Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> Well, that’s one way for the Pirates to bounce back from another Milwaukee massacre.
It was Gerrit Cole getting $8 million, Josh Bell getting $5 million and ninth-rounder Cam Holmes getting $1 million, and the last I heard at this way-late hour was that at all three represented Major League Baseball records for their respective rounds in terms of pure bonuses. It was 24 picks getting signed, including all of the top 10, and it came at that $17 million price tag that I also think is a record for any team’s draft.
The early Twitter reviews from the people who follow this stuff were nothing shy of raves, especially from the many who had the very strong sense — and correctly so — that Bell could not be swayed from his commitment to the University of Texas. Remember, Bell at one point sent a letter to MLB’s scouting bureau explicitly asking not to be drafted.
A cynic might say that was a Scott Boras bluff. Even there, though, you would have to give the Pirates credit for being the only team to call it.
Exceptional work by the front office and scouts.
>> Hey, Ryan Doumit went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, too.
>> It’s terrific that Sidney Crosby is still doing well enough to engage in full workouts, as the Penguins’ brass reiterated yesterday. It most definitely is not terrific that he’s not planning to be in Pittsburgh for direct supervision until just before camp.
More information is needed, but I don’t like hearing that part of it.
>> Oh, and for anyone outright vilifying Jerry Meals for making a poor spur-of-the-moment call, read to the end of this piece about the umpires’ plans for this morning.
>> I leave you with a glimpse of Bell hitting a ball off the Chicken Express sign deep, deep at the Rangers’ ballpark in Arlington, Texas, this past April …