Former Pittsburgh Pirate manager Jim Leyland returned to Pittsburgh for the first as a manager since 1999. His Detroit Tigers are the best team in baseball and beat the Bucco’s 7-6 in front of a decent crowd at PNC park last night. With Jimmy Leyland returning and his strong interest to manage the Pirates last winter, the question has risen about would this team be this bad with Leyland at the helm. Leyland is one of the best managers in the game and if I were running a team he would be my first pick. The guy gets the most out of his players and runs his pitching staff and bullpen extremely well. With him the Pirates wouldn’t be a playoff team but the team wouln’t have turned on him like they have on Tracy. Leyland worked as a scout for the cardinals for the past four years and was at every Pirate home game. He knows this team inside-out and would have been the best man for the job. With the Pirates not making a priority of going after a top 5 manager in the game and settling for a marginal manager is the reason why this franchise is a laughing stock throughout major league baseball. Missing out on Leyland his is just another blown opportunity from David Littlefield and leaves the desire for Pirates fans to dwell on ” What might have been “
Free agency begins today and don’t expect the Penguins to be active like they were last year. With the Salary Cap rising to 44 million it seems that the NHL is getting it self in the same situation before the lockout. Big names like Chara, Elias, Jovanoski are only rumored to be going to big market teams. I thought the new NHL was structured for small market teams to have a chance to land the big names too. In ESPN’s Scott Burnsides top 25 free agents only one player Mark Recchi was rumored to be interested in the Penguins. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the main reason why Elias and Chara are going to cash in around 8 million per. A few weeks ago the Lightning resigned center Brad Richards to a (5yr – 39 million). Richards had 91 pts last season. He is a good player but is not worth top 5 money. With the Lightning over paying for his services it has set the bar for Elias & Chara to make teams over pay for their services. When Chara comes off the board a team desperate for a defenseman like Jovanoski will over pay for him and the NHL is going to get it self in the same situation it was in 3 years ago with players getting more money than they deserve. At the end of the day though the blame goes on the owners not the players.