Brief and to the Point …
>> I’m off to Vegas today for the NHL Awards Show, which airs tomorrow night. So you’ll have to mind the store yourselves, which you do anyway, so never mind.
It’s not everyday a Pittsburgh athlete is MVP, so this could be — no, should be — a truly special occasion for Evgeni Malkin.
My question for you this morning: Who would be your choice for runner-up?
It doesn’t have to be Steven Stamkos or Henrik Lundqvist, the other finalists.
>> Please join me in welcoming Alan Robinson, one of Pittsburgh’s most respected sports reporters, to the Trib as our lead Steelers beat writer.
I could go on and on about all of Alan’s many accomplishments in 28 years with the Associated Press, the two AP writer of the year honors, all the Olympics and huge sporting events he’s covered. His resume is as impressive as that of anyone in our region in recent years. He’s done it all, and he’s done it all well.
But I’ll bypass all that and boil it down to this: Alan is pure Pittsburgh.
His whole life has been dedicated to covering sports in this city. That’s not everything, but it still matters. As the old play used to go, “Gotta know the territory.” He’ll share a lot more in the days to come, but his experience is rivaled only by his energy.
Alan will get started July 2, in plenty of time for Latrobe.
>> The Central Division is seen as weak, kind of like it was last year when it produced both of the National League finalists and the eventual World Series champ. But even if that assessment holds up this time, it still isn’t the be-all and end-all to win the division to make the playoffs.
Remember, it’s not just one wild card this year. It’s two.
As we awake this morning, the Pirates are four games behind the Reds for first in the Central. But in something I never hear anyone discussing, they’re only a half-game out of that second wild-card spot. The Pirates are 34-31, the Braves 35-31.
I’d venture to say that number is more significant, right?
>> Sports Illustrated’s recent feature on Andrew McCutchen, which I just read, says he could “become part of an exclusive club” of “active players who have helped the Pirates finish .500.” It adds that “there are no such players.”
This is, of course, FALSE. The Mets’ Miguel Batista, still pitching right in the shadow of SI’s New York offices, was a member of the Pirates’ 1992 team.
I make mistakes, too. You guys know that well because you point them out. (And I appreciate it because it’s usually in time to get them fixed!)
But mags, unlike newspapers, have full-time fact-checkers. How does this get missed?
>> It’s only one game in rookie ball, but good for Stetson Allie. This could be a nice story.