I think it is time for the Bucs to make a trade - one that makes sense for this year as well as the future.
The trade that works best in this scenario is for Houston outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence is arbitration eligible for two more years, but the real goal would be to sign him to a long-term contract.
Houston would want prospects in return as well as a player or two that is MLB-ready now.
The best deal would be Pence for Jose Tabata or Alex Presley, Josh Harrison and Rudy Owens.
Of course, you could try throwing in Garrett Jones or Matt Diaz as well, but Houston probably doesn't want them.
An outfield of Tabata/Presley, McCutchen and Pence for years to come would not be bad.
Also, Harrison will only be a backup for the Bucs - that is if Pedro Alvarez comes around. The Bucs don't lose much and gain a player that would fit in with the team as well as in the locker room.
Let's go Bucs!
Hoover story inspiring
Prior to reading the "Survivor" article on the front of the Mirror sports section last Friday, I was never aware of Merrill "Whobbie" Hoover's story of survival.
Although Merrill and I never formally introduced ourselves to one another, I always recognized his familiar face as I grew up as a young Hollidaysburg athlete around the YMCA.
Growing up as an aspiring athlete, I always aimed to live by a quote from former NFL star Gale Sayers, which read, "I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it."
Mr. Hoover has revitalized this quote to meaning so much more to me by his living example. If I can live my life possessing half the amount of fortitude he has displayed in his life thus far, I will consider myself truly blessed.
My thoughts and prayers are with him as he continues to take on life's obstacles fearlessly.
My oldest son plays on Chestnut Ridge's summer baseball team that participated in Claysburg's tournament.
My son's team played a team from Everett on Saturday, July 16 at Claysburg's bottom field. Our family is friends with a family from Everett.
Our friend's son on Everett's team hit a home run in the game.
My youngest son graciously offered to go and get the ball for our friend, who was circling the bases.
But as my son went to get the ball from a yard across the street from the field, I saw the owner of the house yelling at my son and telling him that if he steps one foot on his property that he will call the police.
One of the children in his yard handed the ball to my son.
I went over to address the situation and told "Mr. Happy" to have a great day. I put my arm around my son's shoulders, and we walked over to Everett's fans to return the ball.
My son was shaking and almost in tears. My son was scared that the police were going to come and haul him off to jail, even though he never stepped foot on "Mr. Happy's" property. The fans on both sides were talking about what they had witnessed.
As I watched my oldest son's team play the rest of their game with Everett, I observed "Mr. Happy" waiting in his yard for another ball to drop.
I don't know "Mr. Happy," but unfortunately the kids that play at the Claysburg fields on a regular basis have experienced his behavior.
The question that I want answered is why would you want to go through life being remembered as that rude and mean man that lives across the street from the ballfield?
Ben Chamberlain and his volunteers do a superb job providing a safe and rewarding experience for these young players.
They help teach the players responsibility, knowledge of the game and team unity. These characteristics produce many role models which all children need more of. Why would anyone want to take this positive opportunity away from the children?