and the link to the Post Gazette story is HEREFor years, there's been a hope that Mark Cuban would buy/save the Pirates, for the reasons being that A. he was from Pittsburgh and B. he was rich.
As weak as the Pirate ownership has been, I was never on board with the Cuban dream. Call it merely a hunch, but I didn't feel that it was the right fit, although that's certainly open for debate. And I never had a firm grasp of how serious he really was about buying it.
But the news I read last night from Dejan Kovacevic in the PG is something that I can believe in. Believe in, back, support, whatever you can do to push it forward, you can bet that I'll be on board.
Both franchises appear to be telling a different side of what happened, but one thing is for sure: the Pirates' and Penguins' head honchos recently had a closed-door business meeting. The Penguins sources are saying Lemieux's Penguin partner, Ron Burkle, made an offer to buy the Pirates. The Pirates are saying it was about another matter, and continue to insist that the team is not for sale.
Bob Nutting is no dummy. His group has been feeding this cash cow on a diet of revenue sharing and broadcasting rights for a long time, and according to Forbes, it is worth about $288 million. For comparison's sake, Kevin McClatchy paid $95 million for the team back in 1996. So basically, in the last decade-plus of strictly losing baseball, the value of the franchise has nearly tripled. One can only imagine what it would be worth with a winner on the field, selling more tickets, more merchandise, and higher local broadcasting rights.
If anyone has proven to know what they're doing in the field of pro sports ownership, it's the Lemieux/Burkle group. What they've done with the Penguins did take a matter of some luck in the draft, but also needed the right touch to finish what the lottery Gods gave them. That's hiring Ray Shero, that's managing the payroll, that's having a fan relation staff second to none. They know Pittsburgh, they know Pittsburgh sports, and they know Pittsburgh sports fans. Having their people in charge of the Pirates could be a dream come true for the long-suffering Bucco fan.
Where this goes from here is up in the air. To have this news come out during PirateFest is probably the worst-case scenario for that organization, but face it, their existence has been worst-case scenario since Sid Bream crossed the plate in 1992. They're used to dealing with bad news.
But from a fan point of view, now that's where this gets interesting. If you thought there was pressure on Pirate ownership in the past, that's going to pale in comparison to what will happen next. Mario Lemieux has been The Best Thing To Happen To Pittsburgh at least three times by my count - he saved the Penguins on the ice, he saved the Penguins from bankruptcy, and he saved the Penguins from moving. And that's not to mention the Stanley Cups and millions of dollars raised for local charities. How there's not 10 statues of this man around town is a mystery in itself.
Bob Nutting? Let's take the high road and say he's not quite as distinguished with the locals. And that league-low $35 million payroll and likely 18th consecutive losing season isn't going to win him many more friends.
This is a story that began months ago, but is only being talked about now. I think it could be one of the biggest developments in Pittsburgh sports history if it actually comes to fruition. Turning around that franchise just might be the impossible. But if there's one guy who we can count on to do the impossible, it's Mario Lemieux.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Thank God for my laptop, books, and ON DEMAND.
I technically can go back to work on Feb 1st, but we will see whats up with that since I can't lift anything heavier than 15lbs till March 1st.
I am allowed to fly so I will be going to visit my dad in Las Vegas on Valentines Day, Blake will be joining me and Im sure he's anxious to see me in person and make sure that yes, I am ok.
I saw my surgeon today for my followup appointment and he told me that the biopsy of my gall bladder came back reporting that parts of it were gangrenous...yes, gangrenous.
So I'm glad that it isn't inside of me anymore, you know.
And that's about it from me.
Blake wrote a lovely piece on his blog/site about being a native Louisianian and being a Saints fan and the fact that the Saints are headed to the Big Dance...
I am not, as most people who know me will tell you, much of a sports fan. I don’t follow teams, I can barely recognize most players, and I will never understand how a baseball game can have more runs than hits in a single game. I mean, that’s just physics, people.
But for several years now, there has been an exception. The New Orleans Saints. Having grown up in southern Louisiana, just minutes from New Orleans, the Saints have always been a part of my life, through the leanest of years to the greatest. And for most of my youth, while I hoped the team would win, I was never particularly passionate about it. What I was passionate about, as always, were stories. Stories of heroes and villains, success and triumph, faith and redemption. And while there were some sports stories I enjoyed (I still rank Field of Dreams along my all-time favorite movies), it was hard to get into it as it was happening.
Then Katrina happened.
I don’t know if I can explain to you how Katrina changed things. I don’t know if you can understand if you haven’t been through something like it yourself. And I don’t mean that in any sort of elitist, “You just don’t get it” way. I mean I don’t know if it’s physically possible to comprehend what it’s like to be part of a community that’s suffered that kind of devestation unless it happens to you. The people of New York knew it after 9/11. The people of San Diego felt it after the earthquake. And us? Katrina nearly destroyed us.
