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Today's Headlines


Today's headlines feature an update on the pierogi story that won't die, a Pirate controversy, props for Sid, dislike for Ben, Huntington on the record, Madden on Roethlisberger, and much, much more after the jump

The Washington Wild Things, seizing a PR opportunity there for the taking, offered a job as a racing hot dog to the fired Pirate pierogi racer, Andrew Kurtz of New Brighton.  Hey, whatever keeps this in the news, right? [WPXI]

Bob Smizik dug up this exchange from an online chat on April 7 between a Pirate fan and Frank Coonelly and wonders where the Pirate apology is for what Smizik calls "a bold-face lie to a fan":
``piratefan62: Any talk of contract extension for Neal Huntington and John Russell?''

``Coonelly: No, there has not been any talk of contract extensions, because we have a policy of not discussing such matters publicly. Both Neal and J.R. are keenly focused on turning around the Pittsburgh Pirates and not concerned with their contract status.''

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes talk about their infamous experience as the booed PNC Park Skyblast band in a recent interview.

If you've forgotten about that fateful night, here's a refresher. It was easily one of the worst promotions in Pittsburgh sports history. [YouTube, MH]

Neal Huntington was on The Fan Morning Show [audio] on Monday to discuss the Pirates' 12 game losing streak, the recent call-ups of Brad Lincoln and Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Doumit’s experiment at 1B, and the status of the Pirates' draft picks. [93.7 The Fan]

Sidney Crosby topped The Sporting News' list of the top 25 athletes under the age of 25. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger recently placed third on a list of the nation's 10 most disliked people in sports. That sort of sums up everything you need to know about those two these days. [The Sporting News, WPXI]

Jason Pinkston and Greg Romeus of the Pitt Panthers continued to earn preseason honors, as Pinkston was one of 63 players named as a candidate for the Outland Trophy (presented to the country's top interior lineman) and Romeus was one of 74 players named to the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy (presented to the nation's best defensive player).

These preseason pats on the back are certainly nice, but all they're doing at this point is building expectations to extremely high levels for the 2010 Panthers. Depending on their individual mindsets, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. []

Ian Snell was profiled in last week's SI on a lengthy piece about depression in sports, specifically in baseball, which is finally taking a proactive approach to this aspect of the game that I feel is greatly ignored. The article also features some interesting comments from former Bucco star Steve Blass. []

Mark Madden wonders if Ben Roethlisberger can do what Kobe Bryant did, namely winning championships and winning back fans after a sexual assault accusation.  [WXDX/Mark Madden]

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Unknown said...

i clicked through the top 10 disliked athletes link - no mention of ben anywhere...

Wintermute said...

What's amazing is that Coonelly could choose to defend his statement as factually true. His qualifier that they don't discuss matters publicly could mean the "no talk" statement only applied to public talk. And of course, they were "not concerned with their contrac statusy" because they'd already been extended!

Really a stunning display of double-speak.

Nate said...

How is it a lie in any way? A fan asked a question, he was told the team doesn't discuss the matter he asked about publicly. It's not a lie, it's just not the answer he wanted.

BURGH08 said...

Nate, Nate, Nate. So naive.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

It can't be forgotten that Pitt's QB is a short, 1st year starter in Tino Sunseri.

Hey, if the guy's got the goods, that may not matter, but it's still cause for us to slow down here.

Nate said...

No, seriously, tell me how this is a lie:

"Hey, have you signed these guys to a contract extension?"

"We don't talk about that publicly."

If I'm naive, explain it to me like I'm a seven year old.

JW said...

He didn't really say that though, Nate. When asked if they had discussed extensions, he said "No" before also adding a comment about how it is not something to be discussed.

At the very least, it was a poor choice of wording, whether it was because he was on the spot or was intentionally trying to deceive.

BURGH08 said...

Actually a seven year old would probably use quotation marks about words that were not used specifically in the conversation.

If you want to parse his words, they are at best Clintonian.

Personally I don't see the big deal. Coonelly hasn't really given the fan base a reason to think he is credible, so it's not like he lost it with this comment, or the 'dynasty' talk, etc.

Wintermute said...

Thanks for proving my point, Nate. Your interpretation is certainly valid, but the fact there are multiple interpretations shows what a shady answer it was.

I tend to think Coonelly worded that very carefully. Someone reading quickly would see the "No" and take it to mean that there had not been any talks about contract extensions. All of the obfuscating after that helps cover his ass once it comes out that there had been, not just talks, but actual extensions.

Clear answers would have been "Yes", "No", or "We don't discuss that publicy". What he gave was not a clear answer.

Anonymous said...

It was also 2 months ago, 1 game into the season. They probably hadn't talked extension yet since they were busy getting ready for the season and now that we're 2 months in, they started talking extension. Extending managers and GMs can't be too hard, not nearly as many variables as players. Not like they had to start negoitiating in January.

Anonymous said...

Um, Clint, the extensions were given in OCTOBER, so that was 6 months BEFORE Coonelly's chat on

Anonymous said...

Nevermind then.

Then I've got to side with the anti-Pirate people.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Nate, Coonelly lied.
Prior to saying he wouldn't discuss it, he said NO THERE HASN'T BEEN ANY TALK OF CONTRACT EXTENSIONS.

I know you worship the ground Coonuttington walk on, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to be a little more Socratic every now and then.