Big Lead Sports Bar



A big night for Neil Walker, Strasburg vs. the Bucs, why a Pittsburgh council member says you should root for the Flyers, The Pens' Student Flush, Howard Baldwin's hopes for Hartford hockey, a new team for Bruce Davis, an update on Herb Pope, Houston baseball fare and big trouble for Big Mama lead a jam-packed edition of Headlines:

The Pittsburgh Pirates had an offensive explosion, tallying six hits in an electrifying 3-2 win over the even-worse Chicago Cubs on Tuesday at PNC Park.

Garrett Jones led the way with a solo shot, his second in as many nights against the Cubbies, and Neil Walker continued to swing a hot bat by knocking in the Bucs' other two runs with his first career homer. Lastings Milledge chipped in with a double that he unsuccessfully tried to stretch into a triple, negating a fourth run that would've crossed home. But a Pirate game isn't a Pirate game without a baserunning gaffe.

Xavier Nady lit up Pirates pitching for four hits, including a double and two-run home run, but Jeff Karstens held Chicago to two runs over six innings for his second W of the season.

Always keeping it interesting, John Russell threw out an inexplicable Pirate lineup that had Milledge in the three-hole, a spot normally reserved for the team's best hitter, and the weak-hitting Bobby Crosby batting fifth. But I don't ask questions anymore, I just shake my head in disbelief when this lineup brings back a win. I'm guessing the Cubs do, too.

The series wraps up at PNC Park on Wednesday at 7:05, with Zach Duke (5.09, 3-5) facing Carlos Zambrano (6.12, 1-3), as the Pirates go for the improbable three-game sweep. The Pirates have won seven of eight against the $146 million Cubs in 2010, proving that merely spending money does not guarantee a winner. I'm sure that's a lesson their new owner loves to learn. [ESPN]

Stephen Strasburg will have to pitch in at least one game before he's inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the Pirates will be that opponent, according to the Washington Nationals. Mark June 8 on your calendar for a game that's already sold out, a phrase you don't hear from the Nationals very often. Can't wait to see who the Bucs counter with.  []

Matt Drozd, an Allegheny County council member, is actually rooting for the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals for reasons I can't honestly believe:

“Here we have a Pennsylvania team, a state team in Pennsylvania, plus the more revenue that they bring in-the longer they stay in those playoffs-they bring more revenues and it alleviates the tax burdens on the people in Allegheny County as well as Pennsylvania," Drozd told John Seibel and Joe Starkey on Tuesday.

Call me cynical, but I highly doubt the Philadelphia Flyers' playoff run will have a tremendous impact on tax burdens for Allegheny County residents. And if this guy seriously thinks that Penguin fans will get behind the Flyers, he'll have an interesting time getting re-elected, as Seibel was quick to point out. [93.7 The Fan]

The Pittsburgh Penguins, always on the cutting edge, will hold the first-ever "Student Flush" on June 10 at the Consol Energy Center. What is the Student Flush, you ask? It's going to be a simultaneous flushing of all the toilets in the new building, performed by 250 students. The purpose of the event is to test all the toilets and urinals to confirm that the pumps can handle the water flow.

For their efforts, participants (selected at random through the Student Rush Mobile Club) will receive pizza and Dr. Pepper/Snapple beverages, as well as a Penguin player t-shirt. And to top it off, Phil Bourque and Iceburgh will be on hand for this historic event. I say this with the utmost respect, but only the Penguins could make an event out of flushing toilets. []

LB Bruce Davis, the Steelers' 3rd round pick in 2008, was claimed off waivers by the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. He was released by New England last week, where he spent much of last season on the practice squad. Davis appeared in just five games while with the Steelers and is deservedly considered one of their bigger draft busts of the past decade. [National Football Post]

Howard Baldwin, the former owner of the Hartford Whalers and later the Penguins, is trying to bring NHL hockey back to Hartford, which it abandoned in 1997 for Carolina. 