I like stories about faith, and here’s something I believe: cities have spirits. Maybe not a living, conscious spirit like a soul, but the collective power and energy of a city is something real. And the spirit of a city resides wherever the people of that city choose to place it. The people of New Orleans, after Katrina, chose to give their spirit to the Saints. The rest of that season, of course, was a disaster, but the next season something changed. Sean Peyton took over the team. He brought in Drew Brees. And when the team returned to the dome for the first time since the storm, facing the Atlanta Falcolns, something happened.
The earth shook.
Part of it was a dome full of football-hungry fans thirsting for blood on their home turf. But more than that, we had an entire city — an entire region of the country — that desperately needed something to believe in. Millions of people had been through absolute hell, millions were still struggling to get back on their feet. And even if it was just for one night, millions of people needed something to put their heart into besides their own troubles. And in case you don’t remember… that night… the Saints brought it. It was perhaps the most important game in franchise history.
Until last night.
The boys in black and gold went on to the NFC Championship game that year, and lost hard to the Chicago Bears. The next few seasons were roller coasters, up and down. This year, they started 13-0, but when they dropped the last three games of the regular season, those naysayers who had discounted them since the beginning of the season acted as though it was evidence that the Saints weren’t for real. Then they faced Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings, the man many in the media seemed to have preordained would get one more Super Bowl ring before he retired (again). And for most of the game, he had a damn good chance. Had the overtime coin toss not gone the Saints’ way, I may be writing a very different blog post today.
But it did.
Sean Peyton and Drew Brees both dedicated the win to the people of New Orleans. Although neither of them are natives of the city, they’ve become intrinsically linked to the spirit the people gave them. Peyton, Brees, Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister (maybe just honorary at this point, but still)… they’ve been embraced by New Orleans and they’ve given of themselves both on and off the field. They’ve become the keepers of spirit of the city. As they rose, the city has begun to rise with them.
They have made us believe.
Saints fans have the greatest dilemma they’ve ever faced this week: do we buy the sure-thing NFC Champs t-shirts, or wait for the Super Bowl Champ shirts that are dangling so tantalizingly close? I’m not arrogant enough to claim the big dance in two weeks is a lock. But I also think that anyone who thinks the Colts have it wrapped up haven’t paid the slightest bit of attention to this team, to what they’ve done, and to what they mean. And even if they don’t win, I don’t think there’s any way this city could be prouder of them, of who they are, of what they’ve meant to us and what they’ve done.
Sometimes you just need something to believe in.
So you do. You believe in Santa Claus. You believe in fairy tales. You believe in the Easter Bunny, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, even when you can’t make up your mind about Toledo.
And you believe in the New Orleans Saints.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
BTW there is some TMI of the EWWW SURGERY kind here, so be warned.
Sunday morning, around 4am I woke up with some pretty seriously painful stomach action, from the right to left side of my chest, beginning under my breasts and from that point straight down the middle to a bit below my navel. From about 430am till about 1100am I was throwing up every half hour and in a serious amount of pain.
Food Poisioning, I thought.
The vomiting went away and the pain lessened, but didnt go away completely. I figured it was strained muscles from the workout my body put me through earlier in the morning.
Monday morning I got sick only once but the pain came back, not as viciously as Sunday, but back. I felt so tired and wiped out that I called off work, something I honestly rarely do. I mean when I had my kidney stones in 2008 I worked straight through that pain, only taking off the day of and the 2 days after my surgery.
Add to all of this a fever. I mean I was hot, blast furnace conditions under the blanket. By the time we finally unearthed the thermometer my temperature was 102. I took some tylenol and fell asleep and when I woke up my temp was down. It kept dropping all night so I wasnt too worried that I couldn't get a doctors appointment on Monday.
Tuesday morning the fever was back, high (101.9) and the pain was back, so I called off again and made an appointment to head to Forbes Family Practice (when you work for a company that does not care enought to give it's employees insurance you cant be picky)
After taking my vitals and talking to me a bit the doc examined me, then told me he was going to "go talk to someone smarter than me" He brought back his supervisor (he was a 1st or 2nd year resident) and they both told me that I was being admitted, that it was probably my gallbladder that was infected, and I was going to spend a few days on IV fluids and Antibiotics and probably have to have it removed in a few days.
They wouldnt even let me go home to pack a bag.
By 9:00pm Tuesday night I had had an ultrasound and a chest x-ray, seen 2 different doctors, had blood drawn three times and had an IV inserted in my hand.
By 9am Wednesday I was being told I was going down for surgery at 2pm, no waiting a few days, it needs to come out now.
I had the Lapryscopic surgery, which means instead of cutting me open they made 3 small incisions to remove the gallbladder.
That didnt go quite as planned though, my surgeon told me that the organ was so infected, rotten, pus and gallstone filled that they had to make a larger incision near my belly button to remove it. Said incision was not stitched shut either. its being kept open and packed with guaze to make sure it drains and stays un-infected.
The surgery went well other than that, the pain is there, but its tolerable, I had a small allergic reaction to the Percoset they gave me today that was fixed with a shot of Benadryl...which almost immediately made me into a zombie, they switched me to something called Ultram, then I got sent home.
