Neil Walker is, by all accounts, a hell of a guy. He's a very good baseball player too. And now he'll play for the New York Mets. And that’s not a big deal. It's not a reason to feel bad for Neil. It's certainly not a tragedy.
Nor is it a reason for Pirates' fans—or Walker, for that matter—to feel somehow “betrayed” by an act of treachery.
The 2015 Pitt Panthers were an improved football team, but hardly a great one. Much of the praise heaped upon Pat Narduzzi and his staff for Pitt’s 8-4 regular season comes in light of extremely low expectations given the program's recent past.
On the other end of the state, the Temple Owls have earned a No. 20 AP ranking and an East Division title in the American Athletic Conference with a 10-2 record.
The Backyard Brawl is back, even if it’s not for another seven years. When the West Virginia Mountaineers take the field in Pittsburgh in the fall of 2022, the players that will be freshmen on those teams are mere sixth-graders now.
Many probably haven’t even started to play organized football yet. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that the rivalry will continue, at least for four season from 2022-2025.
The Steelers started the offseason by signing franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a significant contact extension. A day before training camp opened, they capped the offseason by extending the contract of general manger Kevin Colbert.
In between those two moves, they signed defensive lineman Cameron Heyward to a six-year contract and extended head coach Mike Tomlin's deal another two seasons.
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When the Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their general manager in 2014, it seemed like a temporary move. The former Carolina Hurricanes GM would spend his two years in Pittsburgh, and then hand the keys to Jason Botterill; the man whom several people thought deserved the job in the first place.
The Pittsburgh Pirates ended the 2016 season falling short of the postseason and the higher expectations that recent success had created for the organization. With a record of 78-83 last year, the Pirates were 25 games behind the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.