- I think this weekend lends a lot of creedence to the theory that in the EPL, no matter how ambitious a club is, there are still basically two teams that can and should expect to win every time they take the pitch. Everyone else is capable of beating everyone else.
Still, what a fucking let down. Win and you're within spitting distance of qualifying for Europe via the league, which would have been pretty remarkable given the atrocious start.
- Pitt has so clearly mailed it in, and to be honest, I'm really not all that upset about it. As long as the Big East is gifted with a BCS berth, Pitt as a football program has reached the stage where anything less should not be considered a success. Losing to Rutgers, for all intents and purposes ended Pitt's chances of playing in the Orange Bowl, so there really isn't any reason to keep trying.
All I care about is one thing: a good showing in the Backyard Brawl. That's our bowl game right there, and given that the game is at Heinz Field, at the very least don't embarrass yourselves. Give me a reason to run around campus shouting "GO HOME MOUNTAINEERS" afterwards.
- I still haven't really weighed in on Yuslan Herrera, mainly because I was going to wait until the signing became official. But then I realized that could take weeks and my opinion will more than likely not change until then, barring a revelation of some inordinate amount of money being paid.
On the surface, though, I really can't say I'm too particularly thrilled. One view is that, provided DL didn't grossly overpay for Herrera's services, this could be the kind of outside-the-box move that could pay dividends a year or two down the road. Yuslan probably won't be ready to pitch in the Major Leagues this season, but this could potentially be similar to Walt Jocketty signing Chris Carpenter to a multi-year deal a year before he was able to make a full comeback. If this gamble pays off, it also makes one of the other starters expendable in a trade (not that I trust DL to take advantage of that or anything).
Then there's the other side of the story, the side that's probably much closer to the truth. Every so often, everyone who writes about the Pirates not named Ed Eagle or Rob Rossi, from Dejan on down to the lowliest bloggers, goes on a crusade about some aspect of the Pirates that is severely lacking. This kind of stuff gets published in mainstream media, and after enough harping, the general ticket-buying public will pick up on it.
Recently, the vogue has been was criticizing the team for making no effort to be competitive (read: spend money) in foreign markets, namely Latin America. So what does DL do? He goes out and says HEY LOOK I FOUND THIS CUBAN GUY and thinks the general ticket-buying public will view that as a problem solved, although the people who brought this problem to light in the first place still won't be fooled.
The same thing happened last winter, when the issue was the complete lack of advance scouting employed by the Pirates. Coincidentally, Dave Littlefield hired an advance scout for the first time ever. Now, as then, Littlefield seems to be making a knee-jerk reaction to something that has been costing the team hit points in the realm of PR.
Bottom line, this may turn out to be a good baseball move, but it still doesn't show that DL has any sort of plan whatsoever. In fact, it tends to make me believe the exact opposite even more. Boy, being a Pirates fan sure is fun.
- The NFL, on the other hand, is a bucketload of fun these days. Days like yesterday are exactly why, as Marty Schottenheimer says, "the NFL is the most popular sport in the world."
Still not going to even think about the playoffs, still not going to even think about the playoffs, still not going to even think about the playoffs...but damn, if the Titans had found a way to pull that one out...Rob Bironas should have fallen over for no reason and taken a mulligan. It's worked for Titans kickers in the past.
It's going to be weird rooting for Michael Vick, Herm Edwards, and the Cleveland Browns at various points throughout the rest of the season. But that's the nature of the NFL, and that really is why the NFL is so great.
- I wonder if Jason Bay and Brian Ching are pals. I saw yesterday while flipping back and forth between the Willie Parker Show and the MLS Cup that Brian Ching is 28 years old, and went to Gonzaga. Jason Bay is 28 years old, and went to Gonzaga. Not that it means anything, and it certainly wouldn't be nearly as cool as Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson being youth league teammates, but it piqued my curiosity, anyway.
- Oh hey, it's college basketball season. It's great when ESPN makes time on SportsCenter to show highlights of your team in what's essentially a token game. Ah, the joys of supporting the fourth-ranked team in the nation. Comeuppance for the Pirates continuously getting shafted on Baseball Tonight, I say.