the division getting weaker, I put the over-under on Pirates wins at 71.
  • I’m happy to see Sidney Crosby get past 12 games in comeback No. 2 this season.  I half joked that number would be 11.5 on another ‘concussion’ like setback.  Here’s to that number going past 1,200 games, but as we know the playoffs loom and the physical play gets cranked up a few notches.  Keep your head up Sid. 
  • Pitt winning the CBI is nice, but don’t honor it with raising a banner inside the Petersen Events Center.  You bought your way in, but any sense of acknowledgement should only come with a plaque somewher deep inside Jamie Dixon’s office.
  • Mike Wallace will be a Pittsburgh Steeler this fall and for the next five to seven when its all said and done.  Any talk of another team siging him away is silly as the club knows they can’t afford to lose Ben Roethlisberger’s most talented WR.
  • Good for Tiger Woods winning the Arnold Palmer golf tournament.  It was his seventh at that event, so I guess its not a total surprise.  I’ve said he wouldn’t win this year and he has.  I’ve said he won’t win another major.  With the Masters teeing off today, I’m starting to think the old Tiger is back, but I’m not ready to buy in just yet.
  • It’s no shocker that Kentucky cut down the nets in New Orleans, winning a ninth National Title in basketball.  And any knocks on John Calipari being good, but not good enough to be mentioned as one of the top coaches in American can now cease.  You can say he’s sleazy.  You can say he recruits one-and-done players, but all he does is win. 
  • If your a Pitt hoops fan, would you rather have Jamie Dixon or John Calipari?  What price would you pay for true success?
  • Even though its laughed at by many, Wrestlemania still is one of my favorite ‘events’ on the sports calendar.  I don’t watch wrestling like I did when I was a kid, but when the end of March come around, I’m more that likely to check it out as over 70,000 did this past Sunday in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.  I’m almost certain the Dolphins didn’t play to a crowd that big last year.
  • If the Pens defense doesn’t get things together, they will be one-and-done come the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Philadelphia has their number and if they draw the Flyers, it won’t be easy.  Despite leading the NHL in scoring, the Pens could be eliminated again in the 1st round like they were last year vs. Tampa Bay.
  • Will the Pittsburgh Power please move to Harrisburg next fall?  Arena Football is a joke, much like the WNBA.
  • As much as I want to go over 70 wins for the Pirates, I sadly will take the under and say 69 wins.  Excuse me for not waxing poetice for a Pirates return to glory, as I think there is a much better chance of me winning Mr. Universe this year. 

John Phillips is the author of this article and a former secret member of the Galactic Empire.  Since he no longer chases down Jedi across the Smithfield Street Bridge, he can be heard doing updates and hosting the occasional talk-show on 93.7 The Fan.  Follow JP on Twitter at www.twitter.com/937Phillips 

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