Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> Amid the breathless hyperbole late last night that Major League Baseball had “its greatest night ever,” as the national types fairly shouted, let me throw out that these are a lot of the same “purists” who deride the wild card. They also deride Bud Selig’s stated goal of adding another wild card to each league.
It’s the wild card that created last night. In theory, it would cause fans in two more cities had a chance to become fully, emotionally invested in their teams, though neither really applies here. St. Louis already is as invested as you get, and the Tampa Bay area never will care about baseball. But the practice of adding hope, of adding relevance to games … who can be against that?
If you are against that, then don’t pretend you enjoyed what you saw last night.
>> I have a feeling Kirk Gibson is going to win National League manager of the year, if only because of the peculiarly accepted notion that the greatest turnaround should get the award.
The manager of the year is Tony La Russa.
The Cardinals had every reason to fold, from all kinds of injuries to an 8 1/2-game deficit with a month to go. They had that ultra-painful loss right here in Pittsburgh, too, on Sept. 12, when the Pirates scored three times in the ninth capped by Pedro Ciriaco’s two-run walkoff double.
>> Not expecting to hear anyone say today that the Central Division stinks.
>> The 125th season of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club, which moved many people to reflect with some outstanding memories on my Twitter account last night, ended with Pedro Alvarez looking at strike three in Milwaukee. If you can think of a more fitting ending, I’m all ears.
>> I spent the morning over at the Steelers’ place, and I heard almost nothing to indicate they’re planning to do anything more on offense than throw downfield. I’ll say it again: There just has to be more to it.
Fellow columnist Joe Starkey opines on the offense this morning.
>> An absolute must-read about Sidney Crosby’s recovery, by Sports Illustrated’s David Epstein and Mike Farber.
>> I’ll be over at Heinz Field tonight for Pitt’s Big East opener with South Florida. The Bulls entered the year with the most respected defense in the conference, and they come into this one having the No. 1 offense at 523 yards per game.
No, I haven’t written the column already.
>> Our weekly chat is today at noon.