Nobody asked me, but . . .
* Just because restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders has not been offered a contract by the New England Patriots does not mean this dalliance might not yet come to fruition. In these cases, the signing team often delays an offer until the team being poached is most vulnerable. For example, if the Steelers were to make a free-agent signing of some consequence in the days ahead, the Patriots might then swoop in with an offer to Sanders that either the Steelers could not match or that would wreck their cap, if they did.
* According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners turned a profit $5.9 million last season. Their payroll was $84.4 million and their attendance was 1.72 million. No figures have been released on the Pirates profit, but their payroll was $61.3 million and their attendance was 2.01 million. You do the math.
* I attended a PIAA girls playoff basketball game last week and something happened that I hadn’t seen in at least 15 years. After a shot failed to hit the backboard, rim or net, there was no chant of ``Air ball, air ball, air ball.’’ What a relief! That chant might have been clever 20 years ago or whenever it was first used, but today it is old, stupid and mean.
* Of the first six hitters in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, five have a career OPS of over .800 and the other is the dangerous Brandon Phillips. One, Joey Votto has an OPS over .900. Of the first six batters in the Pirates lineup, one, Andrew McCutchen, has a career OPS over .800.
* After making 6-of-6 3-point baskets in a three-point win over Pitt, James Southerland of Syracuse was seven for 18 in his next two games. Shooting is the most important factor in deciding the outcome of basketball games. Nothing else is close.
* Tim Singer of MLB.com offers this information about Pirates minor-league catcher Carlos Paulino, which, if correct, says a lot about former No. 1 draft choice Tony Sanchez: ``Paulino: Wasn’t even in Kissimmee (for an exhibition game). But the Bucs love his arm. Just how deep that love is was hinted by the reassignment to Minor League camp of Tony Sanchez. Paulino will get some more looks to determine whether he might rank as the top midseason callup candidate.’’
* Apparently, while recruiting wide receiver Robert Foster last year, Alabama took a look around the WPIAL. According to Internet reports, the Crimson Tide have offered a scholarship to Mt. Lebanon lineman Alex Bookser, 6-6, 295.
* According to sources, since Kentucky could not play at home for the NIT because it was an NCAA tournament site, coach John Calipari was given his choice of opponents. Calipari, a Moon High grad, chose to come home and play in the college gym closest to where he grew up. It will be an almost-certain loss for Robert Morris, but a night for the players and the school to long remember.
* If you are among those excited by the spring of Gaby Sanchez, who leads the Pirates in home runs, this is something you should know: Starting with last year and going back six years, including a year when two players were tied, these are the Pirates previous exhibition-game home run leaders: Matt Hague, Lyle Overbay and John Bowker, Delwyn Young, Craig Monroe, Steve Pearce, Brad Eldred. It’s good that Sanchez is hitting home runs. What that slugging means remains to be determined.
* Great idea! Writing at SI.com, Pete Thamel suggests the ACC should bring its basketball tournament to Madison Square Garden as soon as that is contractually possible. If it doesn’t, the Big Ten, with Rutgers as a member, might get there first. Seven members of the ACC were formerly in the Big East -- Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Miami. What says big-time more: New York City or Greensboro, N.C.?
* If you missed this yesterday in the story about Little League gone wild, the head of the organization that has these pre-teens playing all over the country and for multiple teams, Don DeDonatis, is paid $729,600 annually. Seven other executives, including DeDonatis' son and son-in-law, were paid more that $116,000, according to tax records
* ESPN.com's Buster Olney is reporting MLB is willing to make significant concessions to the union -- increased minimum salary, less service time for artibtration eligibility -- in exchange for an international draft.
* How fast they fall: One-time Pirates All-Star Evan Meek, who will be 30 in May, is in the spring training camp of the Texas Rangers. He has pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed 13 hits and nine earned runs. His ERA is 10.57.