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Sellew: So far, so good for an early prediction

| Friday, July 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

“Buccos finish 86-76 and will compete for the second wildcard spot.”

Am I the only one that remembers making that bold prediction on Feb. 25?

Oh boy, was I ridiculed, harassed, beaten down, etc. over that prediction.

It's OK, though. Look who's smiling now! Myself and the rest of the true Bucco fans.

Now all you hear is “oh, they're going to collapse ... it's not even the All-Star Break yet ... it's only a matter of time.”

Well, not this time. At least I don't think so.

Real fans can see the difference in this team.

Deeper bullpen, true leadership coming from guys like Russell Martin, Andrew McCutchen and A.J. Burnett. Who would have thought that Jeff Locke would be the best pitcher on the squad early on?

It's just great to have baseball mean something again in this area. I'm fortunate enough to remember a pennant race, but there's so many other kids and young adults around here that have no idea.

It's important for the region, where baseball is dying as a youth sport. The number of kids playing baseball is dwindling, and it's a shame for the sport known as America's Pastime.

• So what's everyone else think about the Penguins deal with Kris Letang?

Letang's a great player. No doubt. Personally, though, I think the Pens are paying a heavy price. Eight years, $58 million? Wow. At least the bright side is that the NHL's salary cap will mostly likely go back up for 2014-15.

The signings of Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis have me excited though. Hopefully they can produce as much in a full, 82-game season that they did in just over half the games. Each was on pace for a 40+ goal season if they would have played a full 82-game schedule.

• Is anyone else sick of all the NBA coverage on ESPN?

I mean, it is around the 4th of July, summer's in full force with baseball pennant races taking shape.

So why is the lead story Dwight Howard? I don't care where he plays next year! Chances are good he's going to travel and dunk the basketball. Or better yet, LeBron James' marketing power? That story's been done. Over and over and over by a guy named Michael Jordan.

C'mon, ESPN. That story's for the season.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com.

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