My heartfelt thanks go out to all of the Doctors who made sure I got the help I needed, regardless of insurance status, I dont remember all of the names due to drugs but Dr. Naiman (surgeon) Dr. Vats and Dr.Ragunot (not the right spelling, but the right way to say it. I cant find his card) He is the one who initally examined me and would not let me leave. There were a few others, Dr Ravano and Dr. Gowda, who realized that the Percoset was doing things it was not supposed to do, and Dr. I cant remember her name, but she's Dr Naimans Physicans Assistant and was incredibly kind to me. The amazing (except for the 2 on wed night/early thurs morn) Nurses of the 6 North floor of Forbes, Michele, Quay, Courtney, Chris and some I cant remember, again...drugs. Ans especially all of my friends and family for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers and pockets.
Thank you Blake for worrying about me and keeping everyone updated, I love you more than you will ever know for being there, even if it was just on the phone.
Also thank you Mom for being there.
Theres more to the story, like my very sweet roomate who kept me up my first night snoring like a trucker and then was on some kind of Bipap/sleep study/oxygen saturation test machine thing that kept poor recently sliced open me up till 430am because the goddamn thing kept beeping and screeching and alarms going off and what kind of stupid fucking person puts a post-op in the same room as a Bipap anyways and how useless were the nurses that night who wouldnt do a goddamn thing about it and the when the sweet roomie (srsly, it wasnt her fault she was cool) went to the bathroom they let the alarms continue till she was finished and then the stupid fucking pants on head retarded nurse put her mask on UPSIDEDOWN so the machine made a high pitched shrieking alarm noise from 335AM till 411AM ( I have audio, this noise would make Mr Rogers want to kick babies) when someone from Respitory came up to fix it and said "Who puts a post-op in with a goddamn Bipap?!"
You bet your sweet ass Im complaining.
Monday, January 18, 2010
There is misinformation flying everywhere. The kids are not all right, Jamie and Ali are still in desperate need of help.
Follow updates on Ginny's website, she is in DIRECT contact with the girls family and will be updating folks on the situation.
You cal also follow her on Twitter.... @JanePitt
Thursday, January 14, 2010
What we are trying to get the word out about is Jamie, Ali and their kids at the BRESMA Orphanage.
Jamie and Ali, originally from the Ben Avon area run an orphanage in Haiti, they have been left with no water, no food, no shelter and no way to get their children out of the country.
These kids are the shortest of steps from being adopted in the States, many of them have families waiting here for them. They range in age from infants up to teens and they desperately need help.
Contact your local Congressmen, Representatives, Senators...Anyone who can possibly help Ali and Jamie get the BRESMA kids refugee status.
You can follow the story at Ginny's blog
Please do your part, if you can.
If you know anyone who can help.
From Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Ben Avon sisters in Haitian orphanage trying to save children
Thursday, January 14, 2010
By Rachael Conway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two sisters from Ben Avon who live at the crumbling BRESMA orphanage in Port-Au-Prince are pleading for help to get a group of children emergency refugee status so they can come to the United States.
In a text to her husband Doug, Jamie McMutrie Heckman, 30, said she and her sister, Alison, 21, were living in the orphanage's yard with the children without food or water.
"We truly can't keep babies alive ... water contaminated. This is our only hope," she texted, using a stranger's Blackberry. "I want to make sure everyone understands we can't stay in Haiti and the kids will not live if they stay. Riots will start within two days."
Several blogs are keeping track of communications with the sisters and a family friend has started a Facebook page asking people to send petitions seeking help with the childrens' refugee status to their congressmen.
Jason Klanderud of Pittsburgh said he started the page last night around 10 p.m. after speaking with Jamie's husband and her brother, Chad, both of whom he's known for several years.
Since then, more than 300 people have joined the petition group, he said.
Jamie McMutrie moved to Haiti in 2006 to help at the orphanage. Ali joined her a year later. The sisters, both Avonworth High School graduates, intended to stay for a year.
"We quickly realized that the work here would never be done and have committed [ourselves] to staying here as long as we can be useful," Jamie McMutrie said in a telephone interview from the orphanage last month.
The children the sisters want to bring back to the U.S. are nearly through the adoption process and have families waiting for them, Mr. Klanderud said.
Former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said this morning that she has secured the help of a doctor who can examine the BRESMA orphans, has spoken with an immigration lawyer and is in contact with the owners of an airplane company to see if she can get a plane for the rescue mission.
Anyone wishing to make a donation directly to the BRESMA orphanage can do so by visiting www.centeroflife.net/haiti..
Read more: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/10014/1028261-100.stm#ixzz0cdYZQtiW
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale
Sexxy Wings (sweet and spicy, OMFG sooo good)
Cooler selections...$2.50 up to over $10.00
If I like something, I'm gonna tell you to try it.
This...this tiny little take out but hey we have food too! place is awesome.
The food, selection of beer and service...fantastic
3 Rivers 6 Pack and Eatery
6750 Hollywood Blvd
(below the Walmart)
Delmont PA 15626
Here's their link on Beeradvocate.com
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Check it out HERE.
And click on the "Baby Bennett" tag below to read the other entries on this miraculous little guy.