Pirates improve to 2-0

 

Summary: Xavier Nady doomed the Astros once again, hitting another homer and knocking in the go-ahead run to lift the Pirates to a 3-2 win. While the Pirates are getting clutch hitting, Adam Laroche has been non-existence through the first two games. ‚Ä¢ Turning point: Nady’s RBI single off Dan Wheeler in the eighth brought Jason Bay home, which lead to closer Solomon Torres shutting down the Astros in the 9th. ‚Ä¢ Snell of the a Ace: Pirates starter Ian Snell struck out a career-high 11 batters. Ian Snell has started right where he left off last season. He has great stuff and the confidence to go with it. The Pirates hopes to contend this season will be on the shoulders of Ian Snell and Zach Duke. Snell is the ace of the club and managed 14 wins last season despite a horrific start. If the Buccos can get 16-18Read More »

Faneca and Steelers working on a extension?

 

The Steelers have had contract talks Faneca, but nothing is imminent, writes Pro Football Weekly. That said, a source close to the club believes there’s still hope of getting a deal done at some point. Faneca, one of the top guards in the game, will be an unrestricted free agent after the ’07 season. Recent reports before Pro Football Weekly has come out with this rumor have stated that its a long shot Faneca will be a Steeler in 08 as the Steelers will make a attempt to resign Troy Polamalu before resigning Faneca. Faneca 31, is still one of the top guards in the game but last season there were signs of him showing his age and I think the Steelers should cut ties with Faneca rather than offer him serious money. With the Steelers in talks with Faneca, why are they not talking to Troy Polamalu about anRead More »

Tough decisions await Buffalo Sabres

 

The Buffalo Sabres are steam rolling through the Eastern Conference with a league leading 107 pts but Sabre fans are fretting about the possibility of losing forwards Daniel Briere and Chris Druy to free agency. The Buffalo News reports that the Sabres have made almost no effort to re-sign either one up until now, leading to speculation that the team is resigned to losing one of them because it doesn’t think it can afford both. It’s unclear if the Sabres have a clear-cut preference, but many observers prefer Drury’s complete two-way play and intensity over Briere’s flashy offensive production. The Buffalo News said the Sabres will have to offer Drury $6M-$7M per season, about what he’d be offered on the open market. The Boston Globe reports that the Kings are a leading contender to get Drury because in the offseason he lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif., not far from LosRead More »

Tuesday Morning Rant

 

The Penguins host the Buffalo Sabres tonight and this is by far the biggest game of the year for the Pens. The reason for that is the New Jersey Devils 102 pts face the Ottawa Senators 102 pts tonight and if the Penguins can pull out a win against the Sabres they will either jump a head of the Senators or the Devils. Worst case scenario is the Senators and Devils game going to overtime. Tuesday night Predictions: Penguins – Sabres ( 4-2 Pens ) Senators – Devils ( 3-2 Senators ) Speaking of the New Jersey Devils, how about the firing of head coach Claude Julien. The Devils in first place in the Atlantic Division, shockingly fired Claude Julien this afternoon. Is anyone really surprised by this move. I for one am not. There have been whispers for the past couple months that star players such as Elias andRead More »

Pirates win 4-2

 

Jason Bay’s two-run homer in the 10th inning gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night in front of a Minute Maid Park record crowd that included former president George H. W. Bush. Bay’s hit off Chad Qualls came with two outs on a 0-2 pitch and landed in the Crawford Boxes in left field. The game went to extra innings after Brad Lidge, who had a 5.28 ERA last year and blew six saves, gave up a solo homer to Xavier Nady in the ninth inning that tied it at 2. ( Courtesy Associated Press) Total team effort from the Buccos tonight. Zach Duke pitched a solid 7 innings only surrendering 2 runs while the bullpen kept the Pirates in the game until Xavier Nady sent the game in extra innings. To pull out a win while their 3-5 hitters were a combinedRead More »

NHL extends deal with NBC through next season

 

The NHL extended its partnership with NBC through next season, with an option for the 2008-09 season.The agreement, announced Tuesday, will allow NBC to select from a minimum of three games on Sunday afternoons. Two weeks before, the network will pick one matchup as the “Game of the Week” to be shown nationally. The other two games will be televised locally.In addition to regular-season games, NBC will continue to broadcast select playoff games on Saturdays and Sundays and Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup finals in prime time. “In under two seasons, NBC has significantly elevated NHL broadcast coverage in the U.S.,” commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We’re delighted to have extended our partnership and look forward to next season’s scheduled innovation, aimed at delivering the best possible action to hockey fans.”The deal comes one day after the NHL and Canada’s CBC announced a six-year agreement. ( perRead More »

Pirates trim roster to 32

 

Today the Pittsburgh Pirates optioned reliever Josh Sharpless to Class AAA Indianapolis. Another questionble move considering Sharpless was close to a sure thing of making the team again. Sharpless, a 26-year-old right-hander and Beaver native, spent 14 games with the Pirates last season — 1.50 ERA, seven strikeouts and 11 walks in 12 innings. Sharpless did not have a great spring but posted a 2.08 era in eight apparances. The team also reassigned outfielder Michael Ryan and catcher Einar Diaz to trim the roster to 32. The roster, which still has 16 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and five outfielders, must be at 25 by Sunday, the day before the season opener in Houston.

NHL roundup

 

In the lone NHL game last night, Dominik Hasek’s made 25 saves for the Detroit Red Wings as they shut out the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1-0 in a possible preview of the Western Conference Finals. The Red Wings snapped a 4 game losing streak. The team the Penguins are chasing for the Atlantic Division title just got a boost towards their hopes of winning the Atlantic Division Title. The New Jersey Devils announced today that star forward Patrick Elias will return to the lineup tonight against the Islanders after being sidelined with a groin injury since March 15th.

News and Views

 

1. News: Joe Theismann out as MNF analysts Views: Toni Kornhieser and Joe Theismann did not get along last season in the broadcast booth and latest reports had Kornhieser stating that he didn’t want to come back. Ousting Theismann can be seen as a move to make Kornhieser happy so that he’ll consider sticking around next year for ESPN’s second year of televising Monday Night football. With Theismann out, Kornheiser is expected to stay in the booth while Ron Jaworski is expected to replace Theismann. 2. News: The Pirates have reassigned top prospect Andrew McCutchen to AA Altoona Views: McClutchen the Bucco’s only blue chip prospect in their minor league system batted over 3.00 this spring and was even better in the outfield. Many observers say based on his performance in the spring he should be the teams opening day starter but the Pirates like to wait until their prospectsRead More »

The Hottest Ticket in Town

 

Individual Playoff Tickets went on sale this morning at 10:00 for Game A and Game B and all it took was 13 minutes for both games to be sold out. Fans were lined up around Mellon Arena as early as 4:30 this morning. Earlier this month the Penguins sold 13,000 seats for the 12 game ticket packages and today they put 2,000 tickets up for grabs for fans in the Pittsburgh area. The remaining 2,000 seats are left to the teams for the players and opposing teams.