Big Lead Sports Bar



I was away from the net for the better part of Tuesday, which meant people had an entire day to spend with a story about a 17-year-old Penguins publication that I found in a random box of junk. That's some quality blogging. I'm sure you were thrilled with that option in lieu of breaking news about the Steelers signing Max Starks to a long-term deal, but I promise to make it up with a giant segment of The News later this week (which reminds me to remind you: please send in your pics, links, emails, thoughts, and stories for this week's installment). So with that as the backdrop, let me try and do a little catch-up.

--Max Starks got paid. Again. His new deal runs through 2012, a four-year, $26.3 million deal with a $10 million signing bonus. He's taken some criticism for accepting an extra $1.55 million in guaranteed money in lieu of free agency during an uncapped year, but the deal must have made sense to him. And it's a good deal for the team, as it frees up cap space. Basically, we should all put on our black-and-gold goggles and clap in approval.

--Fernando Bryant, who played in all of two games as a Steeler, retired this week. He was inactive for all of the playoff games, but he filled a need after the secondary began dropping like flies in November. No one expected him back for 2009, and besides, we've got William Gay to liven things up in the secondary now. We won't even miss Bryant.

--Dejan Kovacevic gave a list of 10 reasons to get excited about the Pirates-Indians series. Dejan's a tremendously talented guy who's written some fantastic stuff, but I'm going to have to agree with Mark Madden's Tuesday thought on this one: this was just an unnecessary article, even though it was done "in fun". I'm sorry, but as a fan, I don't consider this matchup a rivalry. At all. In fact, I don't know how anybody could consider it a rivalry. And I could care less about the "city of Cleveland" angle at this point. We get Hammer vs. Nail twice a year in football, and that's been a dead rivalry for years now. So what's the point of this article? Is the PG trying to help sell Pirate tickets? I'm lost.

--As for the first game of this compelling series between two teams that are a combined 20 games under .500, the Pirates dropped it, due in great part to a starting pitcher who couldn't get past the third inning.

Ian Snell gave up four hits, three walks, and four earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work, running his record to an unfathomable 2-8. The Pirates got two hits each from Adam LaRoche, Robinson Diaz, and Jack Wilson, but it was a lost cause. The Tribe took Game One, 5-4, behind two RBI from Grady Sizemore and three from Jhonny Peralta. And attendance was 19,109 (49.8% full). So I guess Pittsburgh doesn't care after all.
On Wednesday, the matchup is Carl Pavano (that Carl Pavano?) (5.73, 6-5) against Zach Duke (3.18. 7-5). Good tickets still available.

--Don't forget, "The Pittsburgh Kid", sometimes-troubled Paul Spadafora (41-0-1) will fight Ivan Bustos (27-12-3), of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a 10-round junior welterweight bout on Wednesday night at the Amphitheatre at Station Square.

--6'6", 266 pound DE T.J. Clemmings chose the Pitt Panthers over Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Rutgers and Miami. He joins safety Jeff Knox, another recent commit, who chose Pitt over Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. So things are looking up in Wannyville.

--Here's a great article about the "Yinzerfication" of Vladimir and Natalia Malkin, who, with son Geno, have become Pittsburgh's unofficial First Family. And the city's premier source for high-end Borscht.

--Former big-leaguer Matt Clement is the new hoops coach at Butler high. In addition to a nine-year career in MLB, Clement was the starting point guard on Butler's 1993 WPIAL Class AAAA finalist team and was recruited by some Division I schools for basketball. I'm going out on a limb to say he's got the biggest bank account of any WPIAL basketball coach past or present.

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BurressWithButterflywings said...

Dejan may be talented, but he and most of his followers on The PBC Blog are heavily sedated on the Nutting Kool-Aid machine. They seem to hang on every word of Opie.

I guess he is a breath of fresh air from Smizik, Cook, and Collier who like to kick their readers' and teams' collective nutsacks in every chance they get.

Also, the Pirates were shutdown last night by a pitcher with an ERA of 7.09 coming in..........

Jeff_King_Fan said...

why are the pirates the way they are? i'm so depressed

AJ said...

Don't forget, Jimmy Buffett was in town last night.

I'm pretty sure that the people who are dumb enough to still buy Pirates tickets are the same people who buy Buffett tickets.

MOVE the NEEDLE said...

John Russell came to town boasting accountability. He proved true to his word last year by sending Gorzo down. When in the heck is Ian Snell going to be demoted. ENOUGH ALREADY!

Steve said...

Hunting for drunken cougars at a Jimmy Buffett concert is like poaching Rhino in a zoo. Oddly enough, they end up looking the same in the morning too.

Dejan still has to be bitterly miffed about getting bounced from the Pens beat to cover the Pirates. In the sports department, that's the equivalent of being sent to Siberia, so he's trying overly hard to put a positive spin on things.

I heard he's been caught by his therapist out shopping for razor blades and rope.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

Spadafora fighting in station square... Will this be the undercard to some of the drunks fighting later?