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First call: How Marian Hossa could hurt the Penguins ... again

| Friday, July 13, 2018, 7:33 a.m.

In today's "First Call," is Marian Hossa going to mess with the Penguins again? The Watt Brothers are forming a comedy team, I guess. And a reason to laugh at Ray Lewis.


Again, Hossa?

Maybe!

Marian Hossa, who pulled the rug out from under the Penguins in contract negotiations back in the summer of 2008, is basically in retirement now. But his $5.25 million contract remained on the books in Chicago until it was traded to Arizona.

Many think the Hawks moved the money in an effort to create space to get Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty .

There quite a few who are also of the belief that the Penguins may be interested in trying to acquire Pacioretty .

It's been a bit since "Hossa hate" has been drummed up in Pittsburgh. Maybe this will get that going again.


Watt brother PSAs

Move over, Gronkowskis. There's a new set of camera-hog bros in town. Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and his brothers, J.J. and Derek, have teamed up for a series of mock "importance of hydration" public service announcements for Gatorade.

Like the Gronks, even dad gets involved.

Geez. Who would have thought T.J. would be the comic relief member of the bunch. Where did that come from?

In case you need some outtakes:

J.J. has always said T.J. has more personality than what he has allowed us to see. Maybe that's going to start to change.


'Fake' News

Two unpopular media personalities among Pittsburgh fans were exposed for buying fake Twitter followers. Or at least they associated with a company that did so.

The New York Times in January published a story about former linebacker Ray Lewis and ESPN/Fox News contributor Britt McHenry joining a group called Devumi, which creates fake accounts to boost a person's profile.

Amidst Twitter's great purge of phony followers yesterday, it was revealed that those two lost a massive amount of their "following."

Lewis' account dropped from 712,000 followers to 364,000. Wow. Who knew that Twitter boosted Lewis' follower total like Baltimore boosted his tackle total for all those years?

McHenry lost 140,000.


Where did this come from?

Trinity High graduate Steve Wheatcroft is leading the John Deere Classic after one round. He shot a career best 9-under 62.

Scores were low all day. His 62 was good for only a one-shot lead on Michael Kim. Four other golfers are 2-back in Illinois.

Wheatcroft hasn't finished in the top 10 this year and is 209th in the FedEx Cup standings. His world golf ranking is 927. But he birdied seven of the last nine holes yesterday. Wheatcroft's previous best round was at the Greenbrier Classic in 2012. That was a 64.

Here's what he said afterward.


Mookie magic

The at-bat of the summer may have been turned in by American League batting leader Mookie Betts.

It lasted 13 pitches, and it came against former Pirates pitcher J.A. Happ. It resulted in a grand slam.

Take a look.

The Red Sox went on to beat the Blue Jays 6-4. Boston has now won 10 in a row and has the best record in baseball.

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