Super Bowl week is kicking off...as if we all weren’t sick enough of hearing about the Patriots and Tom Brady’s stupid ankle, now we’re going to get a whole week full of it crammed right down our throats.
I hope everyone enjoys Tom Brady is the greatest week. I’ve already had it with the Patriots talk… it didn’t help that the first thing I see when I woke up this morning was ugly ass Belichick on the Sunday conversation on Sports Center (I know I was shocked too the Patriots on Sports Center who wouldn’t thunk it?) with what looked to be some shit on his lip (HD TV the gift and the curse). The real media spectacle begins tomorrow as all the players and coaches from both teams are available for interviews during media day, until then I’ll be holding my breath.
Weekend in Sports
A weekend without football just feels wrong, what the hell else I am supposed to do while I’m drinking beer all day on Sunday? Sandcastle isn’t open yet so I’m pretty much stuck watching crappy programming on Comcast or playing COD all day on X-Box live.
There was some Pittsburgh sports action on Saturday night, but I had to work. So you’re going to have to rely on Snack for the recap of any NHL All Star game action or the Pitt game cuz I didn’t get to watch either.
One thing I did get to watch this weekend was a lot of the X Games (which sounds like a pretty good time). I got to check out most of the men’s snowboarding slopestyle and super pipe and it was definitely some entertaining stuff.
The highlight for me was watching the super pipe finals last night. The scene was amazing as the men’s snowboarders rode the pipe at night with thick snowdumping down from the sky. Shaun White stole the show with one of the smoothest runs I’ve ever witnessed. This kid is only 21 but he has the snowboard/skateboard game on lockdown.
I had a nice little conversation with reader Dave about our Buccos today, since there wasn’t a whole lot going on this weekend I decided to include it in my hangover.
It all started out with me sending this e-mail -
Diego: so if payroll isn't going to be the Pirates excuse this year, then what is?
Dave: Do you think any of the pitchers Littlefield drafted that aren't already with the team will step up this year?
Diego: They better hope so because with the lineup we have now we won't be scoring too many runs every game.
Dave: Did you read about Bay in the Post Gazette either yesterday or Saturday? It was an article about how he's been strengthening his legs and already getting into form? We're no all-star team, but with Sanchez, Nady, LaRoche, and Bay playing like they can. I still think the core is good. I would love to see a centerfielder actually claim the position, though my preference was for Duffy because of his lead-off capabilities. I'm growing fond of Nate McLouth. I don't need to tell you Paulino needs to shape up or ship off. If they can improve their pitching, I just think their offense isn't as bad as it played last year. Then again, I have this conversation every single freakin year right about this time where I gather up every single reason I can for optimism that they may actually hit the unfathomable mark of mediocrity called .500
Diego: Ha I know how many years can you have the same conversation about the same crappy team? No though I didn’t see that about Bay, I’ll check it out though, but I do agree that if those 4 guys can get off to a decent start then that would be a pretty solid core of a team. Who is the battle for center between? McLouth, Duffy, and Morgan? McLouth had a pretty good couple months to end the year hitting and stealing bases and Morgan made some acrobatic catches out there. I just checked the depthchart on the Pirate's site and they have Morgan at the top of the depth chart McLouth second, and Duffy last. I think bullpen is most important because for the most part starting pitching really wasn't too too bad last year. Plus we lost Torres and Chacon. As long as Duke comes back and doesn’t look horrible again the rotation isn't bad. I agree though we're always optomistic in January and Febuary. I won't officially be depressed until Pens season and March madness ends.
Dave: The new GM (still trying to learn all the new names) has made it clear that Duffy will start in AAA. So a battle between Morgan and McLouth will definitely take place. I saw a brief interview with Duke the other night, and he must have heard/read some stuff where some sports writers have questioned his ability, and he was pretty angry about it. He seemed quite confident in himself, and that would be huge. Gorzellanny seems to be pretty solid, along with Snell. Duke and Maholm seem to be the question marks. If only Maholm could 'turn the corner' and be more consistently good. What we need is some young stud starting pitcher, about 22 years old with a cannon for an arm. Just like the Twins' Francisco Liriano; a young Cy hopeful who has the potential for 300 K's. That would put fans in their seats. The bullpen does look scary, doesn't it ?? Scary for us, that is, not opposing batters.
Diego: It will be good to have either one of those guys coming off the bench anyways (Morgan of McClouth). As for Paulino, hopefully he looks more like the Paulino of 2006 instead of the one last year. If Duke gets his stuff together we'll be in good shape cuz Snell and Gorz are serious. I agree that we need a young guy who throws heat, but they've been looking to draft that ace pitcher for the last ten years and failed repeatedly, maybe the new GM will be different who knows? All his signing this year are has-been’s though. I think having a solid closer would be huge for us as a lot of the games we where in last year our bullpen blew for us, but I do like Grabow and Capps, but it’s not enough.
Dave: Do you like Capps , or should they try someone else ??
Diego: Capps is hit or miss but you have to start out with him especially since Torres is gone now.
Dave: Yeah, I think Capps will work out, but Torres ate up a ton of innings. Same goes with Chacon. Hey, you're a righty, aren't you?? Ha ha! The bullpen is gonna be frightening, and that Jared Wright will probably start out there if he makes the team.
This concludes my first Buccos discussion of the year. Lets remember that the Buc’s are 27th out of 30 teams in the league with a 51.4 million dollar payroll. To compare the Yankees payroll is 218 million (and they still can’t win it all).
Its hard to point a where the Bucs need the most help.. what do you think is it starting pitching? Relief? Hitting? Or are you just to the point where you don’t even care anymore?