Kang’s “dynamic swing” leads Pirates past Twins, 8-7


PIRATES 8 – TWINS 7 Win: Mark Melancon (2-1) Loss: Glen Perkins (0-3) The Pittsburgh Pirates (58-41) appeared to have the game in the bag in the top of the 8th when Gregory Polanco hit a clutch three-run double with two outs to put the Pirates up 6-3 and Neil Walker would drive Polanco in with an RBI single to give the Pirates a four-run cushion. With Tony Watson and Mark Melancon waiting in the bullpen it would normally be lights out but the Twins rallied in the eighth with a four-run inning as Watson was pounded for 5 hits, 4 runs, recording just one hit. In the ninth, though, Jung Ho Kang would deliver, hitting a solo home run to center that traveled 411 feet off All-Star closer Glen Perkins as the Pirates regained the lead, 8-7 lead. Mark Melancon who came in the eighth with one out afterRead More »

TIOPS Afternoon Buzz: Tom Brady suspension upheld; Zobrist heading to Royals; Bell suspension to be reduced?


TIOPS AFTERNOON BUZZ 1. Tom Brady’s four game suspension has been upheld, the NFL announced moments ago. The Steelers will see Jimmy Garoppolo in week 1, unless of course Brady goes through the courts quick enough and is given an injunction that will allow him to play until things are settled in court. According to the statement released by the NFL, Brady destroyed the cell phone he had been using and the NFL was unable to retrieve over 10,000 text messages in what was a key piece of evidence that the NFL claims Brady deliberately destructed. 2. On the heels of acquiring Johnny Cueto, the Kansas City Royals are not done adding as the Royals are in the process of acquiring Ben Zobrist, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The Pirates were strongly in the mix. Source: #Royals getting #Athletics’ Zobrist. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2015 3. TheRead More »

Daily 5: Importance of Brandon Sutter Trade; Steelers cover-2 Talk, Lawrence Timmons & more


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. A year away from unrestricted free agency, the Penguins had to move Brandon Sutter this summer. Once you start the season it’s harder to move a well liked player in the room who is productive. Just look at the Penguins last season with Paul Martin. Last summer Rutherford was telling other GM’s he was very open to moving Martin (getting something for him before he leaves as an UFA) but he wanted to wait at least a couple months into the season. Once the season started, you get into the win-at-all cost mode and overlook the big picture. That’s what happened with Martin as the Penguins could have easily got a first round pick for him last summer. When it comes to Sutter, the market wasn’t strong for him around the draft but the hope was always going to be that someone wouldRead More »

Darrius Heyward-Bey resigns with Steelers


  Steelers are bringing back Darrius Heyward-Bey’s, resigning the veteran receiver to a one year deal. Heyward-Bey had a very limited role with the offense, collecting just 3 catches for 33 but Steelers coaches liked what he brought to the table on special teams. With the release of Lance Moore, the No. 4 receiver spot is currently up for grabs, pending the draft 2014 Stats: 3 Receptions – 33 Yards

Patrick Robinson signs one year deal with Chargers


Cornerback Patrick Robinson who visited with the Steelers Monday, has signed a one year deal with the San Diego Chargers. Including incentives, the deal has a max value of $3 million. The Steelers hosted cornerback Sterling Moore on Tuesday and Moore also left town without a contract and visited the 49ers on Wednesday.

Penguins concerned with injury to Patric Hornqvist


Patric Hornqvist left in the third period of Sunday’s 5-1 loss to the Red Wings and the undisclosed injury is potentially very concerning. “He left with an injury,” Mike Johnston said. “It looked bad when he left the ice.” Hornqvist will undergo tests tomorrow. “We’ll find out tomorrow,” Johnston said. With already major question marks in the top-6 with Chris Kunitz fading play and Blake Comeau, losing Hornqvist for a significant period and into the playoffs would be a huge blow. 2014-2015 Stats: 56 GP – 23 Goals – 22 Assists – 45 Points – +12

Penguins recall center Andrew Ebbett, re-assign Derrick Pouliot for cap reasons


The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled center Andrew Ebbett and re-assigned defenseman Derrick Pouliot to Wilkes Barre/Scranton. Ebbett has 15 goals, 23 assists and 38 points in 34 games for Wilkes Barre. His plus-18 rating leads WBS forwards. Ebbett has 1 goal and 5 assists in 21 games for Pittsburgh this season. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are questionable to play vs the Red Wings on Sunday. Pouliot who was a healthy scratch this afternoon, was expected to return to the lineup tomorrow afternoon vs the Red Wings, per Johnston in his post-game comments. “It’s not going to be a rotation,” Johnston said of now having seven defensemen. “The intent is to play Pouliot tomorrow.” The Penguins, though, have under $75,000 in cap space and to make the callup of Ebbett, had to send him down.

Johnston says he intends to play Pouliot vs Red Wings


After a rough game vs the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night, Derrick Pouliot was a healthy scratch today vs the Boston Bruins. Johnston who knows how to handle Pouliot, said he anticipates putting Pouliot back in the lineup tomorrow afternoon vs Detroit. “It’s not going to be a rotation,” Johnston said of now having seven defensemen. “The intent is to play Pouliot tomorrow.” 2014-2015 Stats: 26 GP – 2 Goals – 3 Assists – 5 Points – -2