Monday, August 4, 2008

10 Random Thoughts, Questions, and Observations While Wondering How Much Casey Hampton Really Weighs

1 My Pitt season tickets arrived yesterday and I immediately got very fired up for this upcoming year. The combination of last season's stars, Shady McCoy and Scott McKillop, the return of two injured players, Derek Kinder and Bill Stull, and several young players with upside like Elijah Fields, Dom DiCicco, Shane Murray, Dorin Dickerson, Greg Cross, and Jonathan Baldwin make this team a very promising threat to make a run at a good bowl game and potentially even a Big East title.

2 How about the job that J-Bay and X-Man have done for their new teams. It really is pretty cool to see these guys succeed, especially Bay, a good guy if there ever was one, and one who really wanted to stick it out here and turn this losing culture around. Here's hoping Jason enjoys a successful tenure in Boston and savors this chance at a playoff run.

3 If you consider yourself to be a big Pirates fan and you aren't reading Dejan Kovacevic's daily PBC Blog on the Post-gazette website you are really missing out. He has all the daily links you could want about our local baseball team, in-depth thoughts on the roster and transactions, and the ocassional Q&A session, as well as his weekly chat, which is a highlight for any real Pirates fan.

4 I say it's something of a blessing in disguise to see Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton on the sideline early in training camp. Polamalu's reckless style lends itself to injury, and if he misses a game or two in the pre-season to be ready at 100% for the Opener, I'm more then okay with that. Conditioning has never been a problem for him, and he isn't one of those types that needs to play himself into shape. As for Big Snack, he is in a similar situation, as he takes a regular beating and missing a game or two in the pre-season isn't the worst thing for him. Also, keeping him on the bike and treadmill may enable him to get into decent enough shape without taking that beating that he usually requires.

5 Along those same lines, though, it's very concerning that Chris Kemoeautu has not yet played. If he is to be their opening day starter at left guard, then he absolutely must get in there to gel with his other linemates, and the longer he misses, the more likely it is that Willie Colon or a surprise entrant could end up taking the guard spot instead.

6 Andy LaRoche, Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Bautista, and even Jim Negrych in AA. Those guys all play 3B on at least occasional level for the Pirates, and all are prospects with legit big-league futures. I just threw Negrych in there for good measure, as he likely will be a 2B, but he has been terrible there thus far with his glove, so we're still counting him at third. Something has got to give with this bunch, especially if LaRoche establishes himself at third base during the final two months of the season like many people think he might. It has long been considered that Alvarez may move to first or a corner outfield spot, and Joey Bats is viewed as a super utility man above anything else, but that still leaves Neil Walker's spot somewhat in flux. Walker is an excellent athlete, but has really struggled at AAA this year, and could need as much as another whole year of seasoning before he is ready for a shot in the bigs, so now would be an ideal time for him to attempt to play other positions.

I saw the Dark Knight for the third time last night, this time in IMAX, and it was SPECTACULAR. Seriously, if you haven't seen it, I don't know that we can be friends.

8 Sorry Aaron Rodgers, it looks you'll be taking a seat on the bench for another year. And now there is talk Favre may play TWO more years. If I was A-Rod (the Pack's nickname for Rodgers) I would be requesting a trade the heck out of town right now and telling anyone in Green Bay who will listen that hell will freeze over before I sign another deal with them and that they'd be better off dealing me now instead of losing me after '09 for nothing.

9 Friday Night will be one of those very exciting TV nights, and it works out wonderfully for me. Friday morning I am having my wisdom teeth taken out and will be laid up for most of the weekend. And of course, Friday night I get treated to the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games (Always a cool viewing experience with all of the pomp and circumstance) and the Steelers first exhibition game as well. Truly looking forward to that, except of course for the surgery thing.

10 Some Things To Look Forward To On This Site In The Coming Weeks:
-A Multi-Part NFL Preview
-An extensive Steelers Preview
-An extensive Pitt Preview
-A Multi-Part NCAA Preview
-Further Analysis on The Pirates and how they are building toward 2009.
-Random Coverage of The Olympics

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