The phrase, "They don't make them like that anymore," fits Vinny Paz perhaps better than any fighter or athlete out there. Vinny Paz (formerly Pazienza) is a five-time world boxing champion, having battled a who's who of champions during his career.
Paz was one of the few boxers who could main event and pack the house with out having a belt.
As I was writing this month's article, the Pirates lost their fourth game in row, 8-3 to Baltimore. A friend of mine called and asked in a very frustrated tone, "Why can't they get over the hump and stay there?" Just a few days ago the Pirates were 35-33. After this loss they dropped to 35-37. So what is it that keeps them from getting over the hump?
This year, it's simple. The hitting, or lack thereof.
Its not a quarterback controversy, nor is it a "Who is better" debate. Yet some fans and media want to know who should be the Pirates starting catcher, Ryan Doumit or Chris Snyder, once Doumit returns this month from a stint on the disabled list?
Every manager or coach gives all he can to his team. John Russell—I can promise—gave his all to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, as I am sure Joe Kerrigan did. But some people/coaches are not meant for certain teams at certain times.
The 2011 Pirates entered May 13-15 and three games out of first place.
Now that the Pirates have three weeks under their new coaching staff, how are they adjusting? Is it be confusing for the players as they adapt to another new system and staff? Will they have to learn to hit a certain way? Pitch a certain way?
Baseball, at least if its coached properly is different than a sport like football. Take a quarterback, for example.
The first thing I thought when I first saw Andrew McCutchen play was, "This guy has superstar written all over him." Usually it's not hard to find something players need to do to improve their game. With McCutchen, though, you really have to nit-pick.
He hits for average... but he can hit higher.
He's got some power... but he can hit more homeruns.
He can flat-out fly—and he hustles—but he can be a better base stealer.
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Paul Chryst sat at a table in Greensboro, North Carolina, answering questions from the media. The third-year Pitt head coach was certainly anxious to wrap up the interview session and catch his plane back to Pittsburgh, but he was also at ease.
When Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis June 10, he made an immediate impact, going on a 14-game hitting streak and adding a consistent bat at the top of the lineup.
With a brand new playoff system in place this season, it doesn't matter who finishes No. 1 at the end of the regular season -- the top four teams will meet in a two-round tournament to decide the national champion.