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May 25, 2014

SPORTVIEW: Maybe there is a bit of hope for Pirates, Indians

OPINION — WE FINALLY HAVE some nice weather for high school spring sports. Oh, yeah — they are pretty much over. Go figure.

At least perhaps Little League, girls softball and other summer sports activities will fare better than we’ve seen so far.

We deserve it!

ä I love Major League Baseball more than all the other professional sports. Maybe it’s because that the only sure thing is that there are no sure things.

Cy Young Award pitchers sometimes get shelled. And at the plate — even “Casey” struck out in a big moment when there was no joy in Mudville.

Last Sunday I mentioned the plight of our two area favorite teams, the Pirates and Indians. They both were struggling and I said that unless there is a miraculous turnaround, neither will return to the playoffs this year.

Well there has at least been some turnaround. Both are below .500 on the year but there are some signs of good things happening. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, it would be nice to at least see them in the hunt at the end of the year.

How do you figure that a slumping Indians team would sweep the Detroit Tigers, who were one of the hottest teams in baseball? Crazy things happen.

But that’s one of the reasons I love the sport. While it’s a slow-moving game that many people don’t appreciate, it’s fun to match strategies with the big league managers.

Many of us would be screaming at our TV sets after mapping out that we would tell a hitter to bunt to advance a runner, only to see the batter hit into a double play. “What was he thinking?” you wonder.

And we watch in amazement as a pitcher has two strikes on the batter, only to groove a pitch that is hit out of the park. “I could pitch better than that,” you declare loudly, although you know that isn’t true.

While the NFL is by far the most popular sport in America, there’s something about baseball that will always be “America’s Game” to me.

Well, at least until the Indians and Pirates are out of the pennant chase and it’s time to get ready for the opening game of the NFL season between the Steelers and Browns.

That will be a great start to the year when the Browns crush the Steelers!

ä The Penguins certainly bowed out of the playoffs far too early for the liking of Pittsburgh fans and it’s a shame. But the Rangers are a pretty solid team.

Still, you have to wonder what direction they will go now.

I’m still a little concerned about Sidney Crosby because to me, he has never fully recovered from that head injury. But they have doctors who monitor the situation so maybe he has.

As we have seen before with sports figures, concussions can results in serious consequences down the road.

Lynn Saternow is sports editor of The Herald. He can be reached at lsaternow@sharonherald.com.

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