TIOPS Daily 5: Le’Veon Bell Watch, Trade Talks, Movement of NHL superstars & the Crosby Contract…..


  TIOPS Daily 5 *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. As Le’Veon Bell remains MIA, the situation now turns to Saturday. Does he finally report by 4:00 p.m. Saturday to collect his week 1 check and force the Steelers hand to pay him or not. This will be fascinating to watch if Bell actually reports before Sunday. The Steelers look weak if they cave in and don’t apply the 2-week roster exemption to Bell. With how vocal that locker room has been this week towards Bell, the organization has the perfect situation to make a statement and make Bell lose two paychecks. Here’s guessing if Bell shows up Saturday, though, Pittsburgh will pay him. As frustrated as the organization is, its easy to see them wanting to turn the page and not alienate Bell. 2. The San Francisco 49ers lost their No. 1 running and have over $35 million in cap space.Read More »

TIOPS Daily 5: Rivero’s greatness will eventually be some other teams gain & Penguins Trade Talk


 Daily 5 *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The Pittsburgh Pirates showed a killer instinct in Thursday’s sweep of the Brewers. A fifth straight come from behind victory, but in not sitting the likes of Andrew McCutchen, others, that is a norm for Clint Hurdle in these situations, it showed the importance Hurdle saw in being able to pluck another game away from the Brewers. You have to treat games against teams ahead of you with a different outlook. The Pirates did Thursday and that has to continue. Moving three games behind the Brewers, Pirate officials still see the team being in a peculiar place with the trade deadline 10 days away because of where Pittsburgh sits in the wild card standings. This is a big series coming up against the Colorado Rockies (56-41) who are 7.5 games ahead of the Pirates in the wild card and tied for the top wildcard spotRead More »

TIOPS Daily 5: The Pirates continue to becoming more intriguing


TIOPS Daily 5 *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Gerrit Cole is never going to be the No. 1 Ace in the mold of a Max Scherzer so many want to see out of him on a consistent basis and envisioned as the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, but he can still give you a night like this where he looks unhittable that will at one point in the near future have the Pirates receiving the type of Chris Sale offer they seek down the road for Cole. As for the present, the Pirates rallied again for a third straight win over the Brewers, 3-2 in 10 innings at PNC Park. They’ve now trimmed a seven game deficit for the division lead to four. Francisco Cervelli drove in a game tying single in the ninth to force extra innings, and then in the 10th, Max Moroff delivered a bloop single, scoringRead More »

TIOPS Daily 5: Pirates July surge highlighted by finding different ways to get a ‘W’


TIOPS Daily 5 *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Here come the Pirates! Another come from behind win, this time a 4-run sixth inning fueled by a 2-run Josh Harrison homer as the Pirates rallied from a 3-0 deficit for a 4-3 win over the Brewers on Tuesday night at PNC PArk. On a night where they got Starling Marte back from an 80 game suspension, the Pirates are surging. Winners in 9 of their last 11 games, Pittsburgh has moved to five games back of the surprising Brewers. The Pirates during this run are finding ways to win in games that easily could have went the other way. They could have been swept against the Cardinals last weekend but instead took 2 of 3. Tonight vs Milwaukee, the Pirates were out-hit 13-6 and overcame a start from Ivan Nova who struggled with his location, highlighted by the Shaw homer on an 0-2 count.Read More »

NHL Chatter: Penguins simply sending a message for Kessel to change with leaks?


 Daily Five *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. One NHL executive on the Phil Kessel trade speculation last week: “The leaks are coming from Pittsburgh [Penguins organization] and it grabs your attention 2. A Phil Kessel trade isn’t likely happening this summer, but if people think the trade talk is just being churned out by the local media as speculation, they’re wrong. When it comes to NHL insiders, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is right at the top with TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Friedman is among those buying the Kessel trade talk. 3. The Pittsburgh Pirates took 2 of 3 from the St. Louis Cardinals, something they had to do leading into a monumental series with the Brewers tonight. Josh Bell provided the heroics Friday night with a 3-run walk-off blast. The rookie is now up to 17 homers on the season and then Pittsburgh put together another walk-off win in rallying Sunday afternoon onRead More »

TIOPS Daily 5: Quintana trade stings for frustrated fan base


 Daily Five *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* The Pittsburgh Pirates don’t play today and haven’t made a transaction but today was bad a PR day for the club. The Chicago Cubs didn’t go out and buy a player with a $200 million contract, which they and the Yankees, Dodgers have the ability to do at anytime. What the Cubs did was acquire a pitcher in Jose Quintana with a great contract who is the perfect trade acquisition for small and mid-market ball clubs like the Pirates to make. They made the type of trade today that small and mid-market teams often make. It’s a lot easier for the Cubs to sell off top prospects because they can go out and replace them down the road much easier than the Brewers, Royals and Pirates can but what the Pirates fan base has a right to be frustrated about is the Pirates have yetRead More »

Source: Pens weigh extending Hornqvist


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Penguins management is building their roster with a 3-4 year window in mind where they don’t want to be locked into many bad contracts four to five years down the road when the time comes that some of their core might start to begin regressing. How much do the Penguins value Patric Hornqvist with the Penguins window still wide open to win a couple more Cups? We’re about to find out. 3. Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette created a stir today with a column titled “Don’t Be Surprised if the Penguins Trade Phil Kessel.” Among the blurbs from the column: [“I believe Phil Kessel will be traded. It might not happen this week or this month or even this offseason. But I believe it will happen sooner rather than later. Tocchet’s departure could hasten the process. It was clear in June, by the endRead More »

TIOPS Daily 5: Penguins brass see’s potential for dominant blueline with healthy 58


 Daily Five *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. A longer term deal between the Penguins and Brian Dumoulin beyond two years does not look feasible but the Penguins will live with a one or two year deal from arbitration and take another run at signing Dumoulin long-term next summer. Dumoulin’s hearing is July 24. He qualifies to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019. Despite disappointment that a long-term extension is looking bleak, the Penguins still regard Dumoulin as a big part of their future. This is another reason, though, why Olli Maatta’s contract is still highly valued by the organization because of their being certainty with five years left on the contract. Maatta is far from being unavailable but the Penguins have not been 2. One reason there’s no jump from the Penguins in moving one of the top-5 d-men for a center? The Penguins brass and others around the league believeRead More »