Monday, August 21, 2006

Ramblings from the past few days...

The Pirates are now on another road losing skid. The previous road trip (Wrigley / Minute Maid), the Pirates won the first game, then promptly lost them all. The one before that, they defeated Florida, then lost the next four. The trip before that (before the ASB), they whomped the Mets in the first game, then lost the next three. Perhaps that's where the money should go when they go on their next trip (10 games starting in St. Louis). Pirates will no doubt be heavy 'dogs going into New Busch, but maybe the trend is on their side for that game.

Amazing (or perhaps disgusting) statistic of the night: Chris Duffy leads the team with 11 stolen bases. While this does include the brief amount of time he was with the mothership at the beginning of the year, he hasn't played in 50 games yet in '06. Nate McClouth is 2nd with 10 in 107 games played (including PH appearances). Jason Bay has played in 122 games (once as a PH) and has stolen a mind-numbing 7 bases. This from a player who, only last year, came one more consecutive stolen base than the major league record (21). The Tracy/Cox/Shelby triumvirate has some explaining to do here.

The Steelers fall to the Vikes and their ugly unis 17-10. First team offense, essentially in for one drive, looked pretty good. Ben threw a DART to Cedric the Entertainer for the Steelers' only TD, bad thumb and all. James Farrior's almost making a great defensive play denied Troy Polamalu the chance to make an even better one. Worse, it led to Minnesota's tying tally. Polamalu jumped the route as Brad Johnson was prepped to throw, but Farrior hitting Johnson's arm turned the anticipated "fastball" into a slow wobbler, and an interception (or at the least a pass defense) turned into 6 for the opposition and Jermaine Wiggins.

Rian Wallace turned in a decent performance, but Andre Frazier, apparently smarting off to the coaching staff may result in his getting cut. I don't believe it will as of right now, but if there's a repeat performance in either of the two remaining games, a heavy hitter will not be on the opening day 53-man roster. Shane Boyd was given a nickname by the radio duo of Hillgrove and Ilkin (Shotgun Boyd, changed once to Shotgun Shane), did not impress. Of course, Omar Jacobs wasn't anything to write home about. Charlie Batch couldn't catch a break, with Santonio Holmes apparently running the wrong route on Batch's INT in the 2nd quarter, and Verron Haynes almost completely whiffing on a block that resulted in a fumble by the instantly-pressured QB.

Stay healthy, Ben. Oh, and will one of the RBs step up, please?


Plans for a live NFL Preview broadcast featuring one of the top sports handicappers in the country, Dutch Wydo, myself, and long time WMBS intern/employee Jerome Shell, are in the works. Locals should be able to pick up the station on Thursday, Sept 7th from about 5:15PM until Steelers pregame at 6:30PM. Hopefully, we'll be able to plan a format that allows for callers, but to analyze 32 teams (among 3 people in a roundtable), might prove to fill the broadcast time quite well.


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