Encouraging to see Gregory Polanco win ROY and MVP honors in winter ball. As much as fans want to see him in Pittsburgh, the worst thing that could happen to him is to light up spring training, force his way onto the 25-man roster heading north and then platoon and eventually get sent back to the minors. That happened last year to Boston outfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox outfielder made the team but went 3-for-31 in April and was sent back to Triple-A. Odds are Polanco begins 2014 with Triple-A Indianapolis and is recalled after the Super 2 Arbitration date passes. But a lot can happen between now and then. It’s always possible another player steps up in right field. At the very least, that would be a scenario in which leaving Polanco grow his game in the minors works out for all parties.
December 23rd, 1972 is a date kept close to the hearts of long-time Pittsburgh sports fans. Forty-one years ago today Franco Harris caught the Immaculate Reception at Three Rivers Stadium. Earlier today, while I was out eating lunch with my father, the hostess recounted how she watched the game on television as a young girl with her father. I didn’t have the heart to tell her, but the game wasn’t televised in Pittsburgh. Perhaps she didn’t live in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Whatever, I didn’t want to ruin Cindi’s holiday cheer. The game was only on the radio. I listened to it at my Aunt Helen’s house on the North Side, only a mile away from Three Rivers. It was the first game I can remember listening to. The phrase “It’s caught of out the air” always gives me goosebumps no matter how many times I hear it. The play changed the course of Pittsburgh sports history.
The Penguins hold a 27-10-1 record after 38 games. Last season, the team went 28-10 in its first 38. What’s remarkable is that last season included a 15-game winning streak. The Pens are nearly on an identical pace despite injuries to nearly everyone not named Sidney Crosby or Marc-Andre Fleury.
There’s a reason the Russell 2000 Small Cap stock index has been so successful. The Texas Rangers paying Shin-Soo Choo $130 million for seven years just doesn’t seem like a smart investment. Just a couple years ago, he struggled in Cleveland before rebuilding his value. He’ll be 32 in July and has a portly build that doesn’t figure to hold up well as he ages.