Nobody asked me, but . . .
* Now that Ben Roethlisberger is practicing on a limited basis his availability for the game Sunday at Baltimore will be a much-discussed subject this week. Really, though, it’s simple: If the doctors say he can play, he should play.
* It’s probably not going to happen, but if the Pirates sign free-agent catcher Russell Martin, it would be an upgrade at a position of much need. How can anyone complain about that? It is absolutely priceless that people complain when the Pirates don’t spend and they complain when they do spend.
* Based on the surprising performance of the Indianapolis Colts, 7-4 after being 2-14 last year, Bruce Arians should be a legitimate candidate for NFL coach of the year.
* In terms of football and basketball -- if not number of TV sets -- Louisville brings more to the ACC than did Maryland, the team it will replace. With the $50 million exit fee apparently no deterrent to Maryland, will the ACC make the fee even higher?
* Judging from sales, it looks like ticket buyers remember the Pirates June-July run more than their August-September collapse. Concerning season-ticket sales, team president Frank Coonelly told the Tribune Review: ``We are pacing significantly ahead of last year’s pace, which was significantly above the previous year’s pace.’’
* Lots of criticism of Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri for his lack of fourth-quarter heroics. Isn’t Ray Graham the team’s best offensive player? Why isn’t he getting some of the same criticism?
* How’s this for an ugly omen. Since 1999, when the Cleveland NFL franchise was renewed, the Steelers have never made the playoffs in a year they lost to the Browns. That would be 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2009.
* Atlanta signed free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75 million contract yesterday. His OPS each of the past four seasons beginning in 2009: .686, .747, .760, .752. Garrett Jones’ OPS over the same years: .939, .720, .754 .833.
* The Pitt football team scored 17 points in September against Youngstown State, a team that during a four-week, mid-season span gave up 48 points to North Dakota State, 35 to Illinois State, 38 to Southern Illinois and 41 to South Dakota State.
* The NFL cities with the best television rating average in 2012: New Orleans 47.4; Green Bay 46.4; Pittsburgh 44.8; Denver 37.3; Boston 36.0; Baltimore 35.0.
* The deadline for offering contracts to arbitration-eligible players is tomorrow. Among the Pirates eligible, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton are the two with the greatest chance of being non-tendered. Others have mentioned Gaby Sanchez, but the Pirates gave up too much to get him to cast him aside.
* Pitt center Steven Adams is yet another highly touted freshman who has been disappointing thus far. Coach Jamie Dixon should continue to play Adams with the good chance that he’ll gain some confidence in the upcoming juggernaut of a schedule facing the Panthers -- Detroit, Duquesne, North Florida, Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State and Kennesaw State.
* The Pirates yesterday traded for three players almost no one had heard of -- pitchers Zach Stewart and Vin Mazzaro and first baseman Clint Robinson -- and immediately there was the expected bellowing about ‘dumpster diving.’ For starters, such a means of player procurement is perfectly acceptable, with Garrett Jones being the prime example. Additionally, as this story relates, the players have varying degrees of upside and the Pirates gave up next to nothing to obtain them.
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