I know I've been making a ton of excuses about not posting as much as usual, but they are legitimate; I've been helping the Tall Guy rent a property and sell some of the vehicles in The Fleet (as the Tall Guy would say, "I got more cars, than Carter has pills.").
But for the most part, I'm done with all that, so I should be posting more often, at least until I leave the country in May (the future of GNJB is still a bit of a question mark). Anyway, there's been some good stuff that happened in the past few days.
The Pens lost a thriller to the Caps on Wednesday night; recap here, here, and here. As it is with most games a few days old, I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said; but why in the world is Billy G. on the shootout list? This is a guy who had to grow a mustache earlier in the season because he lost the team shootout competition. And also, why attempt a poke check on Alexander Semin? The guy has the quickest hands in the league, you are not gonna' be able to poke the puck off his stick. I trust the Flower in most of his decisions, but that one made no sense. By the way, Semin is still a giant turkey; I think I hate him more than AO, he's got zero class (example: his cross check to the back of Sid's head in the Olympics). And also, he's a huge pussy.
And just as everybody was morning the loss, the Pens went out and put a spanking on the Flyers in a dominating 4-1 win yesterday afternoon; recap here, here, and here. The Flyers just aren't the same team; they vanished after their second goal was (rightly) disallowed.
The Pens play Luca Caputi and the Leafs today at 5 (FSN). Let's see them keep up the good work. Also, if you didn't see Geno's speech at the Dapper Dan awards, it's a classic. No matter how frustrating Geno can appear on the ice, as a person, he is the T's.
I could go out and find some garbage about Ben, but I really am past the point of caring. Go over to Mondesi's House if you want to follow that story.
The Pirates have been really disappointing this Spring, but I don't really care. The games don't count until April 6th (I'll be going to the game, with a camera, so expect an action packed Opening Day post here at GNJB).
In the meantime, Charlie at Bucs Dugout has a good post on Daniel McCutchen and what to expect from him this season. I have to say that Jeff Supan would be a nice comparison, and I'd be happy if that's what he becomes. The only time I've seen McCutchen pitch this spring, his change up was really impressive, so hopefully that's something he can carry over to the regular season.
Pat at WHYGAVS has a nice look at what he believes will be the opening day roster, I don't have any issues with this group of guys, although Ronny Cedeno has been really unimpressive this Spring. I'm staying positive when it comes to Jeff Clement, just remember that he will improve with more reps (I think his approach and power will make his bat play at first base). I'm as clueless as anybody when it comes to the Raynor/Moss debate; I just have that feeling that the Pirates are going to lose Moss to someone (because he won't pass through waivers if we option him to AAA) and he'll break out eventually, but never become more than an average/fourth OF (1-2 WAR player), which is valuable but definitely replaceable (Pat has a good look at this question here).
Tim at BUCCO Fans has a good look at Pirate City and some of the lesser known minor leaguers. This is the place to go to follow the Pirate affiliates when the season starts, and Tim is already doing his due diligence when it comes to the draft.
The PG has a neat article on Delwyn Young, who is tearing the cover off the ball this Spring. As I said, Spring Training means nothing, but any positives we can take away are always nice. If Young can play a reasonable 2nd/3rd base, then he can become a valuable utility guy, but probably nothing more; but he seems to have a knack for pinch hitting (even if you don't think that's an actual skill). Either way, his presence on the roster will make those match ups against the Brewers all the more interesting.
One last baseball note; I love the Mauer signing by the Twins, but let us remember that if you leave a guy behind the plate long enough, it takes it's toll (Jason Kendall). Actually, Kendall compares well to Mauer through their age-26 seasons, although Kendall had a thumb injury at age 27 that sapped all of his power for the rest of his career. But aside from what the Twins should do with Mauer (more days off in the DH spot), the signing proves that if the Pirates can consistently compete in a good ball park despite their market size, they can make a move like this. I've said consistently that Andrew McCutchen could be that guy, but we still have a ways to go before that might be necessary.
Now I'm being recalled by the Tall Guy to first run to Costco, and then build a fire. I might have a few more links later, but more importantly, I'll have a post on my first KSWA event last night (with pictures); you're not gonna want to miss that one.
Everton were only able to get a 0-0 draw away at Wolves yesterday, even though they dominated the run of play. It's definitely a frustrating draw, but a point's a point; although the Toffees will look at this as losing two points more than gaining one. EFC need to start taking all three points from most matches if they want to make it to Europe.
The MLS kicked off their season earlier this week, but most teams played their first game this weekend. I'm not a die-hard when it comes to MLS, but if it's on TV, I'll watch it. It's better than people give it credit for, and if there's a young US player on the field (which there usually is), all the better. Pittsburgh will probably never get a team, but Columbus would be the closest team while Philadelphia got a team this year. Usually I would never be able to pull for a team from Philly, but I may have to make an exception when it comes to soccer. I really don't want to root for a team from Ohio, but I can stomach Columbus more than I can for Cincinnati or Cleveland. When I got into soccer a few years back, I followed FC Dallas because they had Kenny Cooper and a bunch of young US players, but now Cooper has moved on and those US guys haven't really panned out. Most likely I won't pick a team and will just follow along leisurely.