Gary Rotstein's The Morning File: Local sports woes spark a new flurry of query, contempt


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A lot has been going on in the Pittsburgh sports world, not any of it necessarily good. In fact, some of it has been awful beyond all reason.

It means The Morning File Mythological Mailbag could be filling up with all sorts of questions from the public (if we had a public) so let's go ahead and address them:

Q: The Penguins ended their season in tragic fashion yet again, with the players underachieving against the New York Rangers and coach Dan Bylsma doing nothing once more to pull them out of the tailspin. So who or whom (sorry, can never remember which it's supposed to be) should the Pens get rid of? Bylsma? Crosby? Fleury?

A: No, that would be general manager Ray Shero, who evidently must have been either stealing Mario Lemieux's parking space, taking home toilet paper from the office supply closet or caught watching cute cat videos on YouTube during work hours. Clearly, he was the one who had to go.

Q: I really thought the Pirates had turned things around after last season, but here they are near the bottom of the standings again, just like the Clinton and Bush administrations and Obama's first term. What's gone wrong?

A: You have no one to blame but yourself. If I set you up on 20 blind dates that all failed miserably and then you had one that went well, would you assume the next one is automatically going to be with George Clooney or Penelope Cruz? Life doesn't work like that. Learn to temper your expectations.

Q: The Steelers had numerous chances to take Michael Sam in the NFL draft and make him the first openly gay professional athlete in Pittsburgh, as opposed to all of the rumors that previously circulated about the manhood of certain Pittsburgh athletes or coaches once stupid fans turned on them. Why did the Steelers not pick Sam?

A: They must have been worried that Sam would not sign with them since Pennsylvania has yet to legalize same-sex marriages. There was also the issue that if Sam turned out to be a bust, his haters would have been forced to start much nastier unfounded rumors on topics other than his sexuality, and that would have been far worse for everyone.

Q: The winning woman in the Pittsburgh Marathon crossed the finish line a whole 16 minutes behind the man who placed first. Shouldn't that quiet all that talk in the country about women wanting equal pay? What was she doing for those 16 minutes -- polishing her nails?

A: Women are handicapped by lower testosterone levels, smaller hearts (literally) and having more body fat to carry. It also doesn't help when they constantly stop along the marathon route to coo over babies and dogs and ask for directions.

Q: When the losing hockey players line up to congratulate the winners after a seven-game series of brutalizing one another at every turn, what is someone like Sidney Crosby thinking as he shakes the hands of the players who were beating his head during the games instead of letting him be the greatest hockey player on the planet?

A: It can't be printed in a family newspaper, but rest assured that some kind of world record for profanity is involved.

Q: I keep hearing that the Pirates have a minor league outfielder, Gregory Polanco, who could immediately be one of their best players if they brought him up, but issues pertaining to service years with the team, arbitration eligibility and salary projections mean he'll be in Indianapolis for another month. Whatever happened to putting the best players on the field and letting them play?

A: Hey, these are the realities of 21st-century Major League Baseball, in which money talks and Travis Snider walks -- or at least he does on his better days, when not grounding out weakly to second base while keeping Polanco's spot in right field warm for safekeeping.

Q: Shouldn't the Steelers have drafted Johnny Manziel, the charismatic quarterback from Texas A&M also known as "Johnny Football," to at least stir up some buzz around the team and put more fans in the seats after two consecutive 8-8 years that have caused attendance to drop?

A: The team's brain trust determined that Manziel wasn't good enough at tackling opposing players, a team shortcoming that had the most to do with declining success and attendance. Give the Rooneys credit -- they know that the level of desire within Steelers Nation to see Manziel pummeled annually in a Cleveland Browns uniform should do plenty to generate more interest at Heinz Field.

Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255.


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