Nobody asked me, but . . .
* The money in baseball has long been ridiculous. Now it’s getting way more ridiculous. How ridiculous? Consider the contract of Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez, who over the past two seasons has averaged 33 starts, 233 inning, 3,515 pitches and 13.5 wins. King Felix will make $25 million annually for the next seven years If he continue to pitch as he has, he will be paid:
$7,112 per pitch
$$107,296 per inning
$757,575 per start
$1.85 million per win
* When Hernandez intentionally walks a batter -- something I could do -- he will be earning $28,448.
* Now comes word that Justin Verlander of the Tigers and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers may be in line for $200 million contracts in the years ahead.
* No one knows when Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon will make their Pirates debuts. But this much is certain: Once they get here, their time with the team will be between six and seven years -- at which time free agency kicks in.
* Michael Bourn would have been a nice fit for the Pirates, a team that desperately needs a leadoff batter. But at $12 million a year for four years, the Cleveland Indians dramatically overpaid. It will be interesting to watch the Indians this season, as they've become the anti-Pirates of small-market teams. Miami tried it last year and that didn’t work so well.
* The bashing Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson took during football season was fairly relentless. But amid the success of the Pitt basketball team -- 20-5 and a half-game from first place in the Big East -- not a word about Pederson.
* The reaction of Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray to the play that cost defenseman Erik Karlsson his season with a torn Achilles tendon, while understandable, was unfortunate. Murray said, ``It’s Matt Cooke. What else should I say? Watch the replay.” Here is the replay of the actual hit in slow motion and it's positively sickening. But part of the game. Cooke, the NHL has ruled, did nothing wrong.
* Stunning upset by Duquense last night at Temple, the Dukes first Atlantic-10 win and first win of any kind since Dec. 19.
* It will be interesting to follow the career of former Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon now that he has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Chip Kelly is the coach. When Dixon was a leading Heisman Trophy candidate at Oregon, before going down with injury, Kelly was his offensive coordinator.
* Pitt basketball currently has two recruits for the 2013 class and figures, because of recent defections, to add one or two more. The current committed players are Mike Young, a 6-8 player reputed to have good-low post skills, and point guard Josh Newkirk. Rivals ranks Young 97th in the country and Newkirk 122nd.
* Of the Penguins next seven games, six are against teams in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference.
* It’s possible, as some insist, that Pitt will struggle in the ACC next season, but there is no factual basis for that. Pitt has been highly successful in the Big East, which has been a better league than the ACC for a number of years.
* We hear a lot of negative informaton about college athletes; here’s some positive news. Twenty-six Pitt football players made all-academic in the Big East by virtue of their 3.0 grade-point averages. Four players, kicker Kevin Harper, defensive back Andrew Taglianetti, linebacker Joe Trebitz and punter Matt Yoklic made it for the third time.