Big Lead Sports Bar


Today's Headlines

Pedro Alvarez
could very well be making his MLB debut this week, a thought that was not ruled out by Neal Huntington when asked about it on his weekly radio show:

"No, I won't rule it out," Huntington said Sunday on his weekly radio show. "Our [initial] feel was closer to the end of the month, but Pedro has responded well to the challenge of these other two guys going up," a reference to the Jose Tabata-Brad Lincoln callups last week that prompted an Alvarez homer-triple-double performance. "It's something we've got to talk about more internally. Sometimes, players can push those timetables forward because of adjustments they make."
Alvarez is hitting .285 with 13 HR and 52 RBI for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis, and certainly has all the signs of someone who is ready. It also couldn't hurt the Pirates' box-office, which could definitely use a boost with an offensively-challenged team that's otherwise 23-40 and 1-9 in their last 10. [PG]

Brad Lincoln (0-0, 7.50 ERA) makes his first home start on Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox and Freddy Garcia (6-3, 4.82) at 7:05 p.m.

Lincoln's presence should also help sell a few tickets, because people aren't going to be turning out for the offense in this one. The Sox are the Majors' worst-hitting team at night (.235), with the Pirates closely behind at .236. [ESPN]

The 1960 Pirates will be celebrated during this weekend's series against the Cleveland Indians, which features giveaways tied in to the occasion and appearances by a number of the players, including Joe Christopher, ElRoy Face, Bob Friend, Joe Gibbon, Dick Groat, Vernon Law, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Oldis, Dick Schofield, Bob Skinner, Bill Virdon, George Witt, and Joe Brown (former GM). The Maz canvas wraps that will be handed out on Friday actually look pretty nice. [By Gosh, it's Langosch]

Vince Young was in a well-publicized fight at a strip club over the weekend, and James Walker wonders if that could potentially affect his status for the Steelers-Titans tilt in Week 2. If not this, I'm virtually certain he'll do something else suspension-worthy between now and then. [ESPN AFC North Blog]

The Pitt Panthers: Big Ten bound? Not according to Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz, who explained why to Seibel and Starkey on Monday. [93.7 The Fan]

Alison Riske, a 19-year-old from Peters Twp. who turned down a scholarship to Vanderbilt to turn pro, upset 3-seed Yanina Wickmayer 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 in the WRTA AEGON Classic last weekend, but ultimately fell to Maria Sharapova on Saturday. Riske is currently the 13th highest ranked American player in the world and should leap into the top-10 this week. [ESPN]

D Steve Wagner was re-signed by the Penguins to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday.

Wagner came over in a February deal that sent D Nate Guenin to the Blues. In 20 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wagner scored seven points (1 G/6 A) and had an even plus/minus last season.  [Empty Netters]

Mark Madden, like many others, has had enough of the ever-present vuvuzelas at this year's World Cup. Let's hope the Pirates are taking notes: this is not a good idea for a future giveaway.  [Mark Madden/WXDX]

Comedian Billy Gardell is hosting a live Comedy Central Special TV Taping at the Byham Theatre on Friday, July 23rd. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, June 19th at noon. []

John Phillips takes a shot at predicting how the college conference carousel will end up, with Pitt and WVU headed to the ACC.

That's looking more and more like the way this could play out, and I'd be perfectly happy with that scenario. [93.7 The Fan]

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Nate said...

As much as I hate the vuvuzelas, I have to say, I feel like they'd make an awesome giveaway. It'd be a home team advantage like no other.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Why would we bring Alvarez up when we have Andy "Major Leage Asset" Laroche?

I mean, he is hitting .239 with a whopping 3 HR's, but he is leading the national league in a category: Errors at 3B ( 3rd overall in the MLB for errors amongst all players as of yesterday)!

Great work there.

Also, how much longer are people going to defend the pure garbage spewing out of Huntington's mouth?

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Vote for Pedro.

Steve said...

I can't even begin to tell you how worried I am about the Pirates box office. It'd be a shame to see Nutting have to dip into the MLB revenue sharing monies to help out his other failing businesses...but he wouldn't do that, right?

AJ said...

I hope the Pirates do a vuvuzela giveaway.

Why shouldn't the fans have a chance to blow as hard as the team does?

okel dokel said...

Damnit, the Piotr Czech era is over, again!

Adam said...

I don't think Kravitz could be more wrong about Pitt.

Look, if the Big Ten gets Notre Dame, Pitt trails only Maryland on my wish list. There is still uncertainty as to whether Rutgers/Syracuse could deliver NYC cable providers. If Notre Dame is in, they'll deliver them better than both those schools combined, and because they trail Pitts programs academically and athletically, they should be in the back of the line.

The Nebraska add signaled that ratings are more important than new subscriptions in new states, which is very good news for Pitt IMO. Pitt still isn't the front runner, but it isn't dead in B10 expansion, not by a long shot.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but B10 expansion is based solely on money and TV markets right?

Pardon my French, but who the fuck lives in Nebraska?

PS. The ACC added Miami for solely athletic reasons. They already had the whole state of FL locked up with Florida State.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

To further illustrate my point:

Population of the Pittsburgh Metro Area: 2,462,571

Population of THE ENTIRE STATE OF NEBRASKA: 1,796,619

Was adding Nebraska done for the purpose of brining in more TV money?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

My point is, they're adding a very minimal amount of subscriptions because Nebraska's a pretty small state.

It makes no sense, considering all you hear is how they want to add giant markets like New York city to get more subscribers.

So they go in add a team in a podunk state that has less people than a corner of Pennsylvania.

It doesn't have much to do with Pitt, just how nonsensical it was considering their supposed motives.

Adam said...

The importance of new subscriptions has been overstated. The Nebraska add proves that. If the Big Ten can land ND, I think Pitt has a good shot, because ND will deliver the east coast markets better than either Rutgers or Syracuse, perhaps even Maryland. If that's the case, Pitt is the better athletic and academic option.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Louis. My comment was directed at Adam's last paragraph. Sorry for the confusion.

Dallas Mike said...


You have to look outside of straight population and consider other factors. Nebraska brings eyeballs to TV sets on a national scale. The ratings never lie and Nebraska games still get numbers. Pitt games, on the other hand, do not draw a national audience. With Nebraska, you deliver audiences in Kansas City, St. Louis, and believe it or not, some of Dallas, TX. Tons of Cornhusker alums here in Texas. Besides television numbers, you also have to consider Nebraska an attractive bowl draw because they will bring 30K+ fans solid. Adding Nebraska solidifies bowl tie-ins for the conference which leads to more money for the conference. I have been to Pitt bowl games, and it is safe to say, the Panther fans don't travel well. The Big 10 gains no additional markets with the addition of Pitt and the Panthers are certainly not attractive from the perspective of a bowl committee because it means unsold tickets and hotel rooms.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

The Backyard Brawl was the most watched game on ESPN last college football season.

Pitt vs. Cincy did giant numbers as well.

I'm not saying that Pitt's as high profile as Nebraska, but they can draw TV numbers.

As for tickets sold to bowl games, Miami can't draw crap no matter how good they are, but they still got invited in the ACC cash grab.

From what I've read, it's about eyes on the Big 10 network. A state with a million and a half people total is not a lot of eyes on the Big 10 network.