Latest Pirates Buzz: Seats getting Hotter for Hurdle, Huntington?

 

Latest Pirates Buzz The Pittsburgh Pirates are a ball club at a cross-roads already in a young season that’s only 2 games in. The starting rotation has been a surprising strength as they boast the 2nd best quality start percentage in baseball, yet, they sit 4 games under .500 with an 8-12 record. The Pirates are missing two key cogs in Starling Marte and Jung Ho Kang because of stupidity from both that gives the Pirates a built in excuse already for not contending in 2017 but why is this team such a bad fundamentally sound ball club and whose shoulders does it eventually fall on? They can’t field and it’s a bad group running the bases. This is an atrocious fielding team and it’s not like it’s just one guy as the Pirates issues defensively have long been focused on Andrew McCutchen in center field. It’s almost at every position.Read More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Av’s starting to identify asking prices for Duchene, Landeskog

 

Latest Penguins Buzz The Pittsburgh Penguins have had more than just exploratory talks with the Colorado Avalanche in recent weeks, NHL sources tell TIOPS. Talks have been serious enough where the Avalanche have begun identifying key pieces in talks they would seek to move Matt Duchene who the Penguins have significant interest in and Gabriel Landeskog who the Penguins have also discussed. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has looked into both players in an attempt to land a long-term impact forward. Pittsburgh has not ruled out runs at either player, but Duchene interests the Penguins more. The Penguins believe Duchene could easily play on Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin’s wing and boost the top-6 for this season and also give the Penguins an option of a Duchene-Kessel third line beyond this season. Penguin officials continue to be believers the team has a key three to four year window to win multipleRead More »

NHL Source: Lots of smoke surrounding Penguins-Stars last month

 

Latest Penguins Buzz The Penguins entered the bye break believing that Matt Murray’s injury was very short-term. However, the million dollar question with the Penguins goaltending situation now is whether this little strong run from Marc Andre Fleury of late, named player of the week for 12/26 – 1/1, and another minor injury from Matt Murray has Penguins’ GM Jim Rutherford eventually going back to his initial plan A (before the season started) of keeping both goaltenders this season and let it settle out in the summer. It’s been no secret the Penguins in early December began signaling to teams they were open for business on Fleury but have been met with a limited market for now. Has things really changed in just a matter of days? “It’s getting awkward,”

Monday’s TIOPS Inside Buzz Report

 

TIOPS Inside Buzz *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. More Leadership needed from Wideouts? Antonio Brown’s work ethic outside of game days to fine his craft is rarely matched by others. It’s what has made him into one of the NFL’s best receivers and saw him become the fastest receiver in NFL history to 600 receptions, doing it Sunday in his 96th career game. But is Brown doing a good enough job in leading by example for an inexperienced wide receiver group? Emerging is more and more talk in Steelers circles that Brown has been a bad apple at times and a bad influence on Sammie Coates, Eli Rodgers in critical areas such as attention to details and these inexperienced receivers learning to play the position the right away. While Brown looks to the media and fan base as someone whose top priority is his stats, that’s how he’s also looked atRead More »

Latest Chatter: Pirates eyeing prospect-type return for McCutchen?

 

McCutchen on the move, It Appears Sources close to the situation say the mood throughout the Pirates organization from coaches to front office members on Andrew McCutchen is this: He’s going to be traded. Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned, Pirates GM Neal Huntington is motivated to move McCutchen this winter and has made it clear to interested clubs,

Latest Pens Buzz: The Condon End Game, Back Room deal in place for eventual Fleury trade?

 

Latest Penguins Buzz The Penguins were telling interested teams last week they had no plans to put Mike Condon on waivers once Matt Murray returned. A team or two might have been calling the Penguins bluff but that stance has now been backed up with Matt Murray healthy. Despite the Penguins coaching staff having no interest in starting Mike Condon when the opportunity was there last week, this management team see’s Condon as a potential trade chip or even an asset to the club beyond next season. “The Pittsburgh Penguins are not averse to trading Condon, but they’re not going to put him on waivers,” Bob McKenzie reported Wednesday night on NBCSN. “They’re going to try to hold onto him as long as they can” The Penguins asking price for Condon according to a league source is a

TIOPS Daily Five: Chances slim the Pirates view Andrew McCutchen as a $14 million a year player for 17

 

TIOPS Daily Five *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The Gretzky bias. Sidney Crosby on Thursday night became the third player in hockey history to have a Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and World Cup/Canada Cup MVP on his resume. The other two are Wayne Gretzky (1987) and Bobby Orr (1976). The other two should be Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr. Lemieux’s dominance during the 1987 Canada Cup in what was really the passing of the torch in Lemieux emerging as the worlds greatest player, saw him dominate the tournament with 11 goals, 18 points in nine games. Yet it was Gretzky and his 3 goals, 21 points who took home the MVP honors. 2. Andrew McCutchen in 2016: 24 home runs, 77 RBI, .769 OPS, -0.5 WAR Pedro Alvarez in 2015: 27 home runs, 77 RBI, .789 OPS, 0.1 WAR Andrew McCutchen has been Pedro Alvarez at the plate and McCutchenRead More »

Steelers Prioritizing new deal for David DeCastro & more buzz

 

Latest Steelers Buzz The Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp a week from today and will guard David DeCastro have a new deal in place before camp opens? Things are moving into that direction where a deal is said to be likely struck in the next couple weeks. The Steelers have prioritized a new deal for DeCastro over anyone else, and, though a gap remains, headway between the two sides has been made in the last week, a league source says.

TIOPS Rumor Mill: McCutchen’s Future; Rangers interested in Liriano?

 

TIOPS Rumor Mill Andrew McCutchen’s steep decline in 2016 has been the talk of baseball. Five Thirty Eight did a stunning piece a few weeks ago on just how bad of a season he is having for a superstar player in his prime and how the numbers say a major turnaround is not likely in the years ahead. The pressing issue for the Pirates’ brass internally is coaches want to get McCutchen the hell out of centerfield (despite what Clint Hurdle might be saying through the media). It’s always been a touchy subject. As long as McCutchen continued to be a great hitter, the Pirates intended to live with him not being the best centerfielder on the roster. At least management intended to live with it. Pirate insiders, though, say a breaking point is bound to happen this winter. Chatter around the league is many baseball insiders feel the relationshipRead More »