Saturday, August 9, 2014

Catching Up.....

After a week's vacation in the Outer Banks, followed by a week at home catching up with daily life, it's time to clean out the Mental In-Box....

  • The Pirates continue to hold their own (nine games over .500, 1.5 games out of first in the NL Central, and in the first wild card spot as of this morning) despite injuries that are depriving them of Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, the head-scratching performance of Pedro Alvarez, and playing guys like Jayson Nix, Michael Martinez, Brent Morel, and whoever they use at first base on any given day.
  • SABRmetric devotees who place great store in WAR, say that an extended loss of McCutchen won't mean all that much in the grand scheme of things.  sorry, but I'm not buying into that one.
  • Among the interesting items that you will be able to put in my obituary, add the following:  I was at PNC Park the night Ernesto Frieri recorded his only win as a Pirate.
  • As I type this, it is 10:45 AM and prior to the start if the third round of the PGA Championship.  I am calling that Ricky Fowler will be the winner when the final putt drops and all scorecards are signed tomorrow evening.
  • While we were in the Outer Banks, the Steelers announced that they were retiring Joe Greene's number 75.  The Steelers have retired only one number in their history (Ernie Stautner's number 70, and that was way back in the early 1960's), and they then made a decision that it was not something that they would do because, As Dan Rooney said, "where would you stop?"  However, I am glad that they decided to make an exception in the case of Joe Greene.  He is THE greatest Steeler of them all, truly the cornerstone and the symbol of the great Steelers teams of the 1970's.
  • In point of fact, no Steeler has worn the numbers 12, 32, 58, 59, and 75 since those players have retired (and I don't really have to tell you who those guys are, do I?), but the symbolism in making Greene's number "officially" retired is perfect.
  • Speaking of the Steelers, the play their first exhibition game tonight, and I am actually looking forward to watching it, at least for the first half, anyway.  
  • The current issue of Sports Illustrated commemorates the magazines 60th Anniversary.  I cannot recommend to you highly enough an article in that issue called "There and Back" by Steve Rushin which discusses how both the sports and the societal landscape has changed in the last sixty years.  Terrific, terrific article.
  • Also in that SI issue is an article called "Regrets..." in which the magazine takes a good natured poke  at itself over some things that they have written about over the last sixty years.  Among them is an apology to "Womankind" for such things as gratuitous photos in 1955 of upward-blowing tennis skirts, a buttocks focused story from 1958 called "Miss Cheesecake Joins the Dodgers", a 1975 headline "There is Nothing Like a Dame", and a 1964 story on a women's track team which put way too much focus on what a good looking bunch of "gals" these were.  
  • It certainly is a good thing that Sports Illustrated no longer depicts and focuses on women as sex objects anymore, isn't it?
  • Let me close with this....

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