Spring Training Report: Pirates avoid arbitration with McLouth

 

Updated: 8:02 a.m. The Pirates have signed outfielder Nate McLouth to a three year contract, avoiding arbitration. Last season, McLouth hit .276 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI. The Pirates have made an offer to lefty reliever Will Ohman according to Jerry Crasnik of ESPN. Crasnik writes “Ohman, 31, one of the top relievers left on baseball’s free agent market, has major league offers in hand from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and San Diego Padres but plans to continue discussions with three contending teams before making a decision on his destination for 2009, his agent said Monday.” The Pirates offer is believed to be in the $1.1 million range. The Pirates also remain interested in starting pitcher Pedro Martinez. The Pirates are expected to keep a close eye on Martinez during the WBC and may make an official offer after the Classic is over. The Mets have shutRead More »

The Latest Penguins Buzz

 

Interim head coach Dan Bylsma has indicated he will implement a more uptempo system and wants the Penguins to be much more aggressive than they were under Michel Therrien. Do the Penguins have personnel to play a uptempo system? That is up for debate. On the backend they have three offensive defensemen in Kris Letang, Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney. Bylsma wants more pinching from all defensemen and for his offensive defensemen to jump up into the play to create offense. He doesn’t want the Penguins sitting back anymore, he wants them to initiate the play. As the trade deadline is approaching the Penguins are engaged with a number of teams and they are seeking speed upfront. Two things that did Michel Therrien in was his inability to adapt and change his ways. I‚Äôve been told that Ray Shero has been stressing for the Penguins to run a more uptempoRead More »

Steelers Team Chart

 

Insider Chart on the latest player news, injury reports, practice updates, rumors Rumor Front ¬†Steelers to meet with Harrisons agent at the combine The Pittsburgh Steelers initiated talks with James¬†Harrison’s representatives¬†and the two sides are expected to meet at the combine according to the Tribune-Review. Harrison is believed to be seeking¬†$20 million in guarantees.¬† Steelers haven’t ruled out re-signing Marvel Smith The Pittsburgh Steelers have not ruled out re-signing left tackle Marvel Smith. Smith, 30, missed the Steelers final 13 games after having a second back surgery. Steelers are interested in a deal slightly above the league minimum with a lot of incentives.¬† Rosenhaus to meet with Steelers at the combine The Steelers are expected to meet with Bryant McFadden’s agent Drew Rosenhaus at the scouting combine this week. The two sides have yet to begin discussions on a long-term contract. Free agency begins on February 27th. Steelers to offerRead More »

Conference Call with Ray Shero and Interim Head Coach Dan Bylsma

 

Live Updates from the Conference Call Dave Molinari: Ray, Why did you decide a change was in order today? Ray Shero: Shero indicated he watched for significant weeks and just didn’t like the direction the team was going. That is why change was made DM: Did the Outcome of last night’s game have any decision on firing Therrien? RS: “It wasn’t so much the outcome as the way the game was played,” but it was the direction they were going. Quite Frankly he didn’t like the direction of the team. Shero met Therrien around 6:30 and told him that he was making a change DM: Why did you pick Bylsma?

Sunday’s Practice Report: Lineup changes coming for Monday’s game

 

The Penguins just concluded their practice around 3:00 p.m. in New York. As expected the mood wasn’t very good after the team’s performance last night. As I mentioned on Thursday the plan this week was for Mathieu Garon to start in goal against the Islanders. Based on practice today that still appears to be the plan. Don’t look into it that the team is benching Marc Andre Fleury for giving up 6 goals Saturday night. My source tells me there will be one lineup change (not counting Garon) and possibly two against the Islanders tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday’s Spring Training Report: Hinske arrives at Bradenton

 

Outfielder/infielder Eric Hinske, the Pirates top free agent signing this off-season, made his first appearance today in Bradenton. Hinske showed some power today in batting drills and he seems to believe he can have a 25 homerun season in 09. Hinske, 31, hit 20 home runs last season and signed a one year $1.5 million deal last month. Hinske sees Pittsburgh as a opportunity to improve his stats and hit the free agent market next season when hopefully the economy will be better. Hinske’s primary goal in spring training is to be the teams starting left fielder on opening day. If the first two days of workouts are any indication, the Pirates are going to go through a tougher spring training then they went through last season. Manager John Russell doesn‚Äôt have his players doing too much sitting around as they are constantly moving from different stations for particular drills.Read More »

NFL Draft Report: Maybin “bulking up”

 

There’s talk that the Penn State star defensive end Aaron Maybin has bulked up in the past couple weeks and has gained 12-15 pounds as he prepares for the NFL combine. Maybin, 6 foot 4 played at 235lbs this season. Scouts love Maybin’s potential which has led to some talk that he could be a top 10 pick. There has also been some leaks that he’s been running his 40 times in the 4.65 – 4.70 range. Maybin is expected to sign with super agent Drew Rosenhaus. Pitt running back LeSean McCoy remains in Miami training extensively with potential draft picks. Drew Rosenhaus the agent for McCoy continues to tout McCoy as the best running back in the draft. Steelers scouts have been raving about