EXTRA INNINGS: Right field is the least of the Pirates worries
As someone pointed out the general direction of right field to Gaby Sanchez Saturday night, maybe that’s when you got it.
Gregory Polanco is not passing through the players’ door to PNC Park one day sooner than the day he is no longer Super 2 eligible, a mathematical formula that determines the probable date a player first called up to the majors will not be eligible for arbitration after only two years, instead of the usual three.
EXTRA INNINGS: Olympics, outdoor games hurt NHL
THERE’S A REASON why professional hockey is again only the sixth most popular sport in this year’s survey of the annual Harris Poll that asks fans ages 18 and over about their favorite sport.
The NFL leads (35 percent), followed by major-league baseball (14), college football, (11) auto racing (7), and the NBA (6). Hockey comes in at five percent, just two percent ahead of college basketball.
Although hockey’s “playoffs” began last Wednesday, the playoffs are, in reality, the start of the “regular season,” which drags on for two intolerable months in which more than half of the teams participate.
THE CHECKERED FLAG: April should bring welcome return of local racing
MOTHER NATURE’S last stronghold on winter may slowly be releasing her grip as the calendar changes to April and racing begins to get under way throughout the region.
Locally, nothing has happened yet, but that may soon be changing. Mercer had to postpone their “Chiller Thriller” to this Saturday (April 5), weather permitting, featuring the NDRL Northeast Super Late Models, NDRL E-Mods, Crate Late Models, and Stock Cars. Mercer’s regular season opener featuring their weekly divisions of “410” Sprints, “358” Modifieds, “305” Sprints, Stock Cars, Mod Lites, and Mini Stocks has now been pushed back to April 12.
Mercer boys bow in Guerino finals
The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.
EXTRA INNINGS: Bonds ruined opening day for Pirates fans
As this column begins today its 47th year, longtime readers no doubt expected to find what they have found at the beginning of every baseball season — predictions for upcoming summer.
And as I sat down last week to start to put together some ideas for today’s entry, that is fully what I anticipated would fill this space.
Well, I’m as surprised as you are; 2014’s season prognostications must wait until next week.
I just can’t get past the fact that club president Frank Coonelly thought the celebration of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first winning season in 21 years should include Barry Bonds.
You gotta be kidding me!
THE CHECKERED FLAG: Weather slows start of local racing
WELL, MOTHER Nature sure doesn’t want to release her stronghold on winter. As I type this, snow showers are in the air on the first day of spring and both Mercer Raceway Park and Sharon Speedway have cancelled their practices scheduled for today. Wet conditions from the snowy, cold winter has left its mark in the Northeast.
With cold weather scheduled for much of next week, Sharon has postponed its open practice and 150-lap Enduro to Saturday, April 5 with a rain date of April 12. Practice will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. followed by the Enduro at 1:30. Sharon isn’t scheduled to get going with their regular racing card until April 19 featuring DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, RUSH Late Models, E-Mods, Stock Cars, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks.
EXTRA INNINGS: Ozzie is no wizard when it comes to calendarology
HALL OF FAME shortstop Ozzie Smith was without peer during his playing days. He even was known as the "Wizard of Oz."
Born Osborne Earl Smith, he often ran onto the field to start each game’s defensive inning with a flip as he approached his position.
After four years with the Padres, Smith was traded to St. Louis, where during his 15 seasons with the Cards, he also developed a strong bat. A 13-time Gold Glove winner, Ozzie owns major-league shortstop records for assists, double plays, and total chances. He collected 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases and played in 15 All-Star games.
Breese wins 2nd straight region crown
“One more step!”
Those were the words of Lakeview heavyweight Sam Breese after winning his second straight Northwest AA Regional Championship Saturday at Sharon High School.
Of course the step he referred to was the top of the medals stand at the PIAA State AA Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center.
Breese, who won the state 285 crown last season, is seeking to join an elite group of Pa. matmen to win more than one state crown.
Mercer girls bow in D-10 title tilt; SR ousted in consys
In 1986, the Mercer Lady M’s won the school’s first and only girls basketball District 10 title at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House, but in the same gym on Saturday in 2014, the squad in blue wasn’t so lucky.
Mercer led the Gen. McLane Lady Lancers 27-19 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lancers outscored the Lady M’s 19-4 in the final frame to win the Class AA title tilt 38-31.
EXTRA INNINGS: Teams like the Pirates need to invest for the future
Rounding the bases…
FIRST BASE: If you among the very elite at your job, and your company — rolling in money — asked you to take a 50 percent pay cut, then offered a 25 percent cut instead, would you be happy?
Or might you leave for a company that offered you a chance to make 275% more than your former company?
Be serious. Would you stay with your original company?
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