Ritchie trade looks promising
Todd Ritchie pitched 567 innings for the Pirates over the last three years and was three games over .500 for a team that didn't come close to breaking even. He was a good soldier on and off the field. That said, it's hard not to love the deal that sent him to the White Sox last week.
General manager Dave Littlefield is stockpiling pitchers and got three righties in the Ritchie trade that have a chance to make the major-league roster in the spring. Cursed with a staff with too many injuries and too little talent, Littlefield immediately got some numbers to work with. It has to work out better (in the short term) than his first major trade. That one sent Jason Schmidt and John Vander Wal to the Giants for outfielder Armando Rios, who played two games and blew out his knee, and pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched two games and did the same to his elbow.
They didn't go to a single bowl game in that span. Harris has taken them to three. The next step though is for Harris to win one. But don't expect that to come Thursday night against N.C. State.
This caused Oregon coach Mike Bellotti to say "I liken the BCS to a bad disease, like cancer." Then George O'Leary lasts less than a week as the head coach of Notre Dame after it was discovered he had lied about having a master's degree and having lettered in football in college. Of course on his next resume he can claim he was undefeated as head coach of Notre Dame.
I say consider this. BYU gets no respect on a national level because it earns none. If the Cougars want to be ranked with the big boys, they have to play the big boys once in awhile. They played 13 games this year and six were outside their weak Mountain West Conference schedule. In those games, they faced such fearsome teams as Tulane which finished 3-9 and ranked 126th in the Sagarin computer ratings. Of course they also played 1-10 California, ranked 112th. Hawaii was one of just two non-conference teams BYU faced that had a winning record. How about scheduling a Nebraska, Stanford, Oregon, Washington State or some other big name western school once in awhile• How about one game a year against a top 20 program• BYU needs to prove themselves against someone tougher than Wyoming. In fact, a 40-30 loss to Texas would get the Cougars more mileage than the 70-35 win they had over Tulane.
BYU has already won one cheap national championship, and that was enough. If the Cougars played in the Big Ten they would have trouble finishing above .500.
Before last night's game in Baltimore, Hines needed just seven catches to break Yancey Thigpen's single season record. He was 543 yards shy of the single season receiving yardage record.
Guy Junker is a broadcaster for Fox Sports Pittsburgh. His column "One Guy's Opinion" appears every Monday in the Tribune-Review.