Thursday Reads

Its Thursday, you’ve voted for PSaMP countless times (probably not, but its good to dream) in the Hot Blogger Bracket, and now you want to know what’s going on, sports-wise, in the ‘Burgh. PSaMP, as always, is here to deliver.

- Keep voting for PSaMP! What, this shouldn’t be first? PSaMP can’t get its message to a wider audience if you don’t vote. Plus, my 65%/35% advantage has slipped to 58%/42%. I’m holding down 500 votes right now, so PSaMP has gotten a lot more support than I ever could have dreamed. Thanks for every vote! I’ll try to make you all proud!

- Lawrence Timmons and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus (great…), have not opened contract negotiations with the Stillers yet. I’m going to throw out a few numbers, and you guess what they signify:

9
13

Sacks? Forced fumbles? Passes defended? What do 9 and 13 mean?

Ok, I’ll tell you. Timmons has missed 9 consecutive voluntary organized team activity sessions and 13 consecutive team practices since he hurt his groin on May 11th. Timmons has been facing some major questions/criticisms since Pittsburgh selected him earlier than most teams had him on their draft boards. If he wants to quiet the naysayers, Timmons better find a way to get on the field and get signed. PSaMP is already a huge fan of 2nd rounder LaMarr Woodley, so Timmons is playing catch-up from the get-go.

- Not Pittsburgh-related, but PSaMP wants to send a congratulations to Trevor Hoffman, who recorded his 500th save last night! That is a ridiculous feat. He doesn’t have a Mariano Rivera-cutter. He doesn’t have a (2004 or 2005) Eric Gagne fastball. He does it with a changeup. That is something that young pitchers need to emulate.

With the steroids era, the Hall of Fame Number of 500 usually meant home runs. With the steroids cloud, the 500 homer club became awfully diluted, and now Gary Sheffield and Jim Thome (both PSaMP favorites) are knocking on that proverbial door. Trevor Hoffman is now the first and only member of the 500 save club. And he saved Greg Maddux’s 338th win. Both of those numbers are incredible! Trevor Hoffman, you have the full support of PSaMP, and I hope you are a first-ballot HOFer.

- Salomon Torres did it again. The Buccos lost 6-5, after ADD Laroche hit a game-tying 3-run shot. The Buccos were down 5-1, and even lost Xavier Nady to a minor hammy injury. Torres loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th, with 2 outs, and gave up the winning run on a wild pitch. Torres was even shown giving Ronny Paulino the pitch signal he wanted while the batter looked in his own dugout. So not only did he throw the wild pitch, but he called for it as well.

Torres is past his prime. Unlike the Stillers, who get rid of players too early rather than too late, the Pirates stick with bad players for God-knows-what-reason. My sister had this card of Salomon.

That was Topps ’94. This is 2007. 13 years is a long time to be in the majors, and players rarely peak this late in their careers (unless your name starts with Barry B and ends in -onds). PSaMP has been a fan of Torres throughout his career in Black and Gold, but he needs to be demoted, traded, or something. PSaMP called for Tony Armas’ head, and it worked. Now, PSaMP is doing the same for Torres.

- The Pirates are thinking about spending some of the 2008 preseason in China. That’s the only place people will watch them.

- Stillers WR Nate Washington is trying to minimize dropped passes. Washington provided some timely catches during the Super Bowl run through the playoffs, and has the ability to be a big-time performer. All this after being undrafted out of D-II Tiffin.

PSaMP likes WR Walter Young, who can’t seem to ever make it out of the preseason. Washington is also a fave, so minimizing “mishaps,” as Washington calls dropped passes, would be a huge boost to his career. Young would need an enormous preseason to make the roster, especially after the team drafted Dallas Baker in the final round. No matter who is on the team, dropped passes need to be eliminated.

- Joe Starkey of the Trib wants the Buccos to take Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters with the #4 pick in todays draft. Wieters is viewed as the best player available in the draft, but the Buccos have Ronny Paulino. Wieters is a franchise catcher, who could be in the majors in a very short amount of time.

The Post-Gazette thinks the Buccos have limited options. I agree with the PG. Take 3rd baseman Josh Vitters. I know that Jose Bautista is young as well, but Vitters would spend more time in the minors than Wieters. Yeah, our farm-team catcher situation is less than desirable, but drafting Wieters doesn’t help that if he’s going to be in the bigs within a year or so.

Despite my mumblings, the decision is not in PSaMP’s hands. Us fans will have to live with whoever the Bucs choose. I just hope its not another pitcher.

That’s enough for now. I feel like Bill Simmons or something, what with the 3,000-word essay and all. I apologize for the longass post, but it’ll keep you occupied until I find a cool miniature horse. Or until something else substantial happens to our sports community.

nicholas

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