The rise of the Pittsburgh Pirates has created problems for a lot of teams in the National League, but in writing yesterday’s feature on the Buccos here in TheSportsNotebook, I was thinking that perhaps the two biggest victims were San Francisco and Cincinnati.
I would have predicted both of these teams to make the playoffs (though admittedly starting to having second, third and fourth thoughts over Frisco’s pitching), but assuming the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t going anywhere, that means Pittsburgh is going to take a spot away from at least one of the Giants or Reds. Which makes the three-game series that starts tonight in Great American Ballpark all that much bigger. ESPN will be on hand for the San Francisco-Cincinnati series opener at 7 PM ET.
Other action in daily sports is oriented toward afternoon coverage. ESPN & ESPN2 will combine in Wimbledon, as the legendary tennis tournament enters its final week. And MLB Network has matinee baseball with the Tigers and Blue Jays at 1 PM ET. It’s an odd spot for a weekday afternoon game—it’s not a getaway spot off an extended weekend, as Detroit is coming from Tampa while Toronto flies in from Boston. But hey, as a baseball fan, I’ll take it.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the NFL Network’s focus tonight—specifically their last championship season in 2008. At 8 PM ET watch a replay of the Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl , the wild fourth quarter and Ben Roethlisberger’s last-gasp drive and touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. Then at 9:30 PM ET, there’s a half-hour look at Pittsburgh’s ’08 season in full.
It’s an interesting coincidence, because TheSportsNotebook plans to add a historical feature today built around the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers. That Super Bowl run was part of a very good year for Pennsylvania sports, with the Penguins making the Stanley Cup Final, and Penn State football going to the Rose Bowl.
Of course we can throw in the Phillies winning the World Series, but having lived in PA for nine years, I can attest that the Keystone State’s two major cities are worlds apart culturally and a solid six hours drive time. It’s unlikely someone was a fan of both the Steelers and Phillies, so that means our historical feature will tilt to the central-west parts of the fan base.
And for contemporary sports, MLB coverage will have a look at the AL Central, and at 3 PM ET I’ll be appearing on Prime Sports Network with Greg DePalma for our usual weekly look at the world of sports, with an emphasis on baseball.