Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: April 7, 2021 (Pt. 2)

KDKA's Bob Pompeani and 93.7 The Fan's Chris Mueller discuss the sports topics of the day.

Video Transcript

- All right, welcome back. As we continue our sports go have a special one on one interview tomorrow with Kevin Boccolacci. Of course, the former owner of the Pirates he was there. And when PNC Park was constructed.

He was a big part of it. Gathering corporate support. All sorts of other things that were necessary to make it possible. So now is the 20th anniversary.

He talks about that. But also something that forever has changed his life. That's coming up tomorrow on KDKA news at 6 o'clock.

So we hope you join us one on one with Kevin Boccolacci. And it's kind of a stunning development in his life. We'll talk about that.

In the meantime, we're talking about the Pirates. And by the way that 20 years ago I boy I remember that. And I remember Barry Larkin stepping up and getting a hit.

Chris, 20 years ago man. You were really young. I don't know.

- I was there.

- Were you there. Well.

- Yeah my dad never had the hit of first Shaun Casey the first home I believe. I was there for Todd Richie throwing the first pitch.

My dad continues to be like a medium enthusiasm at best sports fan. But he kind of hooked that one up that day. And found his way into some tickets. So I got to be there for the first pitch. It was AI would say that was an unforgettable experience.

- Yeah. It was. And I still. And Kevin we'll talk about what his expectations are PNC Park moving forward. We got into the competitive aspect of it. Was supposed to make this team and his franchise more competitive, more successful that has not happened. Interesting stuff from Kevin McClatchy tomorrow at 6.

In the meantime, we're going to go out to the phone lines. We have a lot of people want to talk tonight. Chris Matt and Butler kicks us off Matt welcome. Go ahead.

- Guys. I am so disgusted with the pilot is unbelievable. This is a team that we knew they were going to have no power. They have the second lowest in team average.

They can't run bases. They can't they're terrible at Fielding. And Sheldon if you listen to them in spring training. He had to have been forced to go back and listen to some of the garbage he spewed out during spring training.

I know he's there for a rah guy. It's damned embarrassing that this has to go on with this organization. This isn't even a Major League Baseball team.

This could well and couldn't compete against half a minor league.

- I got your Mat. But here's the thing. I mean, it could be part of the design to stock up on as many people as they can. Get as many high end draft picks as they can. Whatever the case may be.

The one thing I caution on that Chris. And I always have is that you can plan it one way, it may never turn out to be expected it to be.

You never know how things are going to be. I mean, we've seen draft picks and I don't know if they can still do this or not. Saying you know I'm not going there. And I'll stay until the next year. Or do something of that nature.

- Well the last time that happened to the Pirates with it was a blessing in disguise. That guy stinks. I don't even think he's got baseball anymore.

- He chose to do it. And he was an eighth overall pick. Right. I mean our 11th or something like that. He was a high pick for them.

- Well I mean, he was one of those guys that they were trying to sort of hit out of their legal little bit there. And he called their bluff. And said you know, I'm not going to do this.

And then like I said blessing in disguise. He's terrible. I think it's funny you know you try to time it up, you talk about that.

Neal Huntington tried to time it up with a lot of guys. He really built the Pirates more with trades. And one or two free agent signing here with Russell Martin. Or reclaiming Francisco Liriano and turning him into something better like a reclamation project.

You can lay out all the young talent you want. And try to have it timed up right. But it rarely works out that way. To what the caller said though, I'm just going to echo again what I said to open the show here.

You can be bad and you can even be bad by design, which the Pirates are. The guys out on the field are trying to win. But the whole point of tanking is to field a team that's not good enough.

There is no excuse when you're on a Major League roster, which makes you better at baseball than 99.9% of the human population. For some of the errors and mental mistakes that they make.

And he said Derek Shelton's a rah guy. I've heard that too, obviously. I've gotten that sense from him. I would be stunned. If this continues this badly. If Derek Shelton just doesn't erupt at some point on his team. And send a message.

That honestly, it would be kind of it would be a bad sign if he just kept smiling through this. At some point, you're in charge. You're the manager. You're having to wear this. You've got to erupt if these guys are doing this game in game out.

- And it may be something fans want to see too, that you're not going to tolerate. Or at least you know some of the base already in the first game of the year. There was a base running just stunk. They were all the way.

- Mclennon team stunk. But he put on the he took the base. He took the base and everyone remembers it. Like do that the first two days in Pittsburgh pirate history. Yes.

- All right. I want to ask you about a trade here. And get your thoughts. And I think it's a good trade for the New York Islanders. Who pulled into a tie with Washington last night. After they beat him one zip.

