You make the call: In order to charge an error, you have seen the play develop. You can't make the call because you see a grounder in the outfield.
It is inaccurate and unfair reporting for the Mirror to make a judgment call (April 11 Mailbag) like that without any knowledge of the facts.
We first learned about the 36-game additional package of Pirates games late in 2009. Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (FSN) pitched it to us as basically the rest of the Pirates season that we weren't already carrying.
We passed on the additional package because we felt that our customers were satisfied with what they were already getting and the cost of this additional package would have put even more pressure on our basic video rates for all customers, whether or not they watch sports programming.
On March 26, just before the start of the Pirates season, we saw the schedule of games in this additional package for the very first time. Imagine our disappointment and concern when we learned that the home opener, many of the first games of the season, and many of the interleague games with the Indians, White Sox and Tigers had been moved into this "special package" of games.
These were games that we thought that we had in the regular 120-game package that we purchased; what we realized at this point was that they were taking the best games away to include in the "additional package."
We had follow-up discussions and negotiations with FSN right up until Thursday, April 1 - to no avail. FSN would not budge on the cost of these games.
To make matters worse, FSN showed total disregard for you the fans. It is the responsibility of the program suppliers to provide guide information to the guide companies and alternative programming information to its distributors. It is our belief that FSN disseminated inaccurate programming information to our customers with the intention of hurting our reputation and in retaliation for not accepting their demand to pay for the package of additional Pirates games. Ultimately it looks like FSN took their anger at Atlantic Broadband out on our customers.
Our contract with FSN has a clause in it that is directly related to this issue of an additional package of Pirates games. It clearly refers to additional programming not previously included as part of the service. We believe that FSN has violated this section of the contract by moving the home opener and several other early season matchups to the "additional package" of games.
FSN manipulated the broadcast schedule in a deliberate attempt to frustrate viewers and drive complaints to Atlantic Broadband. These games were included in the package of games that we had last year and our customers deserved to see them.
We apologize for the inconvenience that this situation has caused you, and we sincerely regret that we were unable to bring you that first game of the season, as we did last year. However, it is our view that the error that was committed on this play must be charged to Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and not to Atlantic Broadband.
Atlantic Broadband Vice President
Take lesson from Sanderson
Maybe my perception of the above is only my own, but I feel there are others reading this letter who feel the same as I do.
Let me make one thing clear: I am proud of the young athletes who are on the Dean's List every semester and the outstanding graduation rates for Penn State's sports programs. But there is more that we all would like to be proud of - the essence of being more competitive in Big Ten play and for national championships.
Think of all the 29 programs at Penn State and how many are consistently competitive.
Really, there are only two programs that come to mind: women's volleyball with three straight NCAA titles and the men's and women's fencing programs that usually finish No. 1 or No. 2 in the NCAA tournament.
Coming in third would be our football program, which has become more competitive since 2005. Yes, JoePa's teams have only won two national titles back in 1982 and 1986 and three Big Ten titles in some 17 years since joining the Big Ten Conference, but the program has made a positive upswing since those losing seasons in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004.
To be somewhat more fair is our men's volleyball team and gymnastics team each won a national title a few years ago. And our women's soccer program has won Big Ten titles consistently.
But the issue here is the lack of competitiveness involving the other programs. In the recent edition of BlueWhite Illustrated, Andy Elder wrote an article entitled, "Raising Expectations."
His article was about first-year Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and how well his modest six-man contingent of wrestlers had done in the 2010 NCAA Division I wrestling championships. Penn State finished in ninth place - not bad when last year's team finished in 17th place.
But in Elder's article, he points out what Coach Sanderson said in his press conference the day after. And it was a shot heard round the college wrestling world.
"We're coming along," he said. "I don't expect us to finish this low ever again."
The hiring of Sanderson was a major shot in the arm which hopefully will resonate with those other programs not doing very well.
Roethlisberger must end double talk
Big Ben Roethlisberger had better put his ego aside and begin listening to the echoes of maturity providing free warnings of doom.
The district attorney who could have sent Big Ben out the door with Santonio Holmes warned Roethlisberger to "grow up" so there must have been some impropriety going on, despite what Ben stated.
And if Roethlisberger won't listen to former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, he'll never listen to Kurt Warner, the DA or even Mike Tomlin. But he better listen to Dan Rooney and the NFL commissioner or he will be looking for another team.
It has been rightly stated that the Steelers set their standards bar much higher than the other teams. If a player cannot act properly off the field, it puts questions in everyone's mind as to whether they make the right decisions on the field. One can also ask themselves if he listens to anyone but himself.
Roethlisberger said the meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was "very productive."
Huh? One thing is certain: If Big Ben gets kicked off the Steelers' team he can always become a politician. After all, he has all the credentials: questionable moral standards and vague media answers like, "very productive" and "it's very serious."
As a kid on the farm, I always found mending fences more work than constructing them. Big Ben had a solid fence, but he was the bull that tore it down.
Repairing it may take longer than he thinks.
William Snyder Jr.
Objects to Holmes trade
The Steelers' trade of Santonio Holmes is the worst move that I can ever remember the team making.
The Jets got Braylon Edwards and had to give up a third-round pick. Holmes was the best receiver on the team, and the Jets only had to give up a fifth-round pick.
Now the Steelers have Hines Ward, who is going down hill, and Mike Wallace. Wallace is a great young player, but in three years he will be the only receiver on the team who is good.
The Steelers are having a terrible offseason, and I hope they turn it around with the draft.
Strasburg visit shot in arm
ESPN covering Stephen Strasburg's pitching Sunday brought many more fans to beautiful Blair County Ballpark.
This was a huge step up from the Altoona Curve being on the front page of USA Today on Aug. 8, 2002. Strasburg's visit allowed people from around the United States to witness the beauty of our local ballpark.
This game was one for the books and will always be remembered.