Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> Much of the reaction yesterday to Todd Graham’s very public, very firm mea culpa centered on whether or not he was sincere.
I don’t see why that matters much in this case. The end result is the same.
Look at it this way: Graham is in his first season as Pitt’s football coach, and he learned within a month that this city doesn’t tolerate those who fail to own up. It’s been glaringly obvious to more than a few that Graham’s work in these first four games was not without its flaws. It was just as obvious that he was laying 100 percent of that on the student-athletes.
By standing up yesterday, whether it came from the heart or not, he still bit the bullet. He still took responsibility just by saying so.
That’s already far more than “Not My Fault” Walt Harris did at Pitt and, to re-cite my comparison from earlier in the week, than Jim Tracy did while with the Pirates.
>> My Wednesday column underscores the small results the Steelers have seen so far from big-money linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, including stuff from my talks with both Sunday night in Indianapolis.
They’ll come around. I don’t doubt that for a moment.
But the main reason I focus on this now is to further defuse this narrative that the Steelers’ old guys are their problem on defense. They’ve been the problem on the line so far, but not at linebacker and the secondary.
>> The Pittsburgh Baseball Club’s 125th season ends tonight. Call me a sap — or worse — but I really hate the last day of baseball season.
And yeah, for me, it’s always been exactly that. I don’t often find myself too interested in all the Yankees/Red Sox affairs that take place afterward.
>> I asked Alex Presley over the weekend if he was preparing to come to next spring training as an everyday player, and he gave exactly the right answer: “That’s not going to be my mindset at all. I’m going to have to come in here and earn everything I get.”
Best thing about Presley is that he goes 2 for 4 with a double, walk, RBI and steal, as he did last night, and it doesn’t seem at all out of the norm.
>> Admit it: While watching Prince Fielder slug those three home runs last night in Milwaukee, you wondered what those people will be like when he abandons them for $220 million after the Brewers offer him $200 million.
Take that one to the bank.