*Musings & Opinions on Today’s Latest Buzz*
1. Will Jason Grilli even last the year in Pittsburgh after signing a two year deal this month? I hear some of the Pirates top decision makers would love to see a few things happen following the Joel Hanrahan trade with an eye on competing for a playoff spot in 2014 and 2015, while saving some $$$$ in the process. 1. With years of control, RHP Mark Melancon emerges as a legitimate closer option again by mid-season, opening up the opportunity to move Jason Grilli (and his $4 million a year salary he’s due in 2014) at the 2013 trade deadline for some pieces; 2. With his value never higher, trade Garrett Jones and his rising salary for future assets by the trade deadline (at the latest) and have cheaper viable options emerge to make up for his bat (ie…..Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez, Jerry Sands). Bob Nutting would be a big fan of this possible and maybe likely scenario in the coming months.
2. Why are there no CBA talks going on this week? The players asked for a meeting on December 26th and were denied by the league. Reason is the league feels Don Fehr has no plans to make a deal until the last minute, so they are taking the stand of what’s the point in negotiating now if the players aren’t ready to negotiate off the owners terms yet or propose any new ideas. The league is also likely waiting to see if the players file a disclaimer by Jan 2nd. One theory is Bill Daly & Co believe Don Fehr’s strategy to meet this week wasn’t in good faith to get a deal done but he wants to meet to begin his game of poker now and try to get the NHL to bend on some core issues this week with the full intention of taking things right down to the wire no matter what, even  if progress were to be made. However, there are some rumblings that the league might be preparing to make a new offer this week (not in person)….
3. The New England Patriots have scored 529 points this season…..The Pittsburgh Steelers 312. That’s a 217 point difference for those scoring at home. With Ben Roethlisberger missing three games this season, an ideal season to compare is 2010 where Roethlisberger started 12 games (missed 4 games due to suspension), Dennis Dixon 2 games and Charlie Batch 2 games. That season the Steelers scored 375 points, averaging 23.1 points per game. The Steelers will need to put up 63 points on the Browns Sunday to match that total.
4. Why should Mike Wallace want to return to Steelers…..Todd Haley has made him a possession receiver.
5. If you haven’t read Joe Starkey’s column from today, make sure to check it out. Hilarious piece titled “The joke’s on the Steelers“: