Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Weekend in Sport (Western Pa.)

As FSN Pittsburgh has told us, there is some awesome high school football going on this weekend (brought to you by McDonald's). #1 Upper St. Clair will take on North Hills. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, maybe you should head out to Canonsburg where the largest collection of trophy wives will be sitting behind the USC bench.

The Pens try to shake off two straight overtime losses as they take on Ottawa. Evgeni Malkin looks to end his 3 game scoreless streak. While John LeClair looks to be able to skate from goal line to goal line in under 25 seconds.

Pitt coming off losses to Rutgers and the football powerhouse known as USF (which is actually located in central Florida) play the mighty UConn Huskies. A key to this game is keeping the middle finger down. Seeing that the game is in Connecticut, it'll be hard not to flip off a bunch of stuck-up New Englanders.

Penn State plays Temple. Penn State should beat Temple by 60, but if they can only put up 37 against I-AA Youngstown State, this game may cause suicide rates in Centre County to double. Then again, it is Temple. This game will be televised on the greatest sports network ever created, yes, FSN Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Danny and the 40 year-old virgin, Brent Stover will not be broadcasting the game.

What girl wouldn't want that

How the Pirates can piss off the Yankees and other big market MLB teams

The bidding for Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has ended. For those who are unaware of Matsuzaka, he is a 26-year old pitcher who won the MVP of the World Baseball Classic. Supposedly he can throw nine pitches (that includes different variations of sliders, etc.) Some say that the posting fee for Matsuzaka will reach an excess of $30 million- that's right, $30 million just for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka.

Here's where the Pirates should come in.

Look, I know that the Pirates would never sign a player with the price tag like Matsuzaka, but in last week's Sports Illustrated, I came across something interesting: the team who places the highest bid doesn't have to pay the bid until a contract is reached with Matsuzaka.
This is where the Pirates should have put in a $40-$50 million bid on Matsuzaka. Sure, it's completely unsportsmanlike, but the Pirates have been trampled on (much due to their own faults) so why doesn't the Buccos front office trample on the hopes of other major league teams.

If I were ever unfortunate enough to be Dave Littlefield, I'd post a $50 million bid to "negotiate" with Matsuzaka and once negotiations began with Matsuzaka, I'd offer Scott Boras, Matsuzaka's agent, a minor-league contract. Boras, of course wouldn't agree to that, and the Pirates would never pay the salary that Boras would demand, but if no contract is reached, no posting fee is paid. Yes, this idea is completely ridiculous and absurd, but maybe it'll change the playing field for international players.

The MLB system for acquiring foreign talent is the only system that rewards the high market teams. In the NBA and NHL most, if not all (the NBA can sign some foreign players) foreign players have to be drafted in order for a team to acquire their services. With international players comprising around 25 percent of the MLB, larger markets teams have a greater advantage in development because they are the teams that can usually pay the $2 million signing bonus to a 16-year old Dominican shortstop or the $100 million that it'll cost to sign Matsuzaka (that includes the posting fee).

If the Pirates or any small-market team was truly interesting in competitive balance, putting the highest bid for Matsuzaka would perhaps finally lead to an international draft.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day in the life of David Littlefield

4:30 AM- Wake up call from G. Ogden Nutting.
4:45 AM- Meets Mr. Nutting at the secret breakfast spot- supposedly a Shoney's in West Virginia.
5:00 AM- Mr. Nutting suggests some free agents that Littlefield should sign. List includes Russ Ortiz, Sammy Sosa, Rich Loiselle, Ray King, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Pee Wee Reese.
5:00:21 AM- Littlefield reminds Nutting that Pee Wee Reese has been dead since 1999.
5:00:26 AM- Nutting tells Littlefield "Fuck it, get him anyways."
5:10 AM- Nutting hands Littlefield a copy of one of the finer Nutting newspapers: The Wheeling News-Register.
5:15 AM- After taking five minutes to finish a 150 word brief, Littlefield tells Nutting his excitement that the Berkeley Springs Sheetz is now offering the Shbagel.
5:35 AM- Littlefield leaves Shoney's and heads to the Pirates offices.
6:50 AM- Passes Kevin McClatchy's office. Sees McClatchy and Neil Patrick Harris on top of McClatchy's desk. Littlefield keeps walking.
7:10 AM- Contacts the agent for Alfonso Soriano. Offers Soriano a 2 year $4.5 million dollar conttract.
7:11 AM- Soriano's agent tells Littlefield to fuck off.
7:15 AM- Heads over to Bossa Nova.
7:32 AM- Sees that Bossa Nova is closed. Littlefield is pissed and refuses to give Josias Manzanillo, now living in front of the Clemente Bridge, a quarter. Has time to ask Manzanillo if he's seen Brian Boehringer lately.
8:00 AM- Calls Rusty Kuntz just so he can say Rusty Kuntz.
8:05 AM- Drives Nate McLouth to Boyce Middle School.
8:45 AM- Calls Peter Gammons. Gammons tells him that Billy Beane is offering Marco Scutaro for Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez.
9:00 AM- Consults with Jim Tracy about aforementioned trade.
9:01 AM- Tracy punches Littlefield in the balls.
9:30 AM- Has intellectual conversation about Copenhagen smokeless tobacco with John Wehner.
2:45 PM- Comes back from 5 hour lunch break. Shoots some hot dogs with the Bucco Brigade.
3:00 PM- Sees Chris Stynes' agent left a voice mail.
3:02 PM- Calls Stynes' agent, offers a contract.
3:05 PM- Stynes' agent says that Stynes' deserves a 5 year contract. Littlefield says he'll talk about it with McClatchy.
3:15 PM- Goes to McClatchy's office. McClatchy's secretary says that Kevin went for a "walk" in Schenley Park.
3:30 PM- Discusses potential marketing slogans with Pirates marketing team. Says that "We Will" was an awesome campaign, wants to do it again.
4:00 PM- Signs Ricky Ledee to a 2 year 15 million dollar contract to play right field.
4:10 PM- Press Conference. Littlefield states that Ledee is "the left-handed power hitter that we have been looking for."
4:30 PM- On fire, Littlefield then calls Scott Boras about Chan Ho Park.
5:00 PM- Finalizes negotations with Boras- signs Park to a 6 year 60 million dollar contract.
5:15 PM- Tells Pirates PR guy Jim Tridinch to include the fact that Chan Ho provides the Pirates with a number one starter in the press release.
5:20 PM- Sick of working, he tells his secretary to remind him to call the agents for Barry Zito, Rick White and Adam Hyzdu.
6:00 PM- Listens to voice mail from McClatchy. McClatchy wants Littlefield to sign Mike Piazza and Billy Bean. Thinks it's a good idea.
2:30 AM- Answers a call from DUI Mackowiak. Mackowiak wonders if Littlefield can pick him up outside of Bossa Nova.

Welcome to The Wonderful Dan Potash Experience

Thanks for visiting TWDPE. This blog will cover Pittsburgh sports, mainly the ineptitude (I'm not sure if that's even a word) of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The name of course comes from the pompous ass who thinks he's clever while riding around LA with Colby Armstrong and Ryan Whitney or trying to bang Trenni.