1. The Pittsburgh Steelers 38-year old LB James Harrison met with NFL officials Thursday at the team’s sports complex regarding him possibly using performance-enhancing drugs. The meeting lasted for 40 minutes and then both sides went their way with no comments.
  2. I salute Harrison for complying to this process, because he truly has nothing to prove-especially when he was risking a possible suspension. He said he didn’t do it, so sitting down to talk with officials while defending his innocence. Good job James.
  3. The Steelers also made news a few days ago when they signed inside LB Vince Williams to a 3-year contract. In my opinion, Williams is the ‘quiet’ one in the Steelers defense as he’s split time with fellow LB’s Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons and has gotten the job done in his role. In 47 career regular-season games (13 starts), he has totaled 85 tackles, a half-sack and two fumble recoveries on defense. On special teams, Williams has totaled 26 tackles and one fumble recovery during that span.
  4. The Steelers also welcomed CB Keenan Lewis on Tuesday to try to help their thin secondary. Lewis was drafted by the team in 2009 and played with them until 2013 when he left them via Free Agency for the New Orleans Saints. Lewis was injured in 2015 and had hip surgery, leading to the Saints releasing him.
  5. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers didn’t like what they saw with Lewis’ hip, so it looks like he will not be signed. If this is true, then you can bet that he will fly straight to Arizona with HC (and former Steelers O-Coordinator) Bruce Arians-and end up with a contract. Here’s hoping Lewis gets on the field.
  6. I don’t blame the Steelers for passing on Lewis (Once again, if this is confirmed) it’s obvious that the man needs more time to recover and the Steelers need cornerbacks-now. First Round pick Artie Burns has to show what he can do and other than veteran William Gay, it’s really a toss-up on who will fill out the depth chart. Too bad there aren’t any other veteran CB’s out there.
  7. The Steelers have also restructured OT Marcus Gilbert’s contract, freeing up over $2 million in salary cap space, bringing them to $4 million under the cap. Smart move. Hopefully they will restructure more contracts as well as you can never have enough cap space.
  8. In other NFL news…the Las Vegas Raiders?? Yep, it might become a reality as reported that the team has filed to trademark the phrase on Thursday. It allows the team the exclusive right to use the name for sporting events and to sell the phrase on everything.
  9. Sounds like owner Mark Davis is serious about this-especially since they lost out on the Los Angeles bid-which went to the Rams. I think Las Vegas and the Raiders are a perfect fit-because of both of their ‘maverick’ ways. Stay tuned.
  10. And then there’s the San Diego Chargers, who continue to prove that they still have problems getting things right as they’ve reached a contract impasse with first-round pick Joey Bosa. The Ohio State DE has rejected several offers since being drafted.
  11. I hear that Bosa’s commanding a $17 million signing bonus, which is a throwback to how the NFL used to pay their rookies-before they even stepped on the field. To be honest, I actually agree with the Chargers on this one, but the fact that they get this settled is pretty embarrassing.
  12. As for the MLB, they have made a couple of trades as the Wild-Card-hungry Miami Marlins acquired OF Jeff Francour from the Atlanta Braves in a 3-time deal. The Marlins are doing what contenders do..and they got a reliable one in Francour.
  13. The NL West-leading LA Dodgers also made a move as they acquired veteran C Carlos Ruiz from the Philadelphia Phillies for  J. Ellis. Ellis has hit .340 since the All-Star Break and should be a boost for the Dodgers. Once again, doing what contenders do.
  14. As for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who’re still hoping for a shot at that 2nd NL Wild Card spot, they only have over 35 games left in this 2016 season. Sad to say, it hasn’t been as impressive as the 2013-15 seasons and fans probably got a little spoiled because they snatched up the top NL Wild Card spot each year.
  15. Well, they didn’t do what it took to ensure another postseason run and I believe that it’s continuing to bite them in the rear. When you don’t have good pitching, you really have no chance. And last year’s 19-game winner Gerrit Cole (7-9, 3.55 ERA) has truly been a disappointment. And on offense, of course it’s still OF Andrew McCutchen who is still struggling to get his batting average above .250.
  16. However, I do salute OF Gregory Polanco, who is finally living up to the hype that surrounded him. He’s finally coming into his own and putting up All-Star numbers. Along with P Ivan Nova (3-0, 3.20 ERA-acquired from the NY Yankees) he’s truly what’s positive about the Pirates.
  17. Speaking of the Yankees, did you see what rookie C Gary Sanchez has done? He was given a chance to play, and he has 9 HRs in 19 games…Wow! It reminds me of what OF David Justice did in his rookie year with the Atlanta Braves in 1990. Justice shined in the 2nd half of the season and finished with 28 HRs. What will Sanchez do?
  18. As for the NBA, the city of LA is celebrating ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ in honor of the former All-Star who played his entire career with the Lakers, won them 4 championships and retired this season.
  19. I think the honor is justifiable as Bryant has had a Hall of Fame career. I also like how Bryant’s carried himself in his latter years, being more personable and relatable to the public. That’s proof that maturity still can come with age.
  20. In Tennis, Serena Williams was ranked as the #1 seed in the US Open. Here’s to another title for the greatest Women’s tennis player in history.


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