NEW CASTLE —
•I had the unfortunate experience of having to watch the Penguins play the Blue Jackets on Saturday night, a game the Pens won 3-1, breaking a streak of four straight games with 4-3 final scores. The main reason I watched the game was that I had earlier in the evening backed into my friend’s car in my driveway, cracking his license plate, so I felt that I owed him to watch what he wanted to watch. It’s not that I have something against the Penguins, it’s just that hockey is incredibly boring, even “Playoff Hockey,” which is something I hear way too much about. Anyway, I don’t know much about hockey, but I’ve watched enough over the years to know when a team is playing well and when a team is struggling. The Penguins are in the latter category, as evidenced by their play against the Blue Jackets, who lack any semblance of true talent. The Pens will probably win this first series, but will be lucky to make it past the next round, and even if they get it together and somehow make the Conference Finals, Fluery’s mindset is too questionable and stars Malkin and Crosby are too inconsistent. A new coach probably would have made a difference this year and will certainly be installed by next season.
•Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, has come under fire for racist comments he purportedly made to his girlfriend, which were captured on tape and leaked to the media. Firstly, for anyone who follows the NBA closely, these revelations are less than surprising coming from Sterling, who has long been known as one of the worst people in the world for the ways he has made his fortune and for his general treatment of his fellow man. Secondly, there is no good solution for the NBA in dealing with Sterling because they can’t fire him. If anyone else in the world made these comments, they would be immediately dismissed from their job. But because Sterling is the owner of the team, no one can fire him. Hopefully, the NBA is able to push him out by forcing him to sell the team, but all that does is give the guy about a billion dollars in his pocket. No matter what happens, Sterling will only suffer in the court of public opinion, which is something I don’t think he ever much cared about anyway.
•Mike Adams, the Steelers’ big, but often disappointing offensive lineman, testified in court last week in the trial of the men who stabbed him several times in an attempted carjacking in the early morning hours on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Adams, who had been out drinking the night of the attack, did make a full recovery and played all of last year for the Steelers, which is good for him. However, there’s an adage that nothing good happens when you’re out drinking all night, and you would have thought that members of the Steelers would have learned their lesson after number 7’s problems in Georgia a few years back. Most people in this area, especially those in their 20s, have been out drinking all night before, but the majority of them do not have a million dollar contract or are driving a Cadillac Escalade. That’s another way of saying that they don’t have a big target on their back.
•Let’s keep this very simple — right now, the Pirates stink. When they pitch well, they don’t hit. When they hit, they don’t pitch, and on and on it goes. As I said last week, the only consistent thing about this team is its inconsistency.
(Questions, comments, ideas? Email Greg at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)