Baldwin, whose latest venture is an outdoor skating rink at the Rentschler Field sports and entertainment stadium in East Hartford, has a news conference scheduled for Wednesday  to detail plans for the rink and various events designed to show Hartford is a hockey town. [NESN]
John Phillips of 93.7 The Fan, purveyor of fine ballpark fare from coast-to-coast, was in Houston recently, and shares his recap of the Minutemaid Park experience in every gut-busting detail, including an Extreme Nacho bar with 17 different toppings and Mustard and Jalapeno Sliders. [Food and Games]
And speaking of food, Big Mama's restaurant on Liberty Avenue was featured by virtually every media outlet in town on Tuesday with the news that she may close her popular spot due to more than $3,000 in parking tickets.

I'm telling you, it was an all-out PR blitz. KDKA. WPXI. Trib. I think Big Mama told her story to every down-on-their-luck reporter who struck out trying to talk to Ben Roethlisberger on Tuesday. I wouldn't be surprised to see her on the NFL Network next. Anyway, her story:
She has received tickets ranging from $16 for parking too far in front of a parking meter on Liberty Avenue, to $94.50 for parking in a no-parking zone. Her Land Rover has been "booted" and other cars her family-run business uses were towed.

It often takes Franklin, who said she suffers from torn rotator cuffs, more than 15 minutes to unload up to a dozen 40-pound boxes of chicken and ribs when she arrives to work around 8 a.m. She has been ticketed more than once while unloading.
"I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to figure out how I'm going to pay my rent," Franklin said. "I've been trying to hold on and maintain. But they've been making it impossible."
Want to track the decline of downtown areas? Just look to the parking meter. I'd love to know the breakdown of how much money they bring in versus how much potential business for the area that they drive away. I say they're a dinosaur, another strike against small-town businesses that already have to combat the Wal-Marts and other mega-powers of the retail world. I'm on your side, Big Mama. [Trib]

Herb Pope, the Aliquippa product and Seton Hall Pirate who declared for the NBA Draft but withdrew in May, was recently released from the hospital after a collapse caused him to have a one-month stay.

The Big East's leading rebounder in '09-'10, Pope is at resting at his home in Pennsylvania and is expected to return to Seton Hall for another season. [KDKA]

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Koz said...

Perfect transition for Strasburg from AAA to AAAA before facing a real MLB lineup. What's the record for strikeouts for a starting pitcher's debut?

JW said...

A better question is how many hits will Neil Walker have against him before he gets pulled.

BURGH08 said...

All it took for Walker to get promoted was 'AKI' going to the bottom and Walker to get passed over on the lack of hustle on an infield fly.

As for the council member, I may move to his district to vote against him.

AJ said...

While I agree that the parking situation downtown is rough, you don't get $3000 in fines by occasionally getting caught in a loading zone. You get $3000 worth of tickets by being a scofflaw.

She claims that the fines are endangering her business. The same article then said the tickets were on her Range Rover. Sounds like business is really hurtin'. Maybe I'd feel bad if they said they were on her Kia.

NickDawg said...

Matt Drozd = Douche bag!

Cool Hand Nuke said...

Yes, rooting for Philly makes sense because PA politics has taught us that we all have to think about the greater good. It's like when Rendell fought tooth and nail for the Pens to stay in Pittsburgh. Or, like when all the state politicians stepped in to emphasize the importance of renewing the Pitt-Penn State rivalry. Now that I think about it, it makes so much sense!

Unknown said...

WTF? How do you get $3,000 in parking tickets before figuring out that you shouldn't park there? Who the hell runs a restaurant and doesn't have their fridge and coolers stocked for the day so that they don't "have to run out and get 40 pounds of chicken"?

the nigerian nightmare said...

Not to mention, if you're having so much trouble making the rent payment, maybe you should downgrade from a Land Rover for your vehicle.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I fully support this woman's business (well, I've never actually eaten there, but I support local business owners who offer something different than the usual, generic, corporate crap. They're what give a city character.)

However, maybe if she sold the freakin Land Rover she could pay off the tickets!

Steve said...

What, no Toilet Flushers Local 495 union complaints? The electrical workers union will walk out of a job and picket if someone even changes a lightbulb. Not one cry of "DEY TUK R JOBS!" What's Picksburgh coming to?

Unknown said...

Just one more bone headed, out of touch, politician...