And they have a good defensive team to begin with. They acquired from New Jersey. Travelzoo Jack. And more importantly, Kyle Palmari, who who's a very good player. And one of those guys I think can really thrive over there.

The devils are going to get a first round pick this year. A conditional fourth and sent two players. I think this makes the Islanders a team now. That I would look at and think they're the team that's going to emerge as division champs. Here to you.

- Yeah. I think they are. I also think they're like we talked about the penguins just needing to get back to the kind of hockey that they've been playing for the last month. After these last two games.

The Islanders are the undisputed Kings. I would argue, of knowing what they are, knowing their system, and playing it. Palmari you said, it they're a defensive team.

To me, he just he adds a little bit of that natural scoring touch. It makes them that much more dangerous. Everyone was mentioning him as an obvious fit there. They went out and got him. They're making bold moves.

And I don't see anything close to that or like that in the penguins future, which might be for the best. Ultimately, if they can get this group to continue buying in by and large. That might not be a bad thing. But the Islanders absolutely got better with this deal.

A lot of people started coming. And now that it's here they're clearly improved.

- Yeah. That's a big game for the penguins tomorrow. They've got the Rangers. They're going to have to take a shellacking the other day. The Rangers are getting better. They're younger. They've got a really talented team.

If they're goaltending can be consistent enough, that's going to be a team they're going have to face a lot in the years to come.

Let's go to Chris in the South is Chris. Thank you for joining us here on the sports car. Go right ahead.

- Hey guys. How we yearn for Kevin McClatchy these days. Anyway. I just wanted to talk about rocker versus lighter. And if there was an article I believe was on MLB.com today, where there was an anonymous survey where the guy the GMs to 25 to three lighter.

And I mean, going into this season that was not unthinkable. But it was pretty surprising for me. And just for some food for thought that a friend of mine brought up.

His cherington when he was with the Blue Jays, he drafted a lot of MLB Players son. So there's one here where he thought.

- Well, I don't think you can go wrong there. I specifically like lyter right now. I didn't at the beginning of the season. Watching him pitch a lot more. You know now we're getting down to the stretch around here. Chris.

I think he's got a lot. It looks to me like a Tom Seaver at times. You could set me almost down to the ground. He's got a wicked curveball. He knows how to change. His record as too. Where I was more of a power guy.

I don't think he can go wrong there. But you know you've got to have this hit I think this guy has got it certainly looks.

- The better guy. Yeah. Lighter looks like the better guy right now. I mean rocker burst onto the scene because he cussed out Duke. When they were trying to stall him. And he struck out 19 guys. And he just overpowered that team when he threw the no hitter.

But the book on him is unbelievable fastball. Decent secondary pitch doesn't have much right now that's polished beyond that. I think the reason a lot of people like lighter is you're barely getting a drop off at all and stuff quality compared to rocker.

And the Polish on his pitches, the command of his pitches seems clearly better right now. Based on what the scouts are saying. So right this second, I would say lighter would be my pick for that spot.

- I would agree at this point. Let's go to Scott in the South side. Scott, go ahead.

- Hey Bob. How are you.

- Good. How are you doing.

- Pretty good. Thanks. I watched a good bit of Gonzaga basketball this year. And that view is just a great coach. And it makes me wonder even though he's got some talent coming in. Would he ever consider a move to a Power Five conference.

And if you were to do that, is there any chance this believes in and it goes to Duke. That maybe view considers a pick.

- Where I think he'd have to go to a program that is really already you close to winning. I mean he's established himself as an outstanding.

- It would be a massive step down. Bob. I mean let's call it what it is exactly. And environmental. Is a step down.

- Was the man who made it what it is.

- If he's going anywhere in apower five, it's to a Kentucky a Kansas. It's a blue blood program. And if I were him, I wouldn't want to leave.

He's getting five star guys coming in there. Suggs is going to be a top five NBA Pick. They've got kids coming in next year, who are that good. Mark Few has done what I would say is near impossible.

A little more plausible in basketball than in football. He has turned a random school in the middle of nowhere relatively speaking, into a national powerhouse under themselves.

He doesn't need to go to a Power Five school. He's running a program that's every bit the equal of a Power Five program right now.

- And as well as he did. I think Scott Drew has done an even more impressive job considering where Baylor was back in 2003. We've got to go to the tweet of the day, which is brought to you by tri-state office furniture.

And this is about the Pirates. And we had tweeted something out about what we were doing today. And Bob yulieski says, hey, I see some hope. The Pirates outscored the Reds late in the game. That's a win in my book.

Of course, there was when they outscored them. But we appreciate that Bob. That's our tri-state office furniture tweet of the day. We got more calls on the way. Thanks for joining us here.

It's the airline contracting nightly sportscast. Seven nights a week on Pittsburgh.