Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Friday column involves an oddity to describe an oddity: That’s me penning an email in Mario Lemieux’s name and addressed to Jaromir Jagr.
This whole situation has gotten a little weird, and increasingly harder to read. But, if you ask me, it still comes down to these two players.
>> The chief oddity here is Petr Svoboda, who somehow seems to think it’s OK to say something completely different to every media outlet he talks to. And the many of you who are following Jagr Watch closely will know what I mean. Every five minutes, it’s another Svoboda quote to another outlet that offers a completely different timeline or point of view.
Honestly, I wonder if the guy really has much at all to do with this. Seriously. I’ve seen situations like this before, and what often is learned after the fact is that the agent was trying to save face while the athlete was calling all the shots.
>> I don’t want to sound dour or negative. That’s just not me. But I’m sorry, I can’t watch a game like the Pirates’ 6-2 victory in Toronto and think to myself, yeah, this team is on the rise.
Yes, the pitching has been very good, again with Jeff Karstens last night. But Brandon Wood hitting a two-run bomb as DH, Matt Diaz with a couple hits as a zero-homer cleanup guy, all those goofy bounces … all this just feels way too fluky to me. Not sustainable.
>> Did I really hear and read correctly last night that people wanted Chris Resop to retaliate for Yunel Escobar’s swipe at Diaz’s ribs last night?
Are you kidding me?
It was the eighth inning, there was one out, and the Pirates were up, 6-2. That might seem like a decent time for a retaliatory plunk. But it’s not. Escobar is the leadoff batter in a lineup that hits all kinds of home runs, and this is a hitter’s park. If the Pirates put on Escobar — which Resop did anyway with a walk — the Blue Jays have their 2-3-4 coming up next, and the No. 3 in that equation is Jose Bautista.
No way I’m putting a guy aboard in that situation.
Besides, the way I saw it, Diaz got in two shots to Escobar’s one, if you count his raised cleat Wednesday night and another elevated leg Thursday.
>> Never mind that. The Pirates are two games over .500, finished interleague play with a winning record and, in maybe the coolest subnote, went 6-3 against the mighty AL East.
Who cares how they’re doing it, right?