Saturday, February 03, 2007

February 3, 2007

-- Listen to the latest edition of Steeltown Sports: Live! (commercial free!)

-- Penguins run their streak to 8-0-1.

-- Pirates sign Armas, Kolb, agree to deal with Sanchez

---Today's Broadcast---

First of all, I would like to thank Jim Shireman (a.k.a. TheJim) of for joining me today on the first episode of "Steeltown Sports: Live!" in 6 months. It went pretty smoothly, and while I had some rust to shake off, I feel it went fluidly. The only brain fart I made is that I was so pressed for time (only 21 minutes, essentially, with commercials) that I forgot to mention Mark Eaton when we talked about the Penguins, and I mentioned him in my intro.

Right click to download, if you wish...

---Sniffing 5th---

The Penguins 2-0 triumph over a team that views them as one of their most hated rivals (a.k.a. The Washington Capitals), coupled with a Montreal regulation loss to the New York Islanders (uh, thank you, New York?), tomorrow's rematch against the Canadiens could result in the Penguins occupying the 5th position in the conference by virtue of having more games in hand vs. the Habs.

And 4th, my friends, is the ceiling. As it is, I'm already ahead of myself, and I may have even jinxed the Penguins for tomorrow; therefore I'm not even going to speculate on the possibility of overtaking the Devils. That, of course, being the only way in which Pittsburgh could improve beyond the 4th slot. The Devils may not be on quite the tear the Penguins are enjoying, but the Devils have gained 23 out of a possible 30 points in the standings since the start of 2007, including their win over Buffalo.

Take care of business tomorrow, and the Penguins continue their push toward a tenuous hold of the drivers seat for the last of the "home ice advantage" slots in the first round.

And what a physical hockey game we'll see. This might actually be better than the SuperBowl...

---Armas, Kolb, Sanchez Signed---

Far be it from me to discourage picking up relatively cheap starting pitching to "add depth". If I had faith that Dave Littlefield would trade semi-early in the season if either Chacon or Tony Armas, Jr., would pitch with ERAs at 4 or below while the trade value was as high as it was likely to get, I might actually like the signing of Armas. Either one should be better than Victor Santos was for the Bucs last year, even Chacon now that his knee should be fully functional again.

Over the last 3 years, Armas' ERA has been right around 5, and his WHIP has been just over 1.5. In seasons where he's started at least 15 games, his ERA has never been better than 4.03. Chacon's been more erratic in 2 fewer seasons.

And speaking of question marks, Dan Kolb is now in the Pirates system after signing a minor league contract. After a pretty impressive season with Milwaukee in 2004, it's been all downhill, just the type of player that the Pirates love to get. Can he even get back to a season where an ERA below 4 is possible (he was below 3.00 in '04)? Or is he doomed to be somewhere between 5 and 6 for the rest of his career (he's turning 32 in March, so it could be sooner rather than later).

And why does he remind me more than a little of Rick White 7 years and 30 pounds from now?

It's probably just me...

And what else can you say about Freddy Sanchez getting a one-year deal for two-and-three-quarter mill? That is, besides, "Keep it up, Freddy!